Hans Achim Litten (Hans Achim Litten)

Hans Achim Litten

German Lawyer. Hans Litten was the eldest son of Friedrich Litten – a Jew who converted to Lutheranism to further his career as a law professor.  Hans had a difficult relationship with his father, believing his conversion was opportunistic. Although baptized a Christian, Hans studied Judaism and learned Hebrew. He was interested in art history,  but his father pressured him into studying law. During the late years of the Weimar Republic, Hans was alarmed by the threat the growing power of the Nazi party posed. In May, 1931, Hans represented the families of three workers stabbed by the SA Rollkommando, attempting to prove manslaughter charges.  His tactics were designed to show how the Nazis used terror as a tool to destroy democratic institutions and if successful, would delegitimize the Nazis as a political organization.   Litten  subpoenaed Adolf Hitler and subjected him to three hours of intense cross-examination where Hitler repeatedly contradicted himself and his lies were exposed.  Hitler was so badly shaken after this, that he refused to allow Litten’s name to be spoken in his presence.  On the night of the Reichstag fire, Litten was arrested and sent to several concentration camps where he was subjected to torture.  Litten endured this for five years, but when moved to Dachau, his treatment worsened and he was cut off from all outside communication. He committed suicide by hanging in Dachau.  Several memorials exist for him, including a bust in Berlin’s District Court.  A biography called “Crossing Hitler: The Man Who Put the Nazis on the Witness Stand” was published in 2008, and in 2011, the BBC broadcast  a documentary called, “The Man Who Crossed Hitler.” (bio by: Bernadette)  Inscription:Halle Note: Berlin


  • June, 19, 1903
  • Germany


  • February, 02, 1938
  • Germany


  • Konzentrationslager Dachau
  • Germany

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