Hessen, Joseph Vladimirovich

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HESSEN, JOSEPH VLADIMIROVICH (1866–1943), Russian lawyer and politician. Born in Odessa, Hessen graduated in law from the University of Petersburg in 1889 but was banned from practicing on the grounds that he was politically unreliable. In 1891 he converted to Christianity, which opened for him government service. In 1898 he founded the law journal Pravo in which he wrote several important articles on law including Uzakoneniye, usyneniye i vnebrachnya deti ("Legitimation, Adoption, and Children Born Out of Wedlock," 19163) and Sudebnaya reforma ("Court Reform," 1904). Hessen joined the Constitutional-Democrat (Kadet) Party in 1905, and from 1906 was coeditor of their newspaper. In 1907 he was elected on their list to the Second Duma (Russian parliament), where he represented himself as a Jew of Russian Orthodox faith. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 Hessen left Russia and lived in Helsinki and later in Berlin where he edited the Arkhiv Russkoy Revolyutsii ("Archive of the Russian Revolution," 22 vols., 1921–37). His other writings include Istoriya russkoy advokatury ("History of the Legal Profession in Russia," 1914), two works of Jewish legal interest, and an autobiography V dvukh vekakh ("In two centuries," 1937). He also wrote an article on the position of the Jews following the antisemitic May Laws in 1882 in Yevreyskaya Biblioteka (vol. 10 (1903), 318–38), and was coeditor of Sbornik zakonov o yevreyakh … (1904), a collation of laws affecting the Jews. In 1933 he moved to Paris, and in 1940 to Limouge in southern France, where he died.