Dean of the Faculty Responding at the “Rosenburg Files” Presentation at Tel Aviv University
On Tuesday, 7th of February, Tel Aviv University hosted a special presentation of the “Rosenburg Files” research project initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Justice in order to examine the ministry’s dealing, in its so-called Rosenburg era following World War II, with the German Nazi legal system.
The presentation, moderated by Prof. Dina Porat, Head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Chief Historian of Yad Vashem, was honored by the presence of many distinguished guests, prominent among them were German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Heiko Maas and his Israeli counterpart, Ayelet Shaked, alongside Prof. Raanan Rein, Vice President of Tel Aviv University and three jurists of the Israeli Supreme Court including Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Vice President of the Supreme Court.
Minister Maas emphasized in his greeting speech that the dangers of the past are still lurking in current democratic regimes, especially as the social media allow for wide circulation of hate speech, the first phase leading to hate-motivated action. The Minister also stressed the German commitment to study the country’s juristic past, as expressed in this project, which was subsequently presented by the project’s academic directors, Prof. Manfred Görtemaker of the University of Potsdam and Prof. Christoph Safferling of the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
In response to the presentation, Prof. Ron Harris, Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law, reminded the audience that the Israeli legal system was established by jurists who were trained and educated in pre-WWII Germany, and called for re-strengthening the ties between the two countries’ legal systems and legal academia. The Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Harris continued, was named in 1994 by Joseph Buchmann, a Holocaust survivor, after his parents who perished in the Holocaust, and it would therefore be more than suitable for the Buchmann Faculty of Law to play a major role in achieving that goal.