International Conference of Rome for Social Defense against Anarchists

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The Rome International Conference for Social Defense Against Anarchists was a conference against anarchism .

The conference was held from November 24th to December 21st, 1898 on Italian initiative following the assassination attempt on Empress Elisabeth on the promenade of Lake Geneva by Luigi Lucheni on September 10th. 54 delegates came from 21 countries. The countries that signed the secret final declaration agreed to set up special organizations to monitor suspects of anarchism, which was defined as a “violent means of destroying the organization of society”. The represented countries decided unanimously that anarchism should not be seen as a political doctrine and acts of people referring to it as criminal. The other agreements included the passing of laws by the participating countries banning the illegal possession and use of explosives, membership in anarchist organizations, dissemination of anarchist propaganda, and support for anarchists. The participants also agreed that press coverage of anarchist activities should be restricted and that the death penalty should apply to the murder of heads of state.

The agreement existed only on paper and was observed by the signatories as they saw fit. With the decline in terrorist activities on the part of individual anarchist perpetrators due to increased criticism of the concept of propaganda by organized anarchism, the protocol had little effect.

The authorities took the opportunity to set up an international system for the exchange of information and messages between national police authorities. The method of portrait parlé of Alphonse Bertillon was introduced, allowing identification of suspects on the basis of figures expressed head and body measurements and a photo and a description of the preference should be attached.

In 1904, three years after the assassination of William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz , the "Secret Agreement for International War against Anarchism" was signed by ten European countries at a follow-up conference in St. Petersburg. They committed themselves to the establishment of a "central police station to collect news about the anarchists and their activities". Another regulation concerned the expulsion of anarchists to their countries of origin by the shortest route and direct handover to the local authorities. The anarchists' most important countries of exile, Switzerland and England, were absent, and France did not participate either, so the agreement had no direct effects.

The resulting improved cooperation between the national police authorities allows direct connections to the Interpol established in 1923 .

Web links

  • History of International Police Cooperation by Mathieu Deflem from: Richard A. Wright and J. Mitchell Miller (eds.): The Encyclopedia of Criminology , Routledge, New York 2005 at University of South Carolina (eng.)

Individual evidence

  1. The secret agreement is documented in: Leo Stern (Ed.), The Effects of the First Russian Revolution from 1905-1907 in Germany . Verlag Rütten & Loening. Berlin 1955 ("Archival Research on the History of the German Labor Movement", Volume 2/1, pp. 19-21.)
  2. Quotation: “ While the governments found it difficult to arrive at uniform extradition regulations at the legislative level, the police authorities were more willing to cooperate and agreed to exchange messages at an international conference to combat anarchism, which took place in Rome at the end of 1898 on the Italian initiative. The negotiations resulted in a secret agreement that was ratified by ten European states in St. Petersburg in 1904 and provided for further steps in cooperation ”. See: Author: Ullrich Bröckling: Grenzgänger. Beyond the borders is this side of domination . In: Schwarzer Faden , No. 74, February 2002 (short version). And: Eva Horn / Stefan Kaufmann / Ulrich Bröckling (eds.): Grenzverletzer . Kadmos Publishing House. Berlin 2002. ISBN 3-931659-37-2