Hersch Lauterpacht and Otto Wächter: two law students at the University of Vienna


In 1919, two men enrolled at the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Law and later went on to pursue very different careers. Hersch Lauterpacht became one of the most eminent scholars of international law in the 20th century, holding the famous Whewell Chair at the University of Cambridge and being a member of the International Law Commission and Judge at the International Court of Justice.

Otto Wächter, on the other hand, rose to the upper ranks of the Nazi party. Wächter was involved as an illegal Nazi in the 1934 assassination of Dollfuss in Vienna, later became Governor of Krakow and then Lemberg, and went on to become a commander in the Waffen-SS Division Galicia. In Lemberg, Lauterpacht’s town of origin, Wächter was responsible for the administration of the Holocaust, in which large parts of Lauterpacht’s family perished. Lauterpacht was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, while Wächter was indicted for international crimes. However, Wächter died in 1949 while on the run. The keynote speech by Philippe Sands will juxtapose these different life paths, based on his book East-West Street and his new project The Ratline.

6 December 2019, 18:00-20:00
U11, Juridicum, Schottenbastei 10-16, 1010 Vienna

Please register for the event via e-mail at rechtsgeschichte@univie.ac.at


Welcome Address
by the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law,
Professor Franz-Stefan Meissel

People on the Move – Europe in the 1940’s
Introductory Remarks by Professor Kerstin von Lingen,
Department of Contemporary History

Hersch Lauterpacht and Otto Wächter:
two lives, from Vienna, 1919, to Cambridge and Rome, 1949
Keynote Speech by Professor Philippe Sands, QC, London

Stories of International Law and International Crimes
A Conversation between Professors Philippe Sands and Miloš Vec,
Department of Legal and Constitutional History

Open Forum with the Audience