"I Couldn't Control Myself"" Murder in Post WWI Berlin

"I Couldn't Control Myself"" Murder in Post WWI Berlin

I Couldnt Control Myself Murder in Post WWI Berlin The better you know this huge city of stone, the more you think its an insane asylum. In the east live the criminals; in the center, the swindlers. In the north theres misery; in the west, its prostitution. And in every direction under the sun, things are collapsing. Fabian,1920 The Reflection of Crime Crime, according to Friedrich, reflects the society in which it is committed. German society, after WWI, was reflected by violent and compulsive crimes, commonly in the form of serial killers. Friedrich connects this reflection to the fact that Germany was recovering from the loss of two million dead, a mass murder in itself. He also mentions that the increase in hunger rates provided motivations for mass murderers to sell their victims as canned meat, thus facilitating cannibalism amongst the nave citizens.

From Denker und Dichter to Denkes und Dichter Germans once described themselves as a nation of Denker und Dicther, or thinkers and poets. During this post WWI era, Bertolt Brecht, a German poet describes it as a nation of Denkes und Dichter, or mass murderers and poets. This evolved view of German society reflects the extraordinary advances in art and culture as well as the presence of heinous violence, both catalyzed by the chaos of the era. Denkes Denkes: Denke is the name of a criminal who killed people in order to use their corpses. He canned the meat and made soap from the fat, buttons from the bones and purses from the skin I contend that the best people of Germany, those who condemned Denke, failed to recognized the qualities of true German genius which the fellow displayed method, conscientiousness, cold-bloodedness, and the ability to

base ones every act on a firm philosophical foundation-Brecht Brect developed this term from the well-known serial killer Karl Denke. The Denkes: Karl Denke Karl Denke, discovered in 1924 after neighbors broke up dispute between Denke and a young workman. Police searched his home, discovered barrels of smoked human flesh, crates of bones, and pots of human lard. Denke kept precise records of each victim, the date, and the weight of the bodies.

Denke had been a salesman of smoked pork during years of famine. People realized they had bought and eaten human flesh. Previous to discovery, Denke had been prominent figure in community, referred to as Vatter Denke by locals. Hung himself before he could be prosecuted. Believed to have killed betwenn 30 and 40. The Denkes: Georg Fritz Haarmann Most well-known of all serial killers in Germany during the 1920s. Worked as a police informant on petty thieves. His victims were exclusively young boys

Like, Grossmann, he searched for his victims at train stations. Offered them help, food, beer. Would take them back to his house, he would sexually assault them and then tear their throats out with his teeth, thus gaining the name Hannover Vampire and also The Butcher of Hannover. Haarmann labeled the human meat as pork or veal and sold it on the black market. He also sold the victims clothing, which led to the discovery of his crimes; a mother noticed her missing sons jacket on the son of the landlord of Haarmanns building. Georg Fritz Haarmann, cont. Arrest and trial caused national uproar. 1931, first man to be executed in Germany for years, becoming a test case for capital punishment. Some claim the call

for capital punishment illustrated the growing power of the Nazis. Popular song sang by schoolchildren of Berlin: Wait, wait just a little while, and soon Haarmann will come to you. With his little hatchet, hell make smoked meat out of you, lyrics and tune derived from a song about patience leading to happiness. Fritz Haarmann, left The Denkes: Carl Grossmann I couldnt control myself

Berlin-based serial killer, an ex-butcher turned door-to-door salesman. Prayed upon foreign peasant girls. Grossmann would go to the train station, offer the newly arrived girls jobs as housekeepers and then later would mutilate and murder them. Dismembering the bodies and possibly selling the meat to local butcher shops. Also possibly sexually abused his victims, Grossmann was discovered naked standing over a dead girl whose throat had been cut. When discovered, he claimed he was punishing the housekeeper for trying to steal from him. Said to have murdered at least 23 other women, their remains found in his kitchen and a near by canal. Grossmann hung himself in his jail cell after confessing to the murders Other Murderers: Baron Winterfield, killed

mailmen during chaos of Spartakus Week Peter Krten, The Vampire of Dsseldorf Fritz Langes M, said to be based off of his murders, before executed he said: "Tell me, after my head has been chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck?...that would be the pleasure to end all pleasures." Bruno Ldke, said to have been responsible for more than 50 murders starting in 1928, mostly women. Discovered after Nazis found him committing necrophilia on a victims body. Said to have been severely

mentally challenged and abused as a child. Re-investigation into police records speculate that the confession was forced and the police were in need of a scapegoat for the numerous unsolved murders. The Role of Fear in Germany Hitlers comments about violence within Germany: Brutality is respected. The people need wholesome fear. They want to fear something Havent you seen everywhere that after the beer-hall battles those who have been beaten are the first to join the party as new

membersThey need something that will give them a thrill of horror. Violence and fear in a chaotic nation leads to people searching for protection. If they cannot find it from the police, or the govt., they must search elsewhere. Back to Brecht I contend that the best people of Germany, those who condemned Denke, failed to recognized the qualities of true German genius which the fellow displayed method, conscientiousness, cold-bloodedness, and the ability to base ones every act on a firm

philosophical foundation Does Brechts definition of the qualities of true German genius seem to implicate other groups or individuals who used violence in this era? How does ones ability to base ones actions on firm philosophical foundations allow for violence? Do the Denkes of the post WWI era, or at least Brechts description of them resemble the Nazis?

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