Wenceslaus from Gleispach

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Wenzeslaus Graf Gleispach (born August 22, 1876 in Graz , † March 12, 1944 in Vienna ) was a German-Austrian lawyer and university teacher who was close to National Socialism.


The son of the prominent lawyer and temporarily Minister of Justice Johann Nepomuk von Gleispach also studied law and obtained his doctorate in 1898. The young man, who came from a wealthy count's house, had to earn his living by giving lessons because the family disapproved of his marriage to a singer from the Grazer Landestheater. In 1903 Gleispach became professor of criminal law at the University of Freiburg (Switzerland) , in 1907 at the German University of Prague , from 1916 to 1933 he was professor at the University of Vienna as successor to Heinrich Lammasch . In 1925 Gleispach was dean of the law faculty, 1929-30 rector. In 1930, as rector, he "provided for a new student law" on a national or German-Aryan basis "which divided students into four" nations ", namely" German "," non-German (Jewish) "," mixed "and "other". The Austrian Constitutional Court repealed the Rector's ordinance in June 1931. This led to the "worst riots on academic soil" in the first Austrian republic. After the Dollfuss dictatorship was established , Gleispach, an “old and ardent fighter for National Socialism”, was retired in October 1933 without disciplinary proceedings because of his support for National Socialism and open resistance to his government.

Thereupon the NSDAP and the student body at the Ministry of Culture advocated Gleispach's appointment. The Minister of Education, Bernhard Rust , ordered the University of Berlin to invite Gleispach to Berlin in 1933. Attractive positions became vacant at the Berlin University, as the Jewish professors were expelled from their offices. Gleispach had already been designated by Eduard Kohlrausch for the chair of James Goldschmidt in the summer of 1933 . As early as the winter semester of 1933, Gleispach held lectures as an honorary professor instead of James Goldschmidt, whose lectures were first boycotted by National Socialist students and then banned by the university management against all applicable law. In the winter semester of 1934/35 Gleispach was formally elevated to the chair of the expelled professor and retrospectively appointed full professor at the beginning of 1935, which he remained until 1941. Shortly thereafter, Gleispach was promoted to dean of the law faculty, which he remained until 1937. Immediately after taking office as dean, Gleispach, who was strongly anti-Semitic, denounced the minister of education to expel the last remaining Jewish university professors Martin Wolff and Ernst Rabel . One of the advocates of Gleispach was the prominent lawyer Carl Schmitt , who valued Gleispach as a committed National Socialist.

In 1933 Gleispach was one of the founding members of the National Socialist Academy for German Law by Hans Franks .

In 1935 Gleispach was appointed by the Senate of the City of Danzig as a representative in the proceedings before the Permanent International Court of Justice . In this process, the League of Nations wanted to clarify whether the adoption of National Socialist laws of August 29, 1935, which was supposed to abolish the rule of law and also justify the persecution of Jews and democrats, was in accordance with the Danzig constitution. The Danzig constitution was that of a democratic constitutional state and was guaranteed by the League of Nations. Gleispach's efforts - among other things, he wanted to prove together with Nazi legal advisor Friedrich Grimm that the National Socialist principle Nullum crimen sine poena provided more justice than the rule of law principles Nullum crimen sine lege and Nulla poena sine lege - were unsuccessful. The court ruled that the new laws contradicted the constitution of Gdańsk and the principles of the League of Nations.

Grave of Wenceslaus von Gleispach

In 1937 Gleispach was relieved of the duties of the Dean's office at his own request, but he continued to enjoy a great reputation in the National Socialist Ministry of Education. Because Gleispach was traded among others as a candidate for the post of university rector. In 1941 Gleispach retired for reasons of age and health. He died of a stroke in Vienna in 1944 and was buried at the Vienna Central Cemetery (Group 33E, Row 17, No. 17). The honorary grave status was revoked in 1986.

In 1907 Gleispach was closely involved in the Austrian draft reform of a new criminal law. In the twenties he tried to promote a criminal law reform in Germany that was supported by the Nazi spirit. In 1935 Gleispach became a member of the Commission for the Renewal of German Criminal Law, in which German criminal law was to be adapted to the legal ideas of the National Socialists.


  • German Criminal Procedure Law. A floor plan. Junker and Dünnhaupt, Berlin 1943 (= jurisprudential floor plans ).
  • The war criminal law. General criminal law of war and procedural law. With an overview of the criminal law and criminal procedure law of the German armed forces during the war. von Decker, Berlin 1940. Part 1: The general war criminal law , in particular the regulation for the protection against pests of the people… among other things Part 2: The general criminal procedure law in war and the criminal law and criminal procedure law of the armed forces in war. Part 3: The Latest General War Criminal Law. March to November 1940. Kohlhammer, Leipzig 1941.
  • National Socialist Law. Speech to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the day of the national uprising on January 29, 1938. Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität, Berlin and Linz on the Danube 1938.
  • The most recent amendments to the criminal law of Danzig before the Permanent Court of International Law in The Hague. Berlin 1936.
  • with Friedrich Ruff : The Austrian Criminal Procedure. A systematic representation. Vienna 1924.
  • Criminal law. General part. After the lecture in the summer semester of 1921. Vienna 1921.
  • The German draft criminal law. Reports and amendments. Austrian Criminalist Association at its conference from October 13 to 15, 1921. Freytag, Leipzig 1921.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Anna-Maria Countess Lösch: The naked spirit. The law faculty of the Berlin University in upheaval in 1933. Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147245-4 , p. 190.
  2. ^ Andreas Koenen: The case of Carl Schmitt. Darmstadt 1995, ISBN 3-534-12302-6 , p. 640 f.
  3. Cf. Martha Keil, Klaus Lohrmann: Studies on the history of the Jews in Austria. Vienna 1994, p. 138: "In Austria the law teachers Emil Forsthoff and Count Wenzeslaus Gleispach were the representatives of a National Socialist legal theory."
  4. Anna-Maria Countess von Lösch: The naked spirit. The law faculty of the Berlin University in upheaval in 1933. Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147245-4 , pp. 197-200.
  5. Anna-Maria Countess von Lösch: The naked spirit. The law faculty of the Berlin University in upheaval in 1933. Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147245-4 , p. 257.
  6. Yearbook of the Academy for German Law , 1st year 1933/34, p. 253.
  7. See Wenzeslaus von Gleispach: The most recent criminal law novellas in Danzig before the permanent court for international law in the Hague. Berlin 1936.
  8. See the decision of the Permanent International Court of Justice under this link icj-cij.org ( Memento of the original dated December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.icj-cij.org
  9. See the German draft criminal law. Reports and amendments . Austrian Criminological Association at its conference from October 13 to 15, 1921. G. Freytag Verlag, Leipzig 1921.