Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews

Antisemitism in German and Austrian Crime Writing Before the World Wars


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About the Book

In the years leading up to the World Wars, Germany and Austria saw an unprecedented increase in the study and depiction of the criminal. Science, journalism and crime fiction were obsessed with delinquents while ignoring the social causes of crime. As criminologists measured criminals’ heads and debated biological predestination, court reporters and crime writers wrote side-splitting or heart-rending stories featuring one of the most popular characters ever created—the hilarious or piteous crook. The author examines the figure of the crook and notions of “Jewish” criminality in a range of antisemitic writing, from Nazi propaganda to court reporting to forgotten classics of crime fiction.

About the Author(s)

T.S. Kord is a professor at University College London, the author of ten books and the recipient of six major awards for her writing. She lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

T.S. Kord
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 347
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7012-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3396-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Criminals and Mass Men in ­Pre-Totalitarian Peace Time 2
Characters: Crime Theories
Compulsion v. Conspiracy: German and Jewish Criminals
in Criminology (1890s–1914) 20
Incorrigibles v. Inferiors: German and Jewish Criminals in
Criminal Biology (1919–1939) 41
Conflicts: Crime Cases
A Conman Plays a Captain: The Case of Wilhelm Voigt
(Berlin, 1906) 62
A Conwoman Nabs a Captain: The Case of Tamara von
Hervay (Leoben, Austria, 1904) 80
A Tale of Two Thieves: The Case of Franz and Erich Sass
(Berlin, 1920s) 107
A Tale of Two Editors: The Case of Hugo Bettauer and
Rudolf Olden (Vienna, 1920s) 129
Plots: Crime Stories
Tragic Criminals and Farcical Justice (1890s–1914) 160
Farcical Criminals or Tragic Victims (1926–1939) 191
Neverending Stories (1950–2001) 232
Chapter Notes 253
Filmography 300
Bibliography 301
Index 335