Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:00 PM | Panel Discussion
The Rosenburg Files: A Study of the Involvement of Former Nazi Party Members in the German Justice Ministry after World War II
From 1950 – 1973, the Rosenburg in Bonn was the seat of the German Federal Justice Ministry
When the Allied forces handed over the reins of government to the newly minted Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, a new Justice Ministry assumed responsibility for interpreting and enforcing the law in a nation whose former legal system had been perverted by National Socialist ideology. New research commissioned by the Justice Ministry shows that this was hardly a fresh start for the German justice system, however.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas and a panel of scholars will discuss research that shows that an alarmingly high percentage of officials tasked with prosecuting the crimes of the Nazis and compensating their victims were complicit in those crimes themselves as former Nazi party members or sympathizers.
Sixty-five years after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, there is no doubt that the reconstruction of a German justice system that protects the rule of law and civil rights was ultimately successful. This reckoning with the dark chapters of the BMJ’s early history was launched by former Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in 2012 as an expression of Germany’s commitment to democracy. It is the second such study by a German Federal Ministry, after the Foreign Office launched its own historians’ commission in 2005.
With moderator David G. Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York, and panelists Manfred Görtemaker (University of Potsdam), Christoph Safferling (University of Marburg), and Rebecca Wittmann (University of Toronto).
Co-presented with the American Jewish Committee
Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011