The Rosenburg – The Federal Ministry of Justice in the Shadow of the Nazi Past

February 20 through May 14, 2023

12 March 2023

Exhibition Venue:

The Buchmann Faculty of Law & The David J. Light Law Library

February 20 through May 14, 2023


An important question posed for the Federal Republic of Germany and its Ministry of Justice upon the republic’s establishment in 1949 was how to address the horrors of the Nazi era. In 2012, the Ministry undertook a study of its response in the 1950‘s and 1960‘s, which revealed what are best described as shocking failures by the Ministry. A high percentage of Ministry senior staff had backgrounds in the Nazi legal system and had participated in the terrible misdeeds of that machinery. As a result, during the early years of the German Republic, many laws were denazified only superficially; discrimination continued; crimes of the Holocaust were not properly prosecuted; and many Nazi criminals were not brought to justice for decades, benefitting from amnesties and statutes of limitation. This traveling exhibition based on the Ministry’s own four years of serious introspection, research and study, compiled in what are known as the Rosenburg Files - so named because following World War II the Ministry’s offices were located in the Rosenburg Castle in Bonn - seeks to raise awareness among a large audience of the historical injustice that took place post World War II at the hands of the Ministry itself.


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