1 The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University
the career of Karl Larenz as an episode in the history of civil identityKarl Larenz' karriere som en episode i den civile identitets historie
The abolition of 'the person' as a legal category in Nazi philosophy of law - the career of Karl Larenz as an episode in the history of civil identity (Abstract) This paper discusses 'civil identity' as an aspect of the philosophy of the person. It presents an episode in the development of legal philosophy, the work of philosopher and professor of law, Karl Larenz (1903-1993), during the Nazi regime in Germany (1933-1945). Larenz and others strove to reform private law (Zivilrecht or bürgeriches Recht) in conformity with National Socialism. Central to that - racist, to be sure - project was the abolition of the concept of the person, or its substitution by other notions, explicitly designed to discard the idea of universal rights of the individual. It makes this episode particularly curious that Larenz, and others like him, made career, and published extensively, also both before 1933 and after 1945. Extensive historical research exists on these philosophical ideas and their relationship to the jurisprudence, legislation, and legal practice during the Third Reich. However, I would like to use a periodical characterisation, with focus on Karl Larenz and his works, as a backdrop for discussing the concept of 'civil identity'.