Crime, clairvoyance and the Weimar police

Wolffram, Heather (2009) Crime, clairvoyance and the Weimar police. Journal of Contemporary History, 44 4: 581-601. doi:10.1177/0022009409339436

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Author Wolffram, Heather
Title Crime, clairvoyance and the Weimar police
Journal name Journal of Contemporary History   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0094
Publication date 2009-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0022009409339436
Volume 44
Issue 4
Start page 581
End page 601
Total pages 21
Place of publication Los Angeles, CA, USA
Publisher Sage
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Formatted abstract
During the Weimar years, Germany's police experimented with a wide range of new technologies and forensic techniques. Among the more unusual of these was so-called criminal telepathy (Kriminaltelepathie): the practice of using a telepath or clairvoyant to shed light on unsolved crimes. Placing the emergence of the criminal telepath in the context of interwar crime and occultism, and the police interest in these occult practitioners in the context of professionalization, this article maintains that the Weimar police's brief flirtation with the occult was consistent with, rather than antagonistic to, their efforts to professionalize through science. This article also explores contemporary critiques of this practice, arguing that the bitter polemics against criminal telepathy by men such as Albert Hellwig and Albert Moll resulted from their belief that the activities of clairvoyants endangered the claims of criminalists, jurists and psychiatrists to expertise in the nascent fields of criminology and criminalistics. (Copyright © 2009 SAGE Publications Ltd. UK)
Keyword Crime
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 17 Mar 2010, 11:33:51 EST by Lesley Colling on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses