This research project studies the networks and content of legal journals during the Nazi regime in Germany and occupied countries in Western-Europe in order to fill a gap in comparative legal history and literature sciences.
Studying legal periodicals during the 1930s and the Second World War brings important new insights into the understanding of the nexus of law and politics and the use of law as a tool in politics in an increasingly global legal world. In this sense, legal periodicals are heart rate monitors in society.
Two main hypotheses will to be tested. Legal periodicals played a crucial role in justifying a totalitarian regime and in promoting ideas that contributed to a New Legal Order; and totalitarian regimes entrusted legal titles to loyal and influential lawyers who took the lead in a legal unification project throughout the occupied countries and initiated a process of cross-fertilization.
The main sources are general legal titles published in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands from 1933, when Hitler seized power, until 1950, to assess the aftermath of the war.