Hans Wolfgang Baade, professor and leading scholar in international and comparative law, was born on December 16, 1929, in Berlin, Germany, to Fritz Baade and Edith Grünfeld Wolff. His father was an accomplished economist, Social Democratic politician, and a member of the Reichstag until his political career came to a halt in 1933 when Nazi authorities banned him from public office. That same year, his wife Edith lost her job as a political journalist at the Berliner Börsen-Courier because of her Jewish heritage.
The rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party threatened the family’s safety, and the Baades made arrangements to flee Germany. Fritz Baade found work as an advisor to the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture, and the family immigrated to Turkey in 1934. While in Turkey, young Hans Baade began his education in German private schools in Ankara, Turkey. In 1939, the family moved to Istanbul, where Hans enrolled in Turkish schools. The family spent time in an internment camp in Anatolia, Turkey during 1944 but returned to Istanbul by 1945. At that time, Hans completed his formal education at Robert College, a local American school.
After World War II, following twelve years in Turkey, Hans Baade and his parents came to the United States in September 1946. They first settled in Forest Hills, New York, and Hans enrolled in Syracuse University. During his undergraduate career, his parents returned to Germany. His father, Fritz Baade, had received a position as a professor of political economy and director of the Institute for the World Economy at the University of Kiel. Hans Baade joined his family in Germany after he graduated with a B.A. in political science from Syracuse University in 1949. While in Germany, he enrolled in law school at the University of Kiel and received a doctor of jurisprudence degree in 1951.
During the Korean War, Hans Baade returned to the United States and joined the U.S. Army. He served in a military intelligence unit from 1951 to 1953. After his service, Baade remained in the U.S. and enrolled in Duke University School of Law. He received an LL.B. and LL.M. from Duke in 1955 and also earned a diploma from the Academy of International Law at the Hague in 1956. Baade worked as a professor at the Institute of International Law in Kiel between 1955 and 1960. While in Europe, he met and married Anne Adams, of Edinburgh, Scotland, in March 1957. The couple later welcomed two sons, James and Hans.
Baade came to Duke University as a visiting associate professor in 1959. From 1960 to 1970 he taught law at Duke. He specialized in international law, conflicts of laws, and comparative law and gained a reputation as an authority on these subjects because of his extensive range of publications and service to the profession. He then taught at the University of Toronto from 1970 to 1971. Baade first came to the University of Texas School of Law in Austin in 1967 as a visiting professor. The University of Texas offered him a permanent position in 1971, and he became the Albert Sidney Burleson Professor of Law. In 1975 UT named him the Hugh Lamar Stone Chair in Civil Law. Though Baade’s earlier work and life had involved frequent travel and relocation, he remained at the University of Texas School of Law and lived in Austin for the remainder of his career. He retired from full-time service in 2001.
His colleague Basil Markesinis attributed Baade’s dedication to the University of Texas to its “stable and supportive environment.” Despite invitations from other institutions, Baade remained committed to UT and expressed a deep appreciation for the university’s impressive research facilities and welcoming faculty. After his retirement, he remained committed to his students and continued to teach seminars at the University of Texas until the age of eighty-five.
Baade’s many professional memberships included American Society of International Law, American Foreign Law Association, International Academy of Comparative Law, and the German Society of Comparative Law, and he served as a director of the American Society of Comparative Law. He authored or edited nine books and more than 100 articles and reviews during his academic career. Between 1980 and 1998 he coauthored several editions of Comparative Law: Cases, Text, and Materials. He also developed a personal interest in the legal history of Texas and wrote on the subject, including a chapter in Centennial History of the Texas Bar (1882–1992) (1981).
Hans Wolfgang Baade died in Austin, Texas, on September 14, 2016. He was eighty-six.