Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz spoke to the people of WCU in the Ramsey Center on Thursday night. He spoke on a variety of topics that were of great interest.
Among the topics he addressed were the reasons behind the acquittal of O.J. Simpson, his victories defending dissidents in the Soviet Union, getting Hakeem Olajuwon on the US Olympic basketball team, and his sorrow for the victims, some of whom were his relatives, of the Nazi concentration camp Auchwitz.
“The lawyers were the first killed there,” said Dershowitz. “It is because lawyers are dangerous. People fear lawyers.”
Dershowitz also spoke of how the criminal justice system works in the Soviet Union. “Find me the man,” Dershowitz quoted an ex-KGB head, “and I will find the crime.” Dershowitz defended political refugees in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
“I loved being here,” he said of his WCU experience. “The only difference I can see between Western students and Harvard students is that there a lot more gentlemen here than at Harvard.”
Dershowitz was referring to a few instances of male students allowing females to ask their questions first at the microphones.
Dershowitz is a also an avid Bible reader, stating that Abraham’s defense of the people of Sodom was the first time in history anyone defended someone else of a crime. “If there was just one book that I could give to law students to teach them ethics, justice, and integrity,” he said, “the Bible would be it.”
He drew a large response from the audience, as could be witnessed from the number of people who asked him questions.
Dershowitz has taught at Harvard for 37 years, starting at age 28. He is the youngest person ever to gain full professorship at Harvard.