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November 08 , 2008

F.A. Mann

A Memoir


Francis (FA) Mann was among the most brilliant of an exceptional group of German-Jewish émigrés who came to Britain in the 1930s to escape persecution in Hitler's Germany. Born and educated in Germany, he was in time to become one of Britain's most distinguished international lawyers; a scholar of English, German and international law, a practitioner admired for his skill and tenacity, and the author of countless books and articles on international and domestic law whose views were very much shaped by his personal experiences and who in turn helped to shape international law in the 20th century.
Mann enjoyed a traditional German education and was set for a career in the law when Hitler came to power in 1933. Being Jews, both Mann and his wife, Lore (also a brilliant law student) immediately left the country of their birth for England. Francis was naturalised in 1946 and became an ardent, if not uncritical, patriot. Having re-trained as a lawyer in England, it was not long before his rapidly expanding practice merged with that of Herbert Smith, which was to provide the setting in which he developed into one of the most original and enterprising legal practitioners of his day, and among the most influential legal writers of his generation. While his reputation in the field of international law spread throughout the world, in England he was that rare thing - a true jurist, steeped in the learning of the civil and common law, a 'cosmopolitan' lawyer long before such a term had entered the legal lexicon.
This book is a personal recollection by someone who knew him as a friend and professional colleague for more than 30 years. For his early life the author has drawn upon on the personal memories of family, colleagues and friends as well as upon Mann's surviving papers, including the important and revelatory series of letters that Mann wrote to his wife from Berlin in 1946 where he was sent as a member of the Allied Control Commission.
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