Jewish and Israel Studies

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The Jews of the Channel Islands and the Rule of Law, 1940–1945

“Quite Contrary to the Principles of British Justice”

David Fraser is Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Law After Auschwitz: Towards a Jurisprudence of the Holocaust; The Fragility of Law: The Jews of Belgium and Constitutional Patriotism, 1940–1945 and Daviborshch’s Cart: Narrating the Holocaust in Australian War Crimes Trials.

From 1940 to 1945 the Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to fall under German Occupation. During that period, local courts continued to function and to apply Island law. Lawyers, judges and government officials in Jersey and Guernsey continued to swear oaths of allegiance to the British Crown. But German anti-Semitic laws and other measures were introduced and became part of the legal system. This book examines the ways in which officials co-operated in the implementation of legal measures against the Islands’ Jewish community and their property. Resident Jews were registered by Island authorities and lists of Jewish property were compiled and submitted to the Germans by local lawyers and bureaucrats. Jews were banned from employment and from appearing in public. Businesses were “Aryanized”. Wireless sets were confiscated because their owners were Jewish, and many residents were deported.

Based on a thorough review of Island archival material and previously unknown evidence, this book offers the first jurisprudential and legal analysis of the moral and legal failures of law and lawyers to combat the Holocaust and Nazi legality on British soil.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-902210-48-3
Hardback Price: £39.50 / $65.00
Release Date: April 2000
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-902210-48-3
Paperback Price: £24.95 / $34.95
Release Date: September 2014
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes


A Note on Language
Photo section

‘Names which we believe are of Jewish origin’

2 Anti-Semitism and the Rule of Law, 1940–1945 Registration

3 The Jew as Legal Subject
The Third Order

4 Anti-Semitism and the Rule of Law, 1940–1945 Aryanization

5 Aryanization
The Discourse of Legalized Evil

6 Aryanization in Jersey
Orange the Jew Hunter?

7 Bureaucracy and the Hunt for Jews in Jersey
The Cases of Hedy Bercu and Erica Richardson

8 Legalized Anti-Semitism Continued, 1941–1945

9 The Jews Moral Duty and Ethical Obligation, 1940–1945

10 Resistance or Moral Failure
The Eighth Order

11 Law, Memory and the Holocaust in the Channel Islands
History and Mythology

12 Reconstructing Public Memory and the Rule of Law

13 Conclusion: Legal Memory/Legal Amnesia
The Fate of the Jews of the Channel Islands


A most welcome addition to the small but growing English-language library concerning the role of lawyers in the destruction of political liberalism in Europe in the period 1940–45. The Modern Law Review

Should be compulsory reading for all lawyers and historians, as well as the population at large. Social and Legal Studies

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