ROLAND THAU
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THAU--Roland, legendary criminal defense attorney, died on November 10, 2020 at 86. He was the beloved husband of Mary and adored father of Barbara. Born in France, he and his courageous mother managed to elude the Germans during the occupation, despite the fact that Roland had to be repeatedly hospitalized. Ultimately, his mother arranged to have nine-year-old Roland escape to Switzerland with his aunt and cousin. He remained there until after the war, when he returned to France and to his mother. In 1948, Roland, his mother and stepfather came to Brooklyn, where his loving brother Larry was born. The family decided to return to France, but Roland, then 19, chose to remain here. He devoted his professional life to representing the indigent, working for The Legal Aid Society and then The Federal Defenders of New York. Roland became a well-known figure in the federal courthouse in Manhattan and always made time to give advice or share a story. He was honored by the New York Criminal Bar Association and the State Bar Association and received the Orison S. Marden and Norman S. Ostrow awards. Roland loved trying cases and worked until he was 82, retiring only because his physical stamina waned - he missed trial work terribly. In addition to his wife, daughter and brother, he is survived by sisters and brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews, including Xavier and Daphne. He is also survived by his former wife, Norma, stepchildren Nancy and Jerry, step-grand- children, step-great-grand- children, and cousins around the world. Roland was loving, passionate, funny and irrepressible. The loss is unimaginable and has left a huge hole in our hearts. Gratefully, he lived to see Trump defeated. A memorial is planned for the spring.



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Published in New York Times on Nov. 15, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
November 21, 2020
A terrific guy. One of a kind.
Gerry McMahon
Coworker
November 18, 2020
He was a giant in the Southern District of NY but on Facebook, I discovered we had a kinship in that our families fled Germany to France. I enjoyed his sense of humor. In Hebrew, one says, blessed be the one true judge, - -
Leonard Ressler
Acquaintance
November 18, 2020
we ave been friends more than 60 years long.Evan the distance between N Y and Paris, from time to time we talked by mail. I AM SO SAD ! He had no time to enjoy the departure of D.Trump . his intelligence, his humour, his special capacity to listen to every body will be définitively missing
All my sympathy to his wife and so loved Barbara

bergman Paulette
Friend
November 16, 2020
he was a terrific attorney and a real gentleman-always had time to offer advice and help you.
ELLIOT FULD
Acquaintance
November 16, 2020
May his memory be a blessing. We love you, Roland, always did, always will.
Martha Hess and Michael Dolinger
Friend
November 15, 2020
Please except my deepest sympathies to you and your family at this time of grieving. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Simone Taylor
November 15, 2020
A wonderful person to know; full of mirth, insight, and anecdote -- an irrepressible spirit whom we will miss greatly.
Larry Davidow and Rachel Davison
Friend
November 14, 2020
A special man; a joy to know; grieved by many.
Amy Rothstein
Friend
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