Constitutional Thought between Weimar and Nazi Germany
The collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism in Germany continue to haunt constitutional thinking. This panel aims to offer new perspectives on this transition from democracy to totalitarianism. Katharina Isabel Schmidt offers a history of the § in the Third Reich, from Hans Kerrl‘s “paragraph-gallows“ to Justus Wilhelm Hedemann‘s “paragraph-less“ People‘s Code. Or Bassok exposes how a conversation on nihilism and indeterminacy between Carl Schmitt and a law professor from Harvard led Schmitt – according to his own account – to adopt National Socialist legal theory. Giuseppe Perconte Licatese addresses a legal opinion Carl Schmitt wrote in 1935 with the aim of supporting the Gleichschaltung of the Free City of Danzig, i.e. its transformation from a pluralistic democracy to a one-party totalitarian State. Ville Suuronen examines Carl Schmitt‘s polemical uses of Roman law between 1923–1945 to examine the continuity and discontinuity in his ideas.