Otto Palandt

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Certificate - Referendar HD - State examination on April 6, 1937 - The President of the Reich Judicial Examination Office

Otto Palandt (* 1. May 1877 in Stade , † 3. December 1951 in Hamburg ) was one of the most influential jurists of the Third Reich and is the namesake of the BGB - commentary Palandt . Up until the 10th edition he was a co-author of the commentary without commenting a single paragraph. Palandt is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the founding editor. The first editor of Palandt was Gustav Wilke (1889–1938), who died in a car accident before the first edition was published.



Certificate and signature - Otto Palandt - Berlin April 12, 1937

After graduating from high school in 1896, Palandt studied law in Munich , Leipzig and Göttingen . In 1899 he passed the first state law examination in Celle with a grade of good . In the same year he began his legal clerkship in Zellerfeld (Harz). In 1902, Palandt received his doctorate from the University of Heidelberg without a dissertation . In 1904, also in Celle, he passed the second state examination in law (again with a grade of good ). From 1906 to 1912 he was a judge at the district court Żnin ( province of Posen ), then at the district court in Kassel , during the First World War at the Imperial Supreme Court in Warsaw , Generalgouvernement Warsaw . Promoted to the Higher Regional Court in Poznan in 1916, Palandt moved to the Higher Regional Court in Kassel in 1919 . Between 1920 and 1924 there was a dispute with the Ministry of Finance, which prevented a further promotion to Senate President.

After the " seizure of power " and on the occasion of his impending appointment to prominent state functions, Palandt joined the NSDAP on May 1, 1933 . From June 1, 1933, he was Vice President, in December 1933 he became President of the Prussian State Examination Office, and in 1934 Roland Freisler appointed him President of the Reich Justice Examination Office and department head in the Reich Ministry of Justice, making him one of the most influential lawyers in the Third Reich. In the same year he was selected as the successor to Gustav Wilkes and commissioned to work on a commentary on the BGB , "which takes into account National Socialist ideas adequately".

Palandt also commented on the Reich's legal training regulations. In 1935 he wrote about the knowledge required for the first state examination in law: “This includes, above all, serious preoccupation with National Socialism and its ideological foundations, with the idea of ​​connecting blood and soil , race and nationality [...]. In the oral examination, too, the national basics of the new state, its history and worldview received their due place alongside legal knowledge. "

In addition to his attitude to National Socialism, Palandt's view of the role of women in legal professions is also worth mentioning. The new Judicial Training Ordinance passed under his presidency came into force on July 22, 1934. On December 20, 1934, the law to change the bar code followed, which no longer allowed women as lawyers because that would have meant a "breach of the sacred principle of the masculinity of the state". After the new laws were passed, Palandt unequivocally stated that it was “up to the man to uphold the law”.

In 1939, for marketing reasons, after the death of Gustav Wilke, who was initially intended for this purpose, Palandt became the editor of the new BGB commentary in the short commentary series of the publishing house CH Beck , which had been published by the Jewish publisher Otto Liebmann until 1933 . For Palandt himself, he only contributed the foreword and the introduction to the first ten editions, which documented his National Socialist attitude up to the sixth edition. After his denazification , Palandt also wrote the preface in an adjusted form from the seventh edition in 1949 to the tenth edition.


Otto Palandt is related to the family around Friedrich-Wilhelm Schwemann and is the great-grandfather of the artist Ralf Palandt .


  • Klaus W. Slapnicar: The Wilke, who was later called Palandt. In: Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 2000, pp. 1692–1699.
  • Hans Wrobel: Otto Palandt in memory of May 1, 1877 - December 3, 1951. In: Kritische Justiz 1982, pp. 1–17.
  • Elena Barnert: From station to station. Note to Otto Palandt (umstr) and others on the occasion of his 130th birthday (with further references) In: Myops 1 (2007), pp. 56–68.
  • Elena Barnert: From station to station. Note on Otto Palandt (umstr) etc. , revised and expanded version in: Festschrift for the 75th edition of the short commentary Palandt, Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, CH Beck, Munich 2016 (supplement to the 75th edition).
  • Martin Rath: Otto Palandt died 60 years ago - the black and brown namesake of the gray comment tile. In: Legal Tribune Online of December 3, 2011. ZDB -ID 2559120-4 .
  • Andreas ThierPalandt, Otto. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 20, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-00201-6 , p. 9 f. ( Digitized version ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas Thier : Palandt, Otto , in: Neue Deutsche Biographie , Vol. 20 (2001), pp. 9f.