The k.u.k. rogues' gallery

by Kurt FRANK


In the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, criminals from about 1890 to 1918 were photographically immortalized. We make a book with fascinating original photos and scientific contributions.

EUR 9’009

101% of EUR 8’900

101 %
This is how it worksä

The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

75 backers

Successfully concluded on 17/6/2019

A book with police photographs of the Habsburg monarchy

Historical police photographs by police authorities offer those who are interested in contemporary history a personal and fascinating journey into the past - including a slight shudder.

In the English-speaking world these pictures are called «Mugshots» and are an indispensable part of the media landscape.

Through a cooperation with the Vienna Police Department I now have the official approval for the journalistic use of the most recently obtained police photo photographs of the k.u.k. Monarchy received from 1890 to 1918.

These intriguing photographs show little crooks and heavy fellows, sophisticated girls and unscrupulous women, the places of their crimes and the suffering of the victims.

The scientific relevance of this series of suggestive photographs is combined with the personal fates of the victims, which are reflected in the photographs of the professional photographers and the always precisely formulated fact descriptions of the k.u.k authorities.

This opens up to the readers the hidden side of a bygone era, which consisted not only of the splendor of the imperial family, the pomp of the nobility and the wealth of the bourgeoisie, but also the difficulties, misery and absolute despair of the lower classes ,

«The k.u.k. Criminal album» contains a wealth of previously unpublished valuable original photos as well as several scientific contributions by criminal sociologists and legal historians.

The publication of the book is scheduled for the end of 2019. All texts of the book are printed in German, English and Italian. The distribution takes place via bookstores in the whole German-speaking area, at tourist places, over historical associations, thematically relevant museums and of course in the Internet.

If the first edition is successful, additional «local» editions for the earlier k.u.k. Crown lands published - ie Croatia, Hungary, etc. and Switzerland, because the Habsburgs originally came from there.

My project is special because ...

Why does one do the quite tedious work of publishing such a not necessarily mass-suitable book without necessity? In the first place for me in this project probably the very personal appreciation for historical photographs, the joy of the many new information and the gratitude for the work of the «photographers» behind the camera. What is also important - after more than a hundred years, the former victims and the perpetrators are called once again on the stage of life. An act of balancing justice? That may be too high - but the «k.u.k. crime album» certainly offers the ultimate view of a number of memorable destinies. And for that, the effort of time, money and other resources made to this day and still coming seems quite appropriate.

This is what I need backing for.

The printing costs for the planned edition are not insignificant. In addition, there are fees for scientific accompanying articles, for the design by external graphics, etc.

In sum, these are amounts that I can only partly finance.

However, many conversations and discussions with bookworms, booksellers, history buffs, sales and tourism professionals have convinced me that «The k.u.k. Crime album «will find the interest of many readers - and probably for many years. Because the charm de k.u.k. Monarchy will not diminish so fast, on the contrary.

I would be glad if you could publish the historical photobook «Das k.u.k. Criminal album «as worthy of support. In addition, some thematically appropriate rewards have been prepared that will hopefully meet your taste.