Trials and Clemency Cases of Abortionists in Germany, 1926-1932

dc.contributor.authorSt Arnaud, Katherine
dc.contributor.supervisorSaunders, Thomas
dc.date.accessioned2023-08-31T23:43:00Z
dc.date.copyright2023en_US
dc.date.issued2023-08-31
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Historyen_US
dc.degree.levelMaster of Arts M.A.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe falling birth rate and rising estimates of illegal abortions during the Weimar Republic fueled fears about the decline of the German people. The movement to abolish Paragraph 218, the section of the penal code criminalizing abortion, was broadly based and transcended class. There is ample research on the movement to abolish Paragraph 218. However, little attention has been paid to the perspectives of the justice system and how clemency decisions were made. The first part of this study assesses the judiciary's stance on whether to pardon abortionists in six clemency cases from Berlin. These cases suggest that clemency decisions were based on the convicts' social class, whether the outcome of the abortion resulted in death, and the popular opinion in the media of the abortion case. There is also evidence that while doctors and lay abortionists competed for patients, they also collaborated to provide abortion care to women. The second part of this study assesses the criminal case of Else Kienle, the sex reformer and woman doctor, in the conservative town of Stuttgart. Kienle’s published writings from during and after her imprisonment on abortion charges provide a unique opportunity to understand the perspective of an abortionist on trial. Additionally, while Kienle is generally accurately represented in the historiography, I emphasize that she drew on Communist arguments in her writings on abortion. Furthermore, I argue that while Kienle fits the characterization of maternalist feminist in some respects, her views also diverge from that set of values and beliefs.en_US
dc.description.embargo2024-08-28
dc.description.scholarlevelGraduateen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1828/15337
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectcriminal justiceen_US
dc.subjectWeimar Germanyen_US
dc.subjectclemencyen_US
dc.subjectlay abortionistsen_US
dc.subjectabortionsen_US
dc.subjectElse Kienleen_US
dc.titleTrials and Clemency Cases of Abortionists in Germany, 1926-1932en_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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