Oppenheimer, Fritz E.

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OPPENHEIMER, FRITZ E. (1898–1968), U.S. international lawyer and diplomat. Born in Berlin, Oppenheimer served in the German Army in World War i and was wounded three times. He practiced as a lawyer in Berlin until 1936, when he was forced to leave Germany and went to London. There he acted as an adviser to the attorney general and the British Treasury and was admitted to the English bar. In 1940, Oppenheimer went to the United States where for two years he worked in a private law firm. In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and rose to become a lieutenant colonel. At the headquarters of the Supreme Allied Command, he was in charge of the reform of the German law and court system after the war. He also helped to prepare the documents relating to Germany's surrender and to draft military government and control council legislation.

On his return to the United States, Oppenheimer became special assistant to the State Department for German and Austrian affairs and adviser to the secretary of state at the meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers (1947 and 1948). He played an important part in Germany's rehabilitation in the 1950s, helping to reorganize the German coal, iron, and steel industries, and to draft the U.S.-German treaty for the validation of German dollar bonds.


New York Times (Feb. 6, 1968), 43.