Bischoff 2014 Sexuality

Title Information

Authors: Eva Bischoff and Daniel Siemens

Title: Class, Youth, and Sexuality in the Construction of the Lustmörder

Subtitle: The 1928 Murder Trial of Karl Hussmann

In: Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany

Edited by: Richard F. Wetzell

Place: Oxford and New York

Publisher: Berghahn Books

Year: 2014

Pages: 207-225

Series: Studies in German History 16

ISBN-13: 9781782382461 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781782382478 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | German History | Cases: Offenders / Karl Hussmann; Cases: Victims / Helmut Daube; Types: Lust Murder

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Additional Information


Eva Bischoff, Fachbereich III - Geschichte, Universität Trier

Daniel Siemens, Abteilung Geschichtswissenschaft, Universität Bielefeld

Abstract: »Whereas Elder's study of the Grossmann case focuses on the narrative constructions of the victims, Eva Bischoff and Daniel Siemens's analysis of the 1928 murder trial of Karl Hussmann centers on the narrative constructions of the perpetrator. The Hussmann trial presents an interesting case because unlike Grossmann, Haarmann, and Kürten, Hussmann was acquitted. To explain why, despite considerable circumstantial evidence, Hussmann was not regarded as a sexual murderer (Lustmörder), Bischoff and Siemens examine the trial's press coverage and the psychiatric expert opinions. The press coverage was very different from that of the Grossmann and Haarmann trials. To prevent sensationalist coverage, the court had agreed to cooperate with the press in return for the press's refraining from reporting on the case's sexual aspects. This clearly worked to Hussmann's advantage. According to Bischoff and Siemens, the main reason why the medical experts did not construct Hussmann as a psychopathic homosexual Lustmörder was that they could not envision a member of their own social class as a sexual psychopath. (Grossmann, Haarmann, and Kürten were all working class.) As this chapter demonstrates, the medical explanations of crime that were making inroads into Weimar's courtrooms remained amazingly malleable because psychiatric definitions of abnormality were often little more that bourgeois moral judgments couched in medical language.« [Source: Richard F. Wetzell. »Introduction. Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany.« Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany. Edited by Richard F. Wetzell. Oxford: 2014: 13]

Wikipedia: Mordfall Helmut Daube

Added: December 21, 2013 | Last updated: December 21, 2013