Freitag, 06. Dezember 2019, 18:00 - 20:00 iCal

Hersch Lauterpacht and Otto Wächter

two law students at the University of Vienna

U 11, Juridicum
Schottenbastei 10-16, 1010 Wien


In 1919, two men enrolled at the University of Vienna Faculty of Law and later went on to pursue very different careers. While Hersch Lauterpacht became one of the most eminent scholars of International Law in the 20th century, holding the famous Whewell Chair at the University of Cambridge and being a Member of the International Law Commission and Judge at the International Court of Justice, Otto Wächter rose to the upper ranks of the Nazi party. Wächter was involved as an illegal Nazi in the 1934 assassination of Dollfuss in Vienna, later became the Governor of first Krakow and then Distrikt Galizien, based in Lemberg, Lauterpacht’s town of origin. Lauterpacht was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial, while Wächter, who was indicted for international crimes, was never caught and died in 1949 while on the run in Rome.


The keynote speech of Philippe Sands will juxtapose these different life paths, drawing on his book “East-West Street” and a new project, “The Ratline”.



Please register for the event via e-mail at




18:15: Welcome Address

by the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Franz-Stefan Meissel


18:20: Stories of Exile, Persecution and Death in the East: historical remarks

Introductory Remarks by Professor Kerstin von Lingen,Department of Contemporary History


18:30: Hersch Lauterpacht and Otto Wächter: two lives, from Vienna, 1919, to Cambridge and Rome, 1949

Keynote Speech by Professor Philippe Sands, QC, London


19:10: Stories of International Law and International Crimes

A Conversation between Professors Philippe Sands and Miloš Vec, Department of Legal and Constitutional History


19:30: Open Forum with the Audience

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Zeitgeschichte und Institut für Rechts- und Verfassungsgeschichte der Universität Wien

Um Anmeldung wird gebeten


Sara Vorwalder
Institut für Zeitgeschichte