The radical criminology of Clara Wichmann

The short life of the criminologist and essayist Clara Wichmann (1885-1922) can be seen as a search for freedom. At the age of 17, she got interested in the study of Hegel's dialectical method, which became the core of her philosophical activity. She became active in the feminist movement, the libertarian left and got involved with revolutionary antimilitarism. She saw the application of violence as the most fundamental problem humanity had to deal with. Wichmann saw inner growth as the necessary condition for the emancipation of women. She once suffered from a serious depression, and received treatment in a sanatorium in the Netherlands for it. In her thoughts on crime she was very inspired by the ideas of the pedagogue Maria Montessori. Wichmann saw crime as a product of the existing conditions and relations in a society.

Clara Wichmann (1920) :
And all the inner contradictions and enormous abuses in the “rights”-position of the pet animals are a result of this: that, toward them (like once toward the slaves and in many legislations toward the women), one upholds the fiction that they are things.