Michael Bazyler is professor of law and The 1939 Law Scholar in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies. He is holder of previous fellowships at Harvard Law School and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In fall 2006, he was a Research Fellow at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority of Israel) and the holder of the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Antisemitism and the Holocaust. Before joining Chapman in 2008, he was a professor for 25 years at Whittier Law School. He received his B.A. from UCLA and his JD from USC.
A great deal of contemporary law has a direct connection to the Holocaust. That connection, however, is seldom acknowledged in legal texts and has never been the subject of a full-length scholarly work. This book examines the background of the Holocaust and genocide through the prism of the law; the criminal and civil prosecution of the Nazis and their collaborators for Holocaust-era crimes; and contemporary attempts to criminally prosecute perpetrators for the crime of genocide. It provides the history of the Holocaust as a legal event, and sets out how genocide has become known as the "crime of crimes" under both international law and in popular discourse. It goes on to discuss specific post-Holocaust legal topics, and examines the Holocaust as a catalyst for post-Holocaust international justice. Together, this collection of subjects establishes a new legal discipline, which the author Michael Bazyler labels "Post-Holocaust Law."
The Holocaust was not only the greatest murder in history; it was also the greatest theft. Historians estimate that the Nazis stole roughly $230 billion to $320 billion in assets (figured in today’s dollars), from the Jews of Europe. Since the revelations concerning the wartime activities of the Swiss banks first broke in the late 1990s, an ever-widening circle of complicity and wrongdoing against Jews and other victims has emerged in the course of lawsuits waged by American lawyers. These suits involved German corporations, French and Austrian banks, European insurance companies, and double thefts of art—first by the Nazis, and then by museums and private collectors refusing to give them up. All of these injustices have come to light thanks to the American legal system.