Strafjustiz im Nationalsozialismus bei der Staatsanwaltschaft Ulm und den Gerichten im Landgerichtsbezirk Ulm.

Die NS-Strafrichter wurden in zahlreichen Untersuchungen bisher undifferenziert als „Mörder in Robe“ bezeichnet. Dies traf zu, weil nahezu ausschließlich die mit fanatischen und karrierebewussten jungen Richtern besetzten Sondergerichte untersucht worden waren. Der grösste Anteil aller politischen S...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Scheib, Karl Ulrich
Contributors: Rössner, Dieter (Prof., Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Doctoral Thesis
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2012
Online Access:PDF Full Text
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Table of Contents: The prosecution of criminal cases in Nazi Germany has been the subject of countless investigations, which up to now have given an undifferentiated picture, in which the judges appear as “murderers in robes”. This picture has gained credence because up to now practically all investigations have concentrated on the “special courts” (Sondergerichte) whose young, fanatical and career-conscious judges were installed after the Nazis gained power. However the biggest proportion of all the political cases were decided in district courts (Landesgerichte), but up to now nobody has systematically researched if these decided in the same way. With the aim of finding this out, I have therefore systematically researched both the way prosecutions were handled by the public prosecutor and the decisions of the judges, using as an example the district court of Ulm. The surprising result showed a criminal justice system that had two faces 1. The political section of the Public Prosecutor’s Office under the leadership of a fanatical high ranking storm trooper relentlessly pursued critics of the Nazi regime, without concern for the facts of the case or legal positions. In order to obtain the greatest possible punishments even trivial offences were, without clear grounds, passed over to the “special courts” and the Volksgerichtshof (the court set up by the Nazi regime to judge cases of treason), even though in up to 50% of cases the transfer was eventually refused. 2. By contrast, the judges of the District Court in Ulm took a clearly distanced position to the Nazi regime and repeatedly and successfully refused to implement Nazi punishment norms. The District Court did not deliver a single death sentence in a political case. Whereas the “special courts” ordered a death sentence in up to 80% of cases of theft during the (air-raid) blackout, even for theft of small animals or bicycles, the District Court in Ulm merely imposed prison sentences. The judges of the District Court refused to implement the totally excessive Nazi punishments, because they had all been trained in and influenced by the German empire. They continued to feel themselves constrained by the classical concept of guilt and refused to join the Party. This alone gives evidence for a rejection of the Nazi punishment ideology. The attempts of the Party to replace “unreliable” officials with “reliable” Party members was, because of a lack of suitable personnel, only possible for senior positions. The comparison of punishments was based only on offences that were dealt with by both “special courts” and the district courts. 3. The rejection of excessive punishment norms which occurred in Ulm is likely to apply over the whole of Germany, because many Presidents of the regional higher courts (Oberlandesgerichte) complained to the Reich Justice Ministry that the older judges were not prepared to accustom themselves to the politically expected death sentences. The work here presented provides evidence that even during the period of Nazi dictatorship a quiet but effective resistance was both possible and practiced.