Hugo Sinzheimer

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Hugo Sinzheimer

Hugo Sinzheimer (12 April 1875, in Worms - 16 September 1945, in Bloemendaal)[1] was a German legal scholar.


Sinzheimer was one of the first academics specialising in labour law; he published an introduction to this field (Der korporative Arbeitsnormenvertrag) in 1907. He was one of the members of the Weimar National Assembly, which promulgated the Weimar Constitution. As a major influence on the drafting of the labour law section of the constitution, he is considered to be "the father of labour law" in Germany. He was inspired by the ideals of the dignity and liberty of every human being, and was a humanist in the widest sense of the word.

As a lawyer, he frequently represented political and union-related groups. He joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1914. From 1920 onward, he was professor of labour law and sociology of law at Frankfurt University.

In 1933, Sinzheimer, who was Jewish, was forced to emigrate to the Netherlands. In 1940 he was captured and taken to the concentration camp, KZ Theresienstadt for four months. He managed to secure release, and had to return to hiding underneath a roof of friends in the Netherlands. He died shortly after the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.


The Sinzheimer Institute of the University of Amsterdam's Law Department is named after him in his honour.

Archival material relating to Hugo Sinzheimer's professional activity as a labor lawyer and professor is held by the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.[2]


  • Lohn und Aufrechnung. Ein Beitrag zur Lehre vom gewerblichen Arbeitsvertrag auf reichsrechtlicher Grundlage (Diss. Univ. Heidelberg, Berlin 1902)
  • Der korporative Arbeitsnormenvertrag (1907)
  • Brauchen wir ein Arbeitstarifgesetz? Rechtsfragen des Tarifvertrags (1913)
  • Ein Arbeitstarifgesetz. Die Idee der sozialen Selbstbestimmung im Recht (1916)
  • Grundzüge des Arbeitsrechts (1921)
  • Der Kampf um das neue Arbeitsrecht (1924) Die Arbeit
  • Das Problem des Menschen im Recht (1933)
  • Jüdische Klassiker der deutschen Rechtswissenschaft (1938).
  • Theorie der Gesetzgebung. Die Idee der Evolution im Recht (1949 postum)
  • Otto Kahn-Freund und Thilo Ramm, Arbeitsrecht und Rechtsoziologie. Gesammelte Aufsätze und Reden (Europäische Verlagsanstalt 1976) 2 volumes

See also[edit]



  • O Kahn-Freund, ‘Hugo Sinzheimer 1875-1945’ in Labour Law and Politics in the Weimar Republic (1981)

External links[edit]