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Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany

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Volume 16

Studies in German History

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Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany

Edited by Richard F. Wetzell

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB Made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

368 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-246-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2014)

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The history of criminal justice in modern Germany has become a vibrant field of historical research. The chapters in Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany not only lay the groundwork for writing a history of crime and criminal justice from the Kaiserreich to the early postwar period, but demonstrate that research in criminal justice history can make important contributions to other areas of historical inquiry.”  ·  SirReadaLot

Overall the volume effectively moves beyond offering a one-dimensional legal history of modern Germany. Rather, the essays treat the history of crime, criminal law, and criminal justice as offering the means to reflect on broader social, cultural, and political issues facing Germany in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”  ·  Greg Eghigian, Penn State University

These essays make significant contributions. Thoroughly researched in primary sources, for the most part archival, they are also based on close familiarity with the most recent writings by other scholars. Together, the essays should interest a wide range of scholars whose concerns encompass modern Germany, criminal justice, or both.”  ·  Andrew Lees, Rutgers University

Gathering more than a dozen of the leading mid-career historians of crime and criminal justice in Germany from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Britain, this collection of essays represents a stunningly important contribution to one of the most vibrant fields in German history today… Deeply scholarly, sweepingly encompassing recent and older secondary work, but firmly grounded in empirical research, the essays in this volume represent an indispensable introduction to the field for scholars and students new to it, while at the same time stimulating the interpretive focus of scholars already working in the field.”  ·  Kenneth Ledford, Case Western Reserve University


The history of criminal justice in modern Germany has become a vibrant field of research, as demonstrated in this volume. Following an introductory survey, the twelve chapters examine major topics in the history of crime and criminal justice from Imperial Germany, through the Weimar and Nazi eras, to the early postwar years. These topics include case studies of criminal trials, the development of juvenile justice, and the efforts to reform the penal code, criminal procedure, and the prison system. The collection also reveals that the history of criminal justice has much to contribute to other areas of historical inquiry: it explores the changing relationship of criminal justice to psychiatry and social welfare, analyzes representations of crime and criminal justice in the media and literature, and uses the lens of criminal justice to illuminate German social history, gender history, and the history of sexuality.

Richard F. Wetzell is a Research Fellow and Editor at the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C. He is the author of Inventing the Criminal: A History of German Criminology, 1880-1945 (2000) and co-editor of Criminals and Their Scientists: The History of Criminology in International Perspective (2006) and Engineering Society: The Role of the Human and Social Sciences in Modern Societies, 1880-1980 (2012).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Sociology
Area: Germany

Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany Edited by Richard F. Wetzell is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB

OA ISBN: 978-1-78533-657-7


Introduction: Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany
Richard F. Wetzell

Part I: Criminal Justice in Imperial Germany

Chapter 1. Justice is Blind: Crowds, Irrationality, and Criminal Law in the Late Kaiserreich
Benjamin Carter Hett

Chapter 2. Punishment on the Path to Socialism: Socialist Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice before the First World War
Andreas Fleiter

Chapter 3. Reforming Women’s Prisons in Imperial Germany
Sandra Leukel

Part II: Penal Reform in the Weimar Republic

Chapter 4. Between Reform and Repression: Imprisonment in Weimar Germany
Nikolaus Wachsmann

Chapter 5. The Medicalization of Wilhelmine and Weimar Juvenile Justice Reconsidered
Gabriel N. Finder

Chapter 6. Welfare and Justice: The Battle over Gerichtshilfe in the Weimar Republic
Warren Rosenblum

Part III: Constructions of Crime in the Weimar Courts, Media, and Literature

Chapter 7. Prostitutes, Respectable Women, and Women from “Outside”: The Carl Grossmann Sexual Murder Case in Postwar Berlin
Sace Elder

Chapter 8. Class, Youth, and Sexuality in the Construction of the Lustmörder: The 1928 Murder Trial of Karl Hussmann
Eva Bischoff and Daniel Siemens

Chapter 9. Crime and Literature in the Weimar Republic and Beyond: Telling the Tale of the Poisoners Ella Klein and Margarete Nebbe
Todd Herzog

Part IV. Criminal Justice in Nazi and Postwar Germany

Chapter 10. Serious Juvenile Crime in Nazi Germany
Robert G. Waite

Chapter 11. Criminal Law after National Socialism: The Renaissance of Natural Law and the Beginnings of Penal Reform in West Germany
Petra Gödecke

Chapter 12. Repressive Rehabilitation: Crime, Morality and Delinquency in Berlin-Brandenburg, 1945-1958
Jennifer V. Evans


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