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Franz Leopold Neumann was born to a German Jewish family. As a student, he became a left-wing political activist and joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He studied law and earned a doctorate in 1923. He went to work in partnership with Ernst Fraenkel as an attorney in Berlin, specializing in labor law and representing trade unions. He published a number of articles and a book in this field. In 1932, he became lead attorney for the SPD. After the Nazis rose to power in 1933, Neumann was warned of his imminent arrest and escaped to England. There he studied under Harold Laski at the London School of Economics and earned a second doctoral degree in political science. With Laski's help, he joined the Institute for Social Research -- also known as the Frankfurt School -- in exile in the USA. Neumann is considered to be one of the founders of modern political science and is best known for his analysis of fascism, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism 1933-1944, published in 1944. The acclaim for this book laid the foundation for Neumann's career in Washington in World War II. He was recruited in 1941 by the U.S. Board of Economic Warfare, and in 1942 he became the chief economist in the Intelligence Division at the Office of the U.S. Chief of Staff. In 1943, Neumann transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA) where he became deputy chief of the Central European Section. To assist in the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal of 1945, Neumann prepared analyses of the 22 defendants and of various Nazi organizations, and worked on the prosecution brief. In 1948, Neumann became a professor of Political Science at Columbia University and helped establish the Free University of Berlin. He died unexpectedly in a car accident in Switzerland in 1954.
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