Journal Review: VfZ 3/2011

In the current issue of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Frieder Günther looks at ‘Ideas of Radical Order in German Right-Wing Intellectual Debates of Scholars of Law, 1920-1960’:

‘How did leading German right-wing intellectuals react to the deep political ruptures between 1920 and 1960? And mostly, after at first enthusiastically welcoming the seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933, how did they come to terms with the new constitutional and social order of the Federal Republic of Germany? In order to answer these questions, the article focuses on three scholars of law who were born around the turn of the century: Ernst Forsthoff, Ernst Rudolf Huber, and Karl Larenz. All three began their academic careers in the 1920s and, after 1933, ascended to the position of star professors in their field. Despite an interruption due to denazification they again asserted leading positions in the academic and intellectual debates of the 1950s. This article shows that, in the period between the 1920s and 1950s, their thinking continuously focused on the ideas of radical order and, therefore, resisted fundamental breaks. By referring to Carl Schmitt’s “concrete order and formation thinking” (konkretes Ordnungs- und Gestaltungsdenken), all three right-wing intellectuals endeavoured to make sense of the political and legal changes which deeply shaped their life experience.’

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