December 16, 1929 - September 14, 2016
Austin, Texas | Age 86
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