ABA events identified lingering lessons of the Holocaust

In early May, the American Bar Association’s reach into global education was on display.

On May 6, U.S. Holocaust Remembrance Day, the exhibit of the ABA project, “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich,” was shown at the German Embassy in Washington in conjunction with a program, “Under Pressure: The Resilience of the Rule of Law in Modern Democracies.”

Two days later, the ABA International Law Section (ILS) hosted Beth Van Schaack, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, at a luncheon at its annual conference in D.C.

The event on Holocaust Remembrance Day featured representatives from the World Justice Project, German Federal Bar, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and ABA Center for Global Programs.

Two other similar exhibits are now on display nationally - at a Holocaust center in Naples, Florida, and Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing.

At the embassy event, ABA Immediate Past President Deborah Enix-Ross gave opening remarks about the “Lawyers Without Rights” project, a traveling exhibit and book in collaboration with the German Federal Bar. She observed that the purging of Jewish lawyers and jurists in Nazi Germany starting in 1933 serves as a reminder today of what horrific events can follow when the just rule of law is undermined
by the unjust rule by law.

“That is what happened in Germany starting in 1933,” she said.

“As retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in his foreword to the 2019 release of the ‘Lawyers Without Rights’ book: ‘As Nazi atrocities fall further into the past, direct recollection becomes
more difficult. But recollection does not become less important’.”

She praised the global vigilance from the groups represented at the panel and others. Enix-Ross also argued for more local education on the Holocaust, citing a national study from the National Conference of State Legislatures that found most states don’t have laws that require public school students to learn about these horrors.

At the ILS meeting, Van Schaack outlined her “efforts to achieve justice in Ukraine” as well as other global hotspots that “cry out for justice.”

She reiterated some of her previous comments, including those delivered before a Senate panel describing her office’s “five pathways” being followed in Ukraine: pursuing action in international courts, building capacity, strategic litigation in other courts, prosecution for criminal aggression and strengthening U.S. laws.

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available