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Biographical/Historical Information

The lawyer and political scientist Ernst Fraenkel was born in Cologne in 1898 (the brother of the physician Marta Fraenkel). After serving with the German army in WW I, Fraenkel specialized in German labor law and was one of the leading social democratic lawyers in the Weimar Republic. Ernst Fraenkel and his wife Hannah emigrated to the United States in 1939. He studied American law at the University of Chicago Law School, authored books, and taught at the New School for Social Research in New York. Fraenkel worked for the United Nations in Korea, but his efforts became futile with the outbreak of the Korean War. In 1951, Fraenkel retuned to Germany, where he taught at the Freie Universität Berlin and founded the John F. Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies. Ernst Fraenkel died in Berlin in 1975.

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Ernst Fraenkel : studio portrait, Leo Baeck Institute, F 9461.