Theodor Maunz

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Theodor Maunz in the study of his house in Graefelfing (Bavaria), 1991

Theodor Maunz (* 1. September 1901 in Dachau ; † 10. September 1993 in Munich ) was a German lawyer, administrative and constitutional lawyer, university teacher of Heads of State and Administrative Law and politician ( CSU ). With the " Maunz / Dürig / Herzog / Scholz " he founded a standard work under the comments on the Basic Law and was Bavarian Minister of Education from 1957 to 1964 . After his Nazi past became known, he resigned as minister and published until his death a. a. anonymously in the national newspaper .


Theodor Maunz at the celebration of his 90th birthday in 1991

Maunz was the son of an elementary school teacher and, after graduating from high school and studying law, at the end of which he received his doctorate in 1926 at the University of Munich with his dissertation The position of the state in legal proceedings, he joined the Bavarian civil service in 1927 as an administrative lawyer. After his habilitation in Munich in 1932 , he was a private lecturer at the law faculty for German imperial, state and administrative law at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . After the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists , he joined the NSDAP and the SA in 1933 . In 1934 his license to teach was changed in constitutional law, administrative law and political theory.

In 1935 Maunz was appointed associate professor at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg . As a professor in Freiburg (until 1945) he mainly dealt with the legal position of the police in the Nazi state. Like Carl Schmitt , Ernst Rudolf Huber , Karl Larenz , Otto Koellreutter , Herbert Krüger and Ernst Forsthoff , he is one of the academic lawyers who endeavored to give the Nazi regime legal legitimacy through their work.

In this context, the Kiel School must also be mentioned. Karl August Eckhardt organized the teaching academy in the Kitzeberger camp . In this community camp on the Bay of Kiel, National Socialist lawyers came together to give a lecture on the national reform of law. The lectures held in the Kitzeberg camp were published a year later in the first volume of the newly published journal German Law . In addition to the Kiel lawyers, Theodor Maunz from Freiburg also took part.

Maunz made himself available to the regime and tried to legitimize it and to capture it legally. As a young lecturer, he wrote in his work New Foundations of Administrative Law , published in 1934 (p. 48 and p. 55):

“The idea that the purpose of the administration of administrative justice consists in protecting the individual's sphere of freedom against measures taken by the state administration, may have been justified in the liberal state, but must be eliminated in the National Socialist state. […] The central legal structure, behind which all other legal structures have to withdraw, is the political leader. Insofar as it contradicts the meaning of this structure, any judicial activity in the field of administration is impossible. From this it follows that the administration of justice can never inhibit or hinder the political decisions of the Führer. "

If one might dismiss these early remarks by the private lecturer Maunz as “sins of youth” due to a desired career as a university lecturer, this can no longer apply to later writings. In 1937 Maunz, who had meanwhile been appointed Professor of Law in Freiburg, wrote in his work Administration (p. 42):

“Such a weakening was also the goal of the idea of ​​the separation of powers; the separation of powers appeared to be the best guarantor of the bourgeois idea of ​​freedom. With the acquisition of a single will and action bearer of the popular order, the separation and inhibition of powers is overcome. […] But within the people's order the powers are united in the person of the leader; they have thus become a real collective power, the leadership power. "

Maunz also propagated the fascist or National Socialist leadership state in the work Gestalt und Recht der Polizei , published in 1943 :

“It is the foundation of the police action on the will of the Reich leadership acting within the framework of the national order. […] In other words, what the Führer […] assigns to the police in the form of legal orders forms the legal basis of the police. The allocation can take place in the formal legislative procedure. It can also take place in the other standard creation process. However, it can also be issued by way of individual instruction or individual approval. This system has [...] replaced the old principle of lawfulness since the will of the Führer took the place of the old law. "

In 1948 Maunz took part in the constitutional convention on Herrenchiemsee for southern Baden .

From 1952 until his retirement , Maunz held a professorship for public law, in particular German and Bavarian constitutional and administrative law, at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . He established himself through his publications as a leading constitutional lawyer in the Federal Republic. In 1958 he founded one of the leading commentaries on the Basic Law with Günter Dürig , which is still known today as Maunz / Dürig / Herzog / Scholz u. a. is continued by Roman Herzog and Rupert Scholz . Duke, who himself was one of his students, said in 1993: "Maunz was after 1948/49 certainly one of the dominant constitutional law of the Federal Republic of Germany, you can also say he has helped shape the democratic constitutional law of the Federal Republic." In addition to the subsequent Constitutional Court , the Basic Law - Co-commentator and Federal President Roman Herzog also included university professors Peter Lerche and Klaus Obermayer among Maunz's students.

Maunz - and in particular his student Roman Herzog - declared Article 139 of the Basic Law to be “obsolete” after the denazification was completed . In particular, the attempt to regard it as a fundamental statement about the attitude of the Basic Law towards National Socialist conceptions of the state and to allow it to continue to apply should be rejected. When the Basic Law came into force, this article stipulated that the German implementing provisions issued on the basis of the Allied Control Council directives, such as the Liberation Act of March 5, 1946, did not need to be compatible with the fundamental rights of the Basic Law and could therefore continue to apply .

From 1957 to 1964 the CSU member Maunz was Bavarian Minister of Education until he announced his resignation on July 10, 1964 after some texts from before 1945 came under pressure. The publications on Maunz's activities before 1945 were mainly carried out at the political level by the FDP politician Hildegard Hamm-Brücher . He kept his professorship.

After Maunz's death, an article appeared in the National-Zeitung , in which Maunz was thanked for not only having been the editor, DVU chairman Gerhard Frey , since the proceedings against him under Article 18 of the Basic Law (denial of fundamental rights) in the 1960s, but had also written anonymously for the National-Zeitung for many years .

Maunz's estate, consisting of correspondence, drafts, expert opinions, manuscripts and a collection of photos, is in the Bavarian Main State Archives in Munich, further documents in the Munich City Archives and in the Freiburg University Archives (exclusively for the period after 1945).

Maunz had been a member of the Catholic student association KDStV Aenania Munich since 1920 .

Awards and honors

Publications (selection)


Web links

Commons : Theodor Maunz  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dataset of the dissertation on (accessed on September 3, 2019).
  2. ^ Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. 2., actual. Edition. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16048-0 , p. 395.
  3. Cf. Otto Köhler: Stump against right? Roman Herzog and Article 139 of the Basic Law . In: Friday , February 4, 2005.
  4. It's time to set an example , Bayerischer Rundfunk, March 1, 2016.
  5. See BVerfG, decision of September 27, 1951 - 1 BvR 70/51 .
  6. Good, loyal human stuff - Bavaria's minister of culture surrenders to the perseverance of a woman. In: Der Spiegel. No. 30/1964, pp. 32 f., Accessed on December 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Hans Herbert von Arnim : The Germany file. Chapter X, No. 2, Constitutional Law: Not Without Fascist U-Boats (p. 235 of the paperback edition).