Hans Baade

  • Born: December 16, 1929
  • Died: September 14, 2016
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705

Tel. (512) 452-8811

Tribute & Message From The Family

Illustrious UT Law Professor

Hans Baade, who has died in Austin at the age of 86, was a leading representative of a group of notable North American legal scholars who came from Central European emigré backgrounds. Born in Berlin in 1929, he came from a German-Jewish family milieu which influenced his destiny in many significant ways and which he shared with a number of eminent professors of law at American and Canadian universities in the second half of the twentieth century. The key experience was perhaps one of being a refugee and a survivor. His parents were Fritz Baade, a Social Democratic politician whose opposition to Hitler placed him in a particularly dangerous position in the early days of Nazi rule, and Edith Grünfeld Wolff, a political journalist at Berlin's financial daily, the Berliner Börsen-Courier – the Weimar Republic's equivalent of the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times. After Hitler came to power in 1933, they urgently looked for opportunities to get out of Germany, and in 1934 the family of three was able to emigrate to Turkey. Hans, born Hans-Wolfgang, was the only child of the marriage, though he had elder half-siblings through his father, who was married more than once. An elder half-sister was the eminent Columbia University biochemist Ruth Benesch, who was able to leave Germany via the "Kindertransport" which brought thousands of Jewish refugee children to Britain in the late 1930s. Another elder half-sister was Aenne Laqueur, married to diplomat Kurt Laqueur, likewise a refugee in Turkey in the 1930s and 40s: unlike Hans-Wolfgang and his parents, who soon departed for the US once the Second World War had ended, the Laqueurs remained in Turkey for many years after 1945, settling much later in Switzerland (Bern) and subsequently Germany (Mainz).

Hans Baade grew up in Turkey, moving on to New York City as a young man after World War II. He attended Syracuse University as an undergraduate, and then served in the US Army at Fort Bragg, which introduced him to North Carolina. He chose to remain in the state, and went to law school at Duke University in Durham in the mid-50s. Later in the decade, he left Durham briefly to study at the Academy of International Law at the Hague in the Netherlands. During his time in Europe he met and married his wife Dr Anne Adams Baade, a citizen of the Scottish capital Edinburgh, who later in life became a specialist in Renaissance German and Latin philology. The couple, due to mark their sixtieth wedding anniversary in March 2017, went on to have two sons – the elder now a rabbi in London and the younger a research scientist in Austin.

By the beginning of the 1960s, Baade was established as a law professor at Duke University, where he remained for several years, all the while pouring out a prodigious range of publications on international law, conflicts of laws and comparative law – his areas of specialism. At the end of the decade he left North Carolina for a professorship at the University of Toronto in Canada (the "U of T"), soon returning to the United States to settle in Austin, where he became the Albert Sidney Burleson Professor of Law in the University of Texas ("UT") Law School. Within a few years he was appointed to the Hugh Lamar Stone Chair in Civil Law, and spent the rest of his life – well over 40 years – in Austin; although always profoundly marked by his international, peripatetic background, he developed a deep and affectionate commitment to the state of Texas and the city of Austin.

Even deeper and more affectionate was his commitment to his academic mentors, colleagues and students. In his work as a scholar he was guided and inspired by a number of illustrious academics, likewise from German Jewish refugee backgrounds: notably Wolfgang Friedmann of Columbia University (whose murder on the streets of New York in 1972 shocked and distressed him deeply), David Daube of Berkeley, Rudi Schlesinger of Cornell, and Carl Fulda, his predecessor in the Hugh Lamar Stone Chair at Austin. Enduring ties of friendship and mutual respect linked him to numerous peers and colleagues: Russell Weintraub, for decades his closest personal friend at the University of Texas, played an especially important role in his life. The quasi-legendary Texas Law School Dean Page Keeton (an instance of a non-Jewish luminary who has a part in Hans Baade's story) was very influential in bringing him to UT and promoting his dedication to the Lone Star State.

Later in the course of his long career, Hans Baade found new academic interests, such as the history of Latin American jurisprudence and the emerging field of art law. Until the age of 85, responding to students' requests and demonstrated devotion, he continued to teach a seminar in art law. This very international subject at the end of his life pointed again to his rich cosmopolitan Central European background – which also enabled him to develop some rather diverse intellectual passions – for example, his love of Scotland, his wife's homeland, and his highly knowledgeable devotion to Yiddish language and literature. His fondness for Scotland led to a long and fruitful association with the University of Edinburgh, on the one hand, and on the other, his love of Yiddish made him into a loyal and long-standing supporter (and customer) of Aaron Lansky's famous National Yiddish Book Center.

Professor Baade is survived by his widow Anne, his elder son James (of London, England), his younger son Hans Alastair (of Austin) and daughter-in-law Eva, and their two children, his grandsons Alan and Miles.

A Memorial Service for the late Professor Hans Baade will be taking place at 7 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin 78705.

A "Celebration of the Life of Hans Baade" organized by the University of Texas School of Law will be taking place on Monday November 28th 2016 at 4pm (at the Law School, East Dean Keeton Street, Austin, 78705).

A longer biographical essay on line (by Sir Basil Markesinis) can be accessed at the following link: http://www.tilj.org/content/journal/36/num3/IntroductionMarkesinis403.pdf


Condolence & Memory Journal

Prof. Dr. Hans Baade was one of my teachers in 1987/88, during my Master of Comparative Jurisprudence (M.C.J.) at UT Austin Law School. His vast knowledge of my homeland Turkey, among other topics was impressive. We mostly spoke Turkish. I am honored to have been a student of this supportive, witty and brilliant scholar who also was a respected friend of ours.

Posted by Murat Ozsunay - New York, NY   November 08, 2016

When I was the green, inexperienced rare book librarian in Tarlton Law Library, Hans Baade took the time to explain why the books he consulted were useful and important. He was kind, generous and supportive. I owe him a tremendous professional and personal debt. Memory Eternal

Posted by Mike Widener - New Haven, CT - Coworker   October 01, 2016

Getting to know Hans as a colleague is one of the lasting treasures of our wonderful decade with him on the UT faculty. Hans bridged so many worlds with grace, wit, and above all, erudition. He was a connection to the extraordinary rich culture of Mitteleuropa, a tradition devastated by war and brutality, yet kept alive in Hans's twinkling eyes. A great loss for us all.

Posted by Sam Issacharoff - New York, NY - Coworker   September 23, 2016

Professor Baade was a brilliant man with a generous heart. I will cherish the short time I got to know him at U. T. Law, because it was an honor to do so.

Posted by Kathryn Murphy - Cleburne, TX - Coworker   September 22, 2016

Hans Baade was one of the great scholars who built the reputation of the U.T. Law School nationally and internationally. His coming to us was a key moment in our history. But I will remember, and forever miss, Hans as a treasured colleague and workplace companion. The breadth and depth of his knowledge of the law and history--both legal and political--of the U.S., Texas, Mexico, and Europe were prodigious. In addition to knowing everything worth knowing, Hans had an irresistible sense of humor and an exemplary outlook on life. He was a mensch.

Posted by Guy Wellborn - Austin, TX - Coworker   September 22, 2016

By circumstance I found the obituary and, as a professor of comparative law at the University of Kiel, I would like to express my sorrow for the loss of this great comparative legal scholar. My faculty is grateful that he did some steps on his scientific path at our University.

Posted by Alexander Trunk - Kiel, Germany - Significant Other   September 22, 2016

Hans and Eva, your father certainly lead an amazing life and has left an incredible legacy. May his light shine on within each of you and the boys. Sending love and prayers. Cousin Allison xxx

Posted by Allison Jones Thomson - Los Gatos, CA   September 21, 2016

I just saw the obituary and please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved husband.

Posted by Cele Steinfink - Austin, TX - Friend   September 21, 2016

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by JF    September 21, 2016

I am a friend and colleague of James, here in England. I am so sorry to hear about your loss and wish you good memories and great comfort.
Barbara Borts

Posted by Barbara Borts    September 20, 2016

I was Professor Baade's research assistant when I was at UT in the early 1970's. I learned a great deal from him. He was very kind to me, and as a direct result of his influence and support, I subsequently read law at Cambridge. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and a brilliant mind. He was an important person in my life, and I am very grateful for his help, and for the privilege of having known him.

Posted by Jon Jewett - Ashland, VA - Student   September 19, 2016

Posted by Robert Kinney    September 18, 2016

Dear Anne and boys,

Lorraine and I are deeply saddened by the news of Hans' death. While I agree with everything in the obituary, I have to confess that my fondest memories of Hans have to do with playing poker every month or so, his cautious approach to a game that discourages such behavior, and his consistent habit of taking off his shoes and propping them up - one against the other. He was a delightful colleague who brought humor and insight into every discussion, whether serious or other. I shall remember him always.

All of you, be well.

George Schatzki

Posted by George Schatzki Schatzki - Tempe, AZ - Coworker   September 18, 2016

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