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Mace & Crown | March 19, 2018

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Lawyers Without Rights

Lawyers Without Rights

An exhibit and panel discussion at Old Dominion University will explore what happens when the rule of law is obliterated.

The “Lawyers without Rights” reception and program will take place on Apr. 11 starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center on the ODU campus. The reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with opening remarks by Dr. George William Whitehurst, a former Congressman and professor of history and political science at ODU. A program featuring a panel discussion will then follow from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., which will discuss how the Nazis obliterated the Rule of Law, the propaganda techniques used by Hitler and why it is important for free nations such as ours to protect the independence of our judiciary and the legal system that preserves our rights.

Panelists will include Whitehurst, who currently is a Kaufman Lecturer in Public Affairs at ODU, U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia–Norfolk Division, Dr. Lubich, professor of German at ODU and the moderator Susan R. Blackman, Esq., a lawyer with Wilcox & Savage, P.C.

The exhibit will show how very shortly after he became Chancellor of Germany, Hitler issued a decree barring Jewish lawyers and judges from German courts.


“The exhibit depicts the real-life impact of that decree and how it affected individual lawyers and judges, as well as the legal profession. More importantly, the decree paved the way for further efforts by the Nazi party to erode human rights and rather swiftly transition Germany from a free nation to a dictatorship,” said Blackman, “it is amazing to learn, through this program, how Germany was very quickly transformed from a free country to a dangerous dictatorship. Before Hitler, Germany had a judicial system that helped people and protected the Constitutional rights of individuals through the Rule of Law and through judges who were independent and “subject only to the law,” Blackman said.


The German Federal Bar will also pay for the exhibit to travel to many cities throughout the world. Its tour of the United States is cosponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA).

“This event is part of a traveling exhibition organized by the German Bar Association to tour the world and teach the lessons learned from the Third Reich and how it systematically deprived German Jewish citizens of their rights, which became the prelude to the “Final Solution” and the European Holocaust,” said Lubich.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is located in Garage E, at the corner of 49 Street and Bluestone Avenue. RSVP by Apr. 8 to the Event Coordinator and Director of The Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding Farideh Goldin (

by Brian Jerry – Senior Writer