Fritz Bauer: The Jewish Prosecutor Who Brought Eichmann and Auschwitz to Trial

Bildschirmfoto 2020-05-23 um 16.59.36Fritz Bauer (1903–1968) played a key role in the arrest of Adolf Eichmann and the initiation of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials. I have written about Fritz Bauer before, first about the Jewish Museum’s exhibition in 2014 and then, amongst other posts, about Fritz Bauer as an Unlikely Movie Hero. As these posts are consistently amongst the most read, you might be interested to learn that an English translation of Ronen Steinke’s acclaimed biography has been published by Indiana University Press. This post contains further reading on Steinke’s book, and here is a link to Kai Ambos’ English-language review. Continue reading

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The People vs. Fritz Bauer: An Unlikely Movie Hero

fritz bauerFritz Bauer, the former State Attorney General (Generalstaatsanwalt) for the state of Hesse  and the man behind the Auschwitz Trials, for decades was known only to a small community of lawyers and historians. But even there, things took time: It was only in 1995 that the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt was established. Films about him would have been documentaries.

But all of a sudden, Fritz Bauer became a movie hero. In early 2015, the movie The Labyrinth of Lies came out. A second biopic came out later the same year: The People vs. Fritz Bauer, now followed by a TV feature movie: Die Akte General.

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Labyrinth of Lies: Fritz Bauer and the Auschwitz trials

Today is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It may seem odd to recommend a movie on this occasion, but if you are interested in post-war (legal) history, this “smart and well-acted take on a historically significant if little-known story” is a must-see. Labyrinth of Lies (Labyrinth des Schweigens) is a compelling movie about the Frankfurt public prosecutors, led by Fritz Bauer, who brought the atrocities in Auschwitz to trial. Continue reading

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