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Humboldt University of Berlin, Hon. Doctorate of Law, 12 November
parchment scroll in leather tube (230 x 41 mm.).











Honorary Citizenship and Doctor of Law Degrees, etc., presented to early leader of int'l anti-Hitler movement

Awards of Outstanding International Importance to Statesmen and Heroines

Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Nov 07, 2004
Defender of lost causes

Involved in many sensational cases and a champion of liberty, D.N. Pritt was the original crusading barrister. A profile by RANDOR GUY.

"Where Liberty Dwells, There's My Country."
Benjamin Franklin

DUE to many reasons historical, political and others, liberty is not always bright and shining in many countries. Noted lawyer and sometime Advocate-General of the Madras High Court, V. K. Thiruvenkatachari (VKT), once remarked, "In India liberty is not liberal enough!" The statement became justly famous and was used as a slogan by opposition parties especially the Communists. Dedicated to the cause of Liberty in jeopardy, a brilliant British barrister held out a helping hand offering his abundant forensic talents and skills and abilities. Not surprisingly D.N. Pritt became internationally famous as the defender of lost causes. He was a familiar figure in the legal fraternity before India became a Republic in January 1950.

Created history

Under the Government of India Act of 1935, the British Indian Government established the Federal Court of India at Delhi with a Bench of three judges — then the highest Court of Appeal. Due to a lacuna in the legal terminology in the 1935 Act, the Privy Council in London continued to be the highest Court of Appeal in criminal cases originating in India. In the criminal appeals that went up to the Privy Council, Pritt appeared for the accused in many cases and created legal history.

Some of the cases in which Pritt included the sensational Lakshmikantham Murder Case, the controversial C. P. Matthen Case (Travancore National Quilon Bank Case,) and Jomo Kenyatta-Mau Mau Case (Africa).

Denis Nowell Pritt was born in London on September 22,1887. He studied at Winchester and then at London University. Then he became a barrister and set up practice in London. Drawn to the world of politics he joined the Labour Party and was elected to the House of Commons in 1935 from Hammersmith North as the Party candidate. He made a mark as barrister and enjoyed a lucrative and large practice. With his love for the freedom of the individual and liberty, he showed marked preference to take up cases where the liberty of an individual was at peril.

A sensational case in which Pritt proved successful was the Lakshmikantham Murder Case, which rocked the country during 1940s. C. N. Lakshmikantham was a notorious yellow journalist who wrote about the private lives of movie stars and others in Cinema Thoothu and Hindu Nesan. On November 8, 1944, two assailants whose identities were never clearly established attacked him on a lonely stretch of a road in Vepery, Madras, leading to his death later under somewhat suspicious circumstances at the General Hospital. Two top movie stars, M.K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar and N. S. Krishnan and others were charged for the murder.

Sensational cases

At the sensational trial at the Madras High Court Sessions, they received transportation for life and an appeal to a Division Bench of the Madras High Court confirmed it. They went on appeal to the Privy Council. Pritt appeared for the two stars.

Pritt's arguments revolved around the identity of the accused and also the confession of one of the accused who later turned approver, Jayanandam. He retracted on his confession in a dramatic manner during the Sessions trial. The Privy Council remanded the case back to the Madras High Court for a fresh look and a Division Bench heard the remanded appeal and acquitted the two stars in mid-1947. But by that time, the two stars had undergone 30 months in jail which led to the ruin of their health and also careers, especially that of Bhagavathar.

Prolific writer

Another case in which Pritt appeared was for the iconic revolutionary of the Indian Freedom Movement, Bhagat Singh. However it was not on the merits but on a technical matter of legal procedure on which he argued the case. As the dice were loaded heavily against him, the appeal was dismissed. In the sensational Jomo Kenyatta-Mau Mau trials in South Africa, Pritt went to defend the leader.

Pritt was a staunch leftist and also a prolific writer on issues of international importance and significance. Some of his books were India Our Ally? (1946) and The Autobiography of D. N. Pritt: From Right To Left (Two parts, 1965). A champion of the underdog, and under-privileged, and the protector of human rights, the crusading barrister Pritt passed away on May 23, 1972.

Under the Rectorate of the Professor, with Professor's Chair in Applied Mathematics, Kurt Schroder, PhD., and under the Dean of the Professor, with Professor's Chair for Civil Law, Hans Nathan, J..D., on the occasion of the 150-year jubilee of Humboldt University of Berlin, and the 250-year jubilee of the charter of Berlin, the Law Faculty of Humboldt University of Berlin awards
                                         Mr. Dr. h.c. Denis Pritt (London)
in appreciation of the extraordinary service he had rendered as one of
the leading theoretical and organizational personalities in the International Union of Democratic Jurists, as an advocate for the Rights of Man, and a fighter for peace,
the grade of a Doctor of Jurisprudence.

Berlin, 12 November 1960

                                                                            THE RECTOR                                                              THE DEAN
                                                                              (Signature)                                                                 (Signature)

Photo of Pritt receiving diploma,
and inscription on photo reverse

Presentation photo album for 150th Anniversary of the Humboldt University

Pritt  photo at lower left.

Friend and honored
                  Dr. h.c. D.N. Pritt
presented in rememberance of the 150th jubilee!
                                              The Law Faculty 
                                               of Humboldt University

Berlin, 11.11. 1960

Reverse translates as
"OPENED 1810 

Humboldt University of Berlin

The first semester at the newly founded Berlin university occurred in 1810, with 256 students and 52 lecturers in faculties of law, medicine, theology and philosophy. The university has been home to many of Germany's greatest thinkers of the past two centuries, among them the subjective idealist philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte , the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher , the absolute idealist philosopher G.W.F. Hegel , the Romantic legal theorist Savigny , the pessimist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer , the objective idealist philosopher Friedrich Schelling , cultural critic Walter Benjamin , and famous physicists Albert Einstein and Max Planck . Founders of Marxist theory Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels attended the university, as did poet Heinrich Heine , German unifier Otto von Bismarck , Communist Party of Germany founder Karl Liebknecht , African American Pan Africanist W. E. B. Du Bois, and European unifier Robert Schuman , as well as the influential surgeon Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach in the early half of the 1800s. The university is home to 29 Nobel Prize winners.

The structure of German research-intensive universities, such as Humboldt, served as a model for institutions like Johns Hopkins .


The Order established the law of 9 Sept., 1945, two degrees.
Medal awarded once to Bulgarian and foreign citizens "for taking part in the revolutionary struggle of Bulgarian people." The author Mark - artist B. Angelushev originally manufactured in the Order of the private studio in Sofia, and since 1952 - at the State Mint.
The first was a knight of the Order of G. Dimitrov. . In the first list of winners from 9 September, 1945 was 114 people.

Sign of the Order of the first degree is given by five-star white enamel diameter of 52 mm, imposed on the gilded five-star shtralami with a diameter of 54 mm. In the center of the symbol is the golden medallion with a portrait of Hristo Botev, framed green enamel ring with the inscription "FOR THE PEOPLE'S FREEDOM 1941-1944".
The original mark moved without pads and is attached to clothing using rifled pins and screws. Then sign moved to the left side of the chest at the pentagonal pads, obtyanutoy red, with one or two blue stripes on the sides, depending on the degree of order.

In addition, different versions of the medallion with Hristo Botev, in one version, he looks half, the second - right at the third - the picture is not pogrudnoe, but only on the neck.

http://awards.netdialogue.com/Europe/Bulgaria/NRB/OrderOfPeopleFreedom/OrderOfPeopleFreedom.htm,  translation from Bulgarian.
Commemorative objects about the Reichstag Fire Trial, and Leipzig (location of the Fall 1933 "Counter-trial"), presented to D. N. Pritt, Q.C.
Miscellaneous awards presented
to Denis Nowell Pritt, Q.C.

Telephone  773-539-5751      
FAX            773-304-0131
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The D.N. Pritt Fighter vs. Fascism Archive

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US WWII WASP service certificate to 1st winner of Amelia Earhart Scholarship

J.A. Schramek
& Associates

Humboldt University of Berlin medal
(Obverse showing Humboldt brothers; bronze, 69 mm., in case of issue)

This order was instituted on 14 September 1945 and could be awarded to Bulgarians who, as partisans, members of other fighting units or as political prisoners, had - by their valour or devotion - contributed materially to the struggle against Germany. Foreigners could also receive this order for similar services prior to 9 September 1944. Two classes were created, the 1st class having white enamel and being in gilt, the 2nd class, silvered, having red enamel. The central medallion depicts Cristo Botev, a 19th century poet and patriot.
                                                    From http://users.skynet.be/hendrik/eng/39bulg.html

Debate over Pritt's
Reichstag Fire Findings

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Universitas Litterarum Serdicensis, Honorary Doctorate of Law, Sofia, Bulgaria, 12 October 1960. Illuminated vellum scroll in tube (190 x 41 mm.) with photos of presentation. Text in Cyrillic and Latin.

Telephone  773-539-5751      
FAX            773-304-0131
Postal address
P.O. Box 300791, Chicago, IL 60630, USA
Electronic mail  buynobel@sbcglobal.net
Prices available upon request.