chapter  8
16 Pages

Male crime in nineteenth-century Germany: duelling*

WithUte Frevert

This chapter deals with duelling, a criminal act committed exclusively by men. Although the gender-specific nature of this act was recognized by nineteenth-and early twentiethcentury contemporary society, its criminalization provoked continued protests and resistance. The criminal law was perfectly clear: under the Reich penal code of 1871 and its various precursors duelling was a crime. However, wide sections of the German middle and upper classes did not share this view: they considered duelling in certain circumstances to be as honourable as it was inevitable.