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Ernst Levy

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: Berlin, Berlin, Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany
Death: September 14, 1968 (86)
Davis, Yolo County, California, United States
Place of Burial: Davis, CA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Gottfried Levy and Betty Levy (Landsberger)
Husband of Marie Levy (Wolff)
Father of Wolfgang Emanuel Levy and Brigitte M. Bodenheimer (Levy)
Brother of Anna Simon (Levy)

Occupation: Law Professor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ernst Levy

Ralph Levy, Ernst's grandson, tells a funny story about when he was 7 or 8, Ernst asked him what he did with his free time after school. Ralph mentioned that he liked to listen to baseball games on the radio, to which Ernst replied, "aren't you a little old for that?"

Brigitte Bodenheimer’s father, Ernst Levy, was a renowned Roman law expert. Fought in WW1 for Germany. Taught himself English by reading the "funnies"

Biography

Ernst Levy was born in Berlin, Germany and served in the 1. Garde-Feldartillerie-Regiment for Germany in World War 1.

In 1935, Ernst Levy lost his job as a Law Professor of Roman and Private Law at the University of Heidelberg due to Nazi boycotts on racist grounds. On May 21, 1935, the Nazi's posted guards at the entrances to Max Gutzwiller's lecture hall to keep students out, and that boycott was quickly extended to all Jewish professors. By October 23, 1935, the Rector and other ministers at the Univeristy felt comfortable to cancel the classes due to "lack of interest"i, and dismissed Ernst and other Jewish law professors from their positions.

It was decided it was time to leave Germany.

Brigitte, her husband Edgar, and the Levy family wound up in Seattle, where Ernst Levy had received an appointment at the University of Washington as a history professor. But there was a problem. Ernst did not speak English well, if at all. This was quickly remedied by Brigitte. She transliterated his written lectures so that when he read them, he was reading what appeared to be German but the sounds were coming out as English.

At the same time, Brigitte and Edgar matriculated at the University of Washington law school. Both did well. In fact, after classes, students would assemble around the outgoing Brigitte to discuss what went on in the class lectures, while reticent Edgar would stand on the periphery and listen attentively. On one occasion, Edgar suddenly spoke up to disagree with what Brigitte had stated. He cited the exact page and words from the casebook to emphasize his disagreement. Edgar obviously had a photographic memory. The students then started gathering around Edgar.

Ernst Levy, JUD, Professor of Roman Law, University of Washington, Seattle

Ernst and his wife Marie built a home in the early 1950's near Ravenna Park, within walking distance of the University. The home was done in a new style, and showcased in a magazine of the day. The current address is 2129 NE 55th St., Seattle, WA 98105.

1966, Marie and Ernst Levy moved to Davis, California from Basel, Switzerland, to be near their daughter Brigitte Bodenheimer. Their address was 830-832 B St., Davis, a duplex, and they lived on the upper floor.

From a german researcher's notes: Ernst Levy taught at the University of Heidelberg from 1928 until 1935 at the faculty of law Roman and German Civil law. Ernst Levy studied from summer term 1900 in Freiburg/Br., then in Berlin; Mai 1903 first state examination in Berlin. May 1903 trainee lawyer at local district court in Berlin-Charlottenburg. 29. Nov. 1906 Dr. iur. Berlin; Dec. 1908 second examination in Berlin. July 1909-March

  • 1913 district court judge in Oranienburg (near Berlin). May 1914 Habilitation Berlin. 1916-1918 Military service. Summer term 1919 associate professor at University of Frankfurt/Main; 20. Nov. *1919 foll professor Frankfurt. Since winter term 1922/23 full prof. in Freiburg.
  • Since May 1928 full prof. in Heidelberg; 31. Dez. 1935 dismissal by the Nazis; 1936 Emigration. *1936-1952 prof. at U of Washington in Seattle.
  • March 1950 amends: prof. emeritus of U of Heidelberg.

Honours:

  • Member of Academy of Sciences: 1926 Heidelberg, 1960
  • Göttingen, 1962 München; 1958 member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Roma. - Dr. iur. honoris causa (h.c.) U of Frankfurt and Athens;
  • 1948 Dr. phil. h.c. U of Heidelberg.
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Ernst Levy's Timeline

1881
December 23, 1881
Berlin, Berlin, Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany
1910
September 2, 1910
Age 28
Berlin, Germany
1912
September 27, 1912
Age 30
Berlin, Berlin, Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany
1928
1928
- October 1935
Age 46
Heidelberg, Germany

In 1935, Ernst Levy lost his job as a Law Professor of Roman and Private Law at the University of Heidelberg due to Nazi boycotts on racist grounds. On May 21, 1935, the Nazi's posted guards at the entrances to Max Gutzwiller's lecture hall to keep students out, and that boycott was quickly extended to all Jewish professors. By October 23, 1935, the Rector and other ministers at the Univeristy felt comfortable to cancel the classes due to "lack of interest"i, and dismissed Ernst and other Jewish law professors from their positions.

1937
1937
Age 55
Seattle, Washington, United States
1968
September 14, 1968
Age 86
Davis, Yolo County, California, United States
September 1968
Age 86
Davis, CA, United States