The Green Minna: Transporting Police Detainees in Imperial Berlin

Eric J. Engstrom

Fig. 18.1 The Green Minna in front of a police station (source: Lindenberg 1891/92: 457)

Designation: Green Minna (Grüne Minna; alternate designations: Grüne Minne, Grüner Anton, Grüner Heinrich, Grüner Wagen, Arrestanten-Wagen, Criminalequipage). Physical characteristics: Body: enclosed, wooden, windowless carriage, with a forward driver’s perch (dickey box), dual lanterns, ventilation pipe with cap, half-louvered rear door, and two-step foot plate: Interior Fitting: all-round benching with two wooden, cell-like, bolted compartments next to the rear door; Undercarriage: four-wheel, half-axle coachwork with brake mechanism, shortened drawbar and flexible whippletree for enhanced manoeuvrability; Length, Width, Height: unknown; Weight: 1300 kg; Colour: dark green. Crew: 1 wagoner, 1 patrol officer, 2 draft horses; Support Personnel: 1 constable (mounted division), 1 head ostler (mounted division), 1 police officer (scribe); Equipment: harness, driving whip, hammer-key, transportation tickets (Transportscheine); Portage Capacity: 16–18 detainees, plus crew. Operational range (migration): 21 km/day. Deployment (distribution/habitat): At 0200, 0800, 1200, and 2000 hours on routes in four transport-districts (Fahrbezirke) throughout the city of Berlin, Germany. Length of service (status): 1866 – ????; extinct, no known surviving specimens.

Keywords: prisoner transport, policing, crime fighting, central booking, jailing, police, Berlin, Imperial Germany, urban governance, public relations


Curious onlookers waiting outside a police station; rubber necks straining for a glimpse; a crowd parting to make way; a dark portal about to disgorge its contents. A picture of daily lives suspended in anticipation. But in anticipation of exactly what?

The sidewalk spectacle of fellow citizen-detainees in the clutches of Prussian law enforcement was a common sight on the streets of Imperial Berlin. Or at least it was common enough to warrant depiction in one of Germany’s most popular and respectable illustrated weeklies, Die Gartenlaube. The image was published in 1892 as part of a serial article on crime and the criminal justice system in Berlin by the roving reporter Paul Lindenberg, whose popular vignettes of city-life in Berlin in the 1880s and ’90s attracted a large readership (Lindenberg 1891/92: 457).1 Lindenberg’s image of an enclosed, green, horse-drawn wagon (Green Minna) parked in front of a police station captures one fleeting moment, repeated on countless occasions, in a much larger and ongoing public drama of crime.2 In its many and daily enactments, this drama was usually played out in sequence, beginning with the discovery and investigation of a crime, proceeding to the criminal’s arrest, and culminating in trial, sentencing, and punishment. Public onlookers were participants at various stages of this drama, be it directly as actual witnesses or indirectly as readers of reports like Lindenberg’s.

The Green Minna had a supporting role to play in this drama. In order to understand that role, its historical meaning, and more generally the work it did in shaping the behaviour, perceptions, and imaginations of Berlin’s street-side onlookers and its reading public, this article examines the use and place of these wagons in a larger habitat or economy of prisoner transportation schemes.

Operation and Choreography

In the late nineteenth century, the Green Minna was used to transport arrestees to and from police headquarters. The wagon transported its human cargo centripetally from district police stations to the central police station, and from there centrifugally to (or between) the court jail in Moabit, local prisons, the work house, and the Charité hospital. Up until 1866, the police had transported their detainees almost exclusively by foot. But that method had been plagued by escapes. The new wagons were ostensibly designed to prevent detainees from taking flight.

Initially, the wagons were operated by the police reserve and a team of horses supplied by private transport companies (Schmidt 1898: 112–14). In order to streamline operations and reduce costs,3 the central police assumed responsibility for the wagons in 1880, and after 1889 all operations were consolidated in the central police’s mounted division. The fleet of green wagons grew from two in 1866 to seven by 1890. A further eighth wagon was used to transport equipment and also, in emergencies like fires or riots, policemen. All told, in 1890 there were thirteen policemen, nine wagoners, and fourteen horses assigned to the transport detail, which carried between five and ten thousand detainees per month.

In equipping wagon and crew, police officials exploited resources that were readily available.4 The draw-bar and wheels were standardised to fit existing stock. The wagoners’ uniforms were patched together from pieces of the old, ‘hand-me-down uniforms of patrol officers and night watchmen’. 5 Similarly, the draft horses were recruited from old and retired (‘pflastermüden’) police horses; only in emergency cases were regular, ‘active-duty’ police horses used to draw the Green Minna.

Inside the wagon, the transportees were accompanied by one or two patrol officers. These officers were normally equipped with a sabre, but the close quarters within the wagon made its use impractical. And so, after 1890 the patrol officers were outfitted with a hybrid ‘hammer-key’. As the name suggests, this much-feared piece of equipment was a combination key and hammer that could be used not just to subdue transportees, but also to quickly alert the coachman in the wagon’s dickey box in case of emergency (Schmidt 1898: 114–115).

Police officials took care to document the different kinds of prisoners and detainees who were being transported, often on behalf of other institutions. Rules set down in 1884 distinguished four different types of transportees: 1) detainees who were in the custody of Berlin’s courts, 2) convicted prisoners being moved between different prisons in Berlin, as well as to and from the Charité hospital, 3) prisoners under the jurisdiction of the military, or communities and police forces in other parts of Germany, and 4) all other kinds of police detainees.6 Depending on the circumstances, wagon-runs could contain several of these different types of transportees.7

Throughout the day, the green wagons set out across Berlin on their circuits to pick up and disseminate their human cargo. These runs usually ended with the wagons returning to the main police station, where their dishevelled, soon-to-be-booked arrestees were discharged into the station’s rear courtyard (Figure 18.2). One report of the detainees’ disemboxment paints a picture of exotic criminal diversity that spanned a spectrum from prostitutes to ageing alcoholics, from homeless vagabonds and beggars to the mentally ill, from youthful troublemakers to transvestites (Lindenberg 1891/92: 457–58).

Fig. 18.2 Unloading the Green Minna in the courtyard of the Central Police Station (source: Lindenberg 1891/92: 457)

The disemboxment of the arrestees at police headquarters was a well-choreographed affair. Upon arrival for booking in the rear courtyard of the central police station, a bell would summon a constable and a squad of twelve police officers. The officers lined up next to the wagon’s rear door, which was then unlocked (Lindenberg 1891/92: 457). The accompanying patrol officers would then shout out the number of prisoners in the wagon before handing their paperwork over to the constable. First the non-violent arrestees disembarked. Then the violent criminals detained in the wagon’s wooden compartments were removed and taken under heavy guard directly to the criminal division, where police officials confiscated their hats, knives, papers, and money. Whereas in transit no provision was made to segregate the sexes, upon disembarkment at the central police station gender selection ensued immediately. As part of this selection process, it was the fate of cross-dressing men to be designated as male. And to assist frail passengers and women (usually prostitutes) as they entered and/or exited the wagon, the foot plate had not just one, but two steps.

Disemboxment at other venues was rather less well choreographed and not without its own specific hazards. For example, at the Charité hospital prisoners brought for medical treatment sometimes escaped on their way to the hospital wards.8 And after one convict died in transit, hospital administrators complained that the Green Minna was often overcrowded and should not be used to transport severely ill prisoners, especially in the wagon’s cramped internal cells designed for dangerous felons.9 Additional hazards arose from interactions with hospital personnel. When the police complained about delays in processing the sick detainees, Charité officials voiced moral concerns to justify their not deploying enough nursing staff. They suggested that only a bare minimum of staff members be used to receive the arriving detainees in order to avoid ‘lewd exchanges with the sick and slutty prostitutes’.10

Habitats and Economies of Emboxment

No doubt the Green Minna helped prevent escapes. But its use also achieved much more than that. In order to gain a better sense of its significance – and more generally of what emboxed transport accomplished – it’s helpful to situate the Green Minna in a larger urban habitat or economy of boxes and transport schemes. Some of these boxes were stationary, like jail cells or stalls for police horses. But others, like the Green Minna, were on the move. They were stopping and starting again, being loaded and unloaded, crossing paths, passing landmarks, negotiating traffic, traversing intersections and bridges, plying and sometimes deviating from their well-trodden circuits, all the while attracting the gaze of onlookers and evoking their reflections about crime and policing in Germany’s foremost metropolis. Consider therefore the following examples, which illustrate some of the problems and environmental dynamics associated with different means of transportation.

Emboxed Transit: The Krankenkorb

Berlin’s workhouse was one important receptacle used by the police to house the city’s vagrant masses. Alongside beggars, prostitutes, and drunkards, the workhouse sometimes also served as a shelter of last resort for the impoverished and itinerant sick or mentally ill. When inmates of the workhouse were identified as needing hospital care, they were often transported to the local Charité hospital in an ‘enclosed patient basket (geschlossener Krankenkorb)’,11 carried by fellow workhouse inmates.

The workhouse and the police had been using baskets to transport accident victims and the indigent sick at least since the 1820s.12 But it was only in 1851 that a city-wide system of basket-transport was put into effect.13 The origins of that system lay neither in the frequent cholera epidemics that ravished the city, nor in the mushrooming numbers of industrial accidents, but rather in the affliction that befell an official in the Finance Ministry, who was forced to wait for hours before a basket arrived.14 Baskets were stationed throughout the city in each of Berlin’s ten medical districts, often at fire stations.15 At each location, three baskets were available, one each for smallpox and cholera victims, and a third for other illnesses or accident victims. Each basket contained a straw sack and pillow, a blanket, and a sheet. The police were responsible for ensuring the baskets’ proper storage, their ready accessibility day and night, and the recruitment of porters from the immediate neighborhood. In transit, the baskets and their human cargo were always accompanied by a patrol officer who guarded against abuse and ensured that both the baskets and their equipment were returned intact and not stolen.16

Berlin’s network of baskets proved to be rather cumbersome. Jurisdictional disputes over access and control, fluctuating contractual arrangements for the baskets’ storage, and the difficulty of recruiting dependable working-class porters all conspired to thwart the development of an efficient system of basket transport. The basket’s total envelopment of its cargo also caused problems: it was difficult to communicate with the transportees or to assess their condition, and at times their injuries were aggravated by the irregular, jolting gait of the porters.17

Furthermore, in the process of transporting inmates between the workhouse and the hospital there sometimes transpired ‘disturbing events’ that the Charité’s doctors were powerless to prevent.18 Especially disconcerting was the fact that even patients from the educated classes might be transported by basket. Baskets were also considered inappropriate for robust and non-agitated inmates. As a result of these concerns, the chief psychiatrist at the Charité successfully petitioned local welfare officials to ensure greater flexibility when it came time to emboxing transportees. Henceforth, upon discharging workhouse inmates from the hospital, the expertise of Charité doctors would be marshalled to determine what kind of box was best suited for the return trip to the workhouse: no box at all (transport by foot), an open box (transport by carriage), or a closed box (transport by basket). The basket, it seems, was still an acceptable means of transporting inmates, just not for the educated, robust, or placid ones.

Nevertheless, by the 1870s the Krankenkorb was gradually going out of fashion. The police had begun deploying their fleet of green wagons in 1866. Welfare administrators started shifting from the use of baskets to horse-drawn ambulances.19 The Charité hospital discontinued its use of baskets altogether, and by the early 1890s local factories had long since stopped making them.20

In spite of the basket’s demise, emboxed transport of the sick and the insane did not disappear. Indeed, the rules governing the transportation of mentally ill prisoners saw it explicitly reinforced, albeit only in large cities. A decree of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior in early 1905 mandated that the transportation of these inmates to and from prison be undertaken ‘always in closed wagons’.21 And as Berlin’s frenetic growth forced the expansion of its emergency infrastructure, the local first aid society set up a telephone hotline: when mentally ill citizens needed to be transported to hospital, officials could order wagons through a hotline (Amt III, Nr. 2417 or 2424) or at any district police station.22

Open-Boxed Transit: The Draft Wagon

Unlike the police, Berlin’s prisons and courts had no green wagons.23 Nevertheless, at times they too needed to ferry convicted criminals serving time in local prisons, or defendants awaiting trial, either to a hospital or to judicial detention facilities. In 1865 the head of the Stadtvoigtei prison was asked to test a new cart that had served reliably in the recent Austro-Prussian invasion of the Dutchy of Schleswig. But for the purposes of transporting prisoners in Berlin, the cart was found wanting. It provided little protection from the elements and could neither adequately restrain ‘unruly, raving individuals’ nor prevent their transit from eliciting ‘commotion in the streets’.24

Prior to 1890, the courts had relied on the open-wagon taxi services of private entrepreneurs – an arrangement that gave rise to numerous complaints.25 The chief district attorney and the prison warden in Ploetzensee deplored coachmen who did nothing to prevent transportees from meeting with family, friends, and prostitutes. Sometimes the coachmen would accompany inmates into their homes or especially – and profitably – to local bars and pubs that they themselves owned. If the inmates returned from their court appearances at all, they were often drunk, loud-mouthed, and cantankerous. Occasionally they even arrived at the prison gates accompanied by a band of ‘inebriated, hooting, and cursing men and women’.26

In order to resolve this problem, the taxi companies had suggested using enclosed wagons. But the chief district attorney had other ideas. According to him, at the root of the problem lay the coachmen’s ‘utter lack of authority’ and ‘moral unreliability’.27 Because they weren’t public employees and wore no uniform, they held neither power nor authority over inmates, let alone the public. In order to fill this disciplinary void, the district attorney therefore recommended using state employees. But which ones? Prison guards, although they could command the respect of the inmates, enjoyed no such standing in the eyes of the public and were therefore ‘powerless to intervene against attempts by the public to interact with inmates’. Instead, the district attorney suggested using policemen: ‘The policeman enjoys the necessary respect of both inmates and the general public [… and he is officially authorised] to intervene in the event of protests, riots and similar disturbances of public order’.

But Berlin’s chief of police, Baron Ludwig von Richthofen, begged to differ.28 Von Richthofen generally concurred with the district attorney’s complaints, but he disagreed that policemen could better manage to keep the public away from inmates in transit.29 Many of the prisoners’ friends and associates, who were usually aware of the trial date, actively sought to prevent the police from performing their duties. It was precisely because of these confrontations that the police had resorted – whenever possible – to using the Green Minna to transport their arrestees. In rare instances, however, the police also used it to transport prisoners to and from the courts; but they did so only when courts deemed inmates to be dangerous felons, too volatile to be conveyed in private transporters. In such irregular cases, the police used the wagon that already serviced the prisons, or else deployed a separate one. But these trips could deliver inmates to the courts only by late morning, too late for most court proceedings. Furthermore, the vagaries of courtroom procedure made scheduling the return trip to prison especially difficult. Accommodating court scheduling therefore required special wagon-runs that severely disrupted the police’s transportation schedules and their deployment of personnel. And in order to rectify these problems, additional resources would have to be mobilised. Given such difficulties, von Richthofen believed that not the police, but instead court officials, or preferably prison guards, should be put in charge of transporting inmates.

In addition to von Richthofen, the president of Prussia’s supreme court, Friedrich Drenkmann, also let his views on this issue be known.30 Drenkmann argued that it was impractical, indeed inadmissible, to delay and/or consolidate court cases on specific days in order to ensure more efficient transportation. And even if the trials could be consolidated, still more personnel would be needed to accompany the inmates to different chambers in the courthouse.

To resolve the problem, officials decided to explore the use of prison guards to transport inmates.31 And although early efforts to recruit guards were unsuccessful, ultimately officials prevailed and lauded the new method a success.32 The guards themselves, however, complained bitterly about their increased work load, because several of their number were always busy transporting inmates.33

Non-Boxed Transit: The Shackled March

But the use of prison guards or policemen – virtually all of whom were former Prussian military officers – did more than simply tax scarce personnel resources. It also put the urban sensibilities of Berlin’s streetwalking public to the test, because inmates who were vagabonds or who posed no danger to the public were, as a general rule, transported by foot (Wulff 1890: 205–06). On the streets of Germany’s burgeoning capital, this too became a public spectacle. So for example, whenever scheduling difficulties made it impossible to transport prostitutes by wagon, and forced the police to march them through the streets under armed guard, ‘disagreeable’ encounters were bound to arise.34 In 1888, and not for the first time, a prisoner had been shot by guards while in transit to the city’s military police station, causing women to faint and ‘harmless passers-by’ to be traumatised. And more frequently, military prisoners in transit were accompanied by crowds of ‘shouting and hooting’ residents. This kind of ‘embarrassing spectacle’ moved city officials to call on the Prussian military to abstain from transporting prisoners by foot and resort instead to the use of green wagons.35

Nowhere were these concerns more acute than in the Moabit neighbourhood, home both to the city’s largest prison near Ploetzensee and its main courthouse. The close proximity of these two institutions meant that local residents were frequent witnesses to inmates being marched through the streets from prison to the court and back again. In 1891 a local newspaper reported the sight of a small, young man, hands cuffed behind his back, accompanied by a ‘warrior-like’ prison guard with a bayonet, and followed by a band of between fifty and sixty school children.36 Workers on their lunch-hour couldn’t but shake their heads in dismay at the sight of this bizarre spectacle. The report went on to suggest that had the prisoner been transported by the green wagon, the public – and especially children – could have been spared this unsightly street scene.

The local Moabit neighbourhood organisation was even more concerned. In a letter to the Ministry of Justice, the association complained about the practice of marching inmates, shackled in pairs, through their community.37 The association was concerned not just about the security threat posed by the band of followers, but also about the ‘depressing’ sight it presented to passive bystanders. Most importantly, however, the association worried about the corrupting moral influence that such spectacles had on children. In the interest of the local community, the association therefore called for officials to abstain from transporting inmates by foot, and instead rely on the police’s green wagons.

On the face of it, Prussian officials paid little heed to such complaints.38 In fact, they rejected outright the suggestion that witnessing inmates in chains was fraught with dangerous moral implications. They also believed that private transport companies, frustrated by their loss of business, were agitating against the new approach. Nevertheless, the criminal court soon acquired its own (used) ‘cell-wagon’ (Zellenwagen) and equipped it with a crew comprising a wagoner and one prison guard.39 And in many cases, court officials even explicitly rejected any use of the Green Minna, arguing that it was necessary to segregate court detainees from prison convicts and police arrestees.40

The complaints of the Moabit neighbourhood association bear witness to the moral sensibilities and public dynamics that enveloped the use of the Green Minna in Imperial Berlin. The green wagon was a manifestation of urban sensibilities in the German capital. It was the expression of a kind of unspoken collusion between the police, with their concerns for security and public order, and the city’s burghers, who desired a streetscape that not only spared them the bleak spectacle of their incarcerated fellow citizens being marched to and fro, but that also spared their children the moral hazard of witnessing one of their own caught up in the Prussian criminal justice system.

Fig. 18.3 In need of a box (source: Lindenberg 1891/92: 456)


What do these examples tell us about the Green Minna as a form of emboxed transportation? What exactly did the deployment of the enclosed green wagons achieve? From the perspective of law enforcement, they contributed to a diversification of transportation resources: they facilitated a finer calibration of a transportation system that already incorporated specific provisions for illness, social standing, and infirmity. They also helped to allay long-standing concerns about the fraternisation of detainees with other members of the public. As such, they reinforced the larger aim of disrupting any and all contact and communication between presumptive criminals – an aim that had long been a priority of nineteenth-century crime prevention and punishment (Rössler 1896: 18). More importantly, however, green wagons helped to limit the potentially damaging public spectacle of police authority being undermined, and resistance to this authority being openly flaunted. At no time since the revolutions of 1848 had that authority been so embattled as in the early 1890s, after anti-socialist legislation had lapsed and the number of mass demonstrations, boycotts, and strikes was peaking (Evans 1988).41 Finally, green wagons could also help to assuage public objections to other, more conventional means of transportation: their enclosed, box-like qualities rendered invisible not just the coercive executive actions involved in daily practices of detainment, but also the very visibility of the ‘unsightly’ detainees themselves. As such, the green wagons were one of many executive tools designed to enhance urban governance in Imperial Berlin. They helped to ensure that the nodal points of public security remained well-connected, and that the wheels of the criminal justice system turned more efficiently.

As tools of Prussian governance, green wagons operated in the public domain. Even though their contents were obscured from the gaze of onlookers, the wagons themselves became – as their various designations indicate – a symbol of executive power and a magnet of public discourse and reflection about crime and justice. Among onlookers, watching the door close on the human cargo and the wagon depart on its journey through the streets of Berlin had the potential – depending on specific circumstances – to evoke any number of responses, from satisfaction that justice was being served and public order upheld, to simple indifference, or to outrage over the incarceration of innocent citizens (Paul n.d.: 19). Furthermore, as witnesses to the drama of detainees in transit, these onlookers occupied a space alongside executive and juridical power formations; a space with its own kind of adjudicative logic, lodged adjacent to the actions of Berlin’s police force and courtroom procedures. It was a space inhabited by moral sentiments, by notions of justice and retribution, by affective states of fear, empathy, and satisfaction, by imaginary landscapes of people’s own vulnerabilities and transgressions. The Green Minna helped to shrink this public space and render it less contentious. The wagon’s deployment served to pre-empt moral discourse, to vacate deliberations of justice, to dampen affective public responses, and to occlude otherwise visible signs of state power in action. The Green Minna was as much about the modulation of public attitudes and perceptions as it was about effective carceral practices.


1 A revised version of the article was later published without the image in Lindenberg 1893.

2 Thus Victor Turner, as cited in Müller 2005: 153–54. The Green Minna was but one of many different designations for the wagon (Lindenberg 1893: 23; Paul 2017). On the public drama of crime associated with the Green Minna, compare also ‘Die Grüne Minna,’ Vorwärts, Nr. 255, 3. Beilage, 22 August 1905.

3 Against the backdrop of Berlin’s exploding population in the late nineteenth century, the costs of transporting detainees quickly became a bone of contention. Long and drawn-out legal disputes between the police and the city’s welfare agency were taken all the way to Prussia’s Supreme Administrative Court. On the court’s decision and the subsequent contractual arrangement between the police and the city, see Verwaltung der offenen Armenhilfe 1905: 336–51, 360–66.

4 Police Headquarters to Ministry of Justice Accounting Office, 5 November 1894, Bl. 129, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz (henceforth GStAPK), I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58287.

5 Ibid.

6 Rules on the Allocation of Transportation in the Prisoner-Wagon, Police Headquarters, 25 February 1884, Bl. 5, Archiv der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (henceforth UAHUB), Charité Directorate, Nr. 1048.

7 See for example Police Headquarters to Charité Directorate, 23 February 1900, Bl. 177, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1048.

8 Interrogation protocol of the transporter Carl Dümke, 31 January 1878, Bl. 130–31, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1158.

9 Charité Directorate to Police Headquarters, 7 June 1872, Bl. 205, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1047.

10 Marginalia on Police Headquarters to Charité Directorate, 19 January 1872, Bl. 186, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1047.

11 Carl Westphal to Charité Directorate, 19 November 1872, Bl. 180, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1191.

12 Police Headquarters to Workhouse Curatory, 8 October 1837, Bl. 39, Landesarchiv Berlin (henceforth LAB), A Pr Br Rep 030, Nr. 2938.

13 Report on the joint consultation about transportation of the sick and accident victims, 30 June 1851, Bl. 109–10, LAB, A Pr Br Rep 030, Nr. 2938.

14 Promemoria to Director Horn, 12 March 1851, Bl. 102, LAB, A Pr Br Rep 030, Nr. 2938.

15 Berlin Welfare Authority Instruction, No. 115, 12 November 1851, Monatsblatt der Armendirektion zu Berlin 19 (1851): 173–74.

16 Police Instruction of 10 October 1852, Bl. 46, LAB, A Pr Br Rep 030, Nr. 2939.

17 Medical Transport Institute and Ambulance Factory F. M. Kopp to Charité Directorate, 20 April 1892, Bl. 255–57, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 62.

18 Carl Westphal to Charité Directorate, 19 November 1872, Bl. 180, and Berlin Welfare Authority to Charité Directorate, 7 December 1872, Bl. 181, both UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1191.

19 Berlin Welfare Authority to Police Headquarters, 20 November 1871, Bl. 319, LAB, A Pr Br Rep 030, Nr. 2939.

20 See Charité Directorate to City Council of Rummelsburg, 27 April 1892, Bl. 252–53 and E. Lück Ambulance Company to Charité Directorate, 17 April 1892, Bl. 254, both in UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 62.

21 Decree of the Ministry of the Interior, 23 January 1905, Verordnungsblatt für die Strafanstalts-Verwaltung 1905: 2. See also Trömmer 1898: 719 and Ministry of the Interior to Frankfurt/Oder District President, 29 September 1907, Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv (henceforth BLHA), Rep 3B I Pol 1842.

22 ‘Transportierung Geisteskranker in Berlin’, Psychiatrisch-Neurologische Wochenschrift 1904/5: 207.

23 On the general rules governing the transportation of prison inmates in Prussia, and specifically the use of wagons, see Wulff 1890: 202–35, especially 204.

24 Stadtvoigtei Directorate to Police Headquarters, 22 November 1865, Bl. 261–62, LAB, A Pr Br Rep 030, Nr 2939.

25 Chief District Attorney to Ministry of Justice, 31 October 1889, Bl. 1–11, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286.

26 Ibid. In the mid-1880s, these difficulties had already prompted the chief district attorney to issue a police order that imposed a fine on anyone fraternising with prisoners in transit. But the order failed to resolve the problem and was later even deemed unlawful by the courts, and rescinded. See Potsdam District President to District Council, 11 January 1887 and 22 February 1900, BLHA, Rep 31A Potsdam 1645 and 1646 respectively.

27 On the local notoriety of coachmen and their poor standing in the eyes of Berlin’s police, see Lindenberger 1995: 134, 151–52. On rules governing the conduct of coachmen, see for example Polizei-Verordnung.

28 Chief of Police to Ministry of the Interior, 16 January 1890, Bl. 16–19, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286.

29 On the day-to-day running battles and resistance faced by police on the streets of Berlin, see Lindenberger 1995: 72–82, 107–72.

30 Royal Prussian Supreme Court to Ministry of Justice, 3 February 1891, Bl. 46–49, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286.

31 A decree of the Ministry of the Interior issued on 26 March 1890 stipulated the use of prison guards. See the notice of the Ministry of Justice Denkschrift, 20 September 1890, Bl. 26–32, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286.

32 See Chief District Attorney to Ministry of Justice, 9 July 1890, Bl. 20 and Royal Prussian Supreme Court to Ministry of Justice, 6 July 1891, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286.

33 See the anonymous letter dated 2 August 1892, Bl. 74–75, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58287.

34 Police Headquarters to Charité Directorate, 30 October 1868, Bl. 59, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1128. See also Zweiter Verwaltungs-Bericht 1892: 8.

35 Stenographische Berichte über die öffentlichen Sitzungen der Stadtverordnetenversammlung der Stadt Berlin, 19 April 1888, 164–65.

36 Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger, Nr. 181, 6. Beiblatt, 19 April 1891.

37 Bezirksverein Moabit to Ministry of Justice, 8 June 1891, Bl. 54–55, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286. Up until 1902, the police had not decided about whether or not to shackle transportees. But thereafter, specific rules gave prison and court officials a say in this decision and took into account the political rights, personality, and social standing of the inmate. See the decree of the Ministry of the Interior, 5 May 1894, Verordnungsblatt für die Strafanstalts-Verwaltung 1896 [1894]: 6, and the joint decree of the Ministries of the Interior and Justice, 4 December 1902, Verordnungsblatt für die Strafanstalts-Verwaltung 1902: 171–72.

38 Royal Prussian Supreme Court to Ministry of Justice, 6 July 1891, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286.

39 Royal Prussian Supreme Court to Ministry of Justice, 11 September 1892, Bl. 85–92 and 27 February 1893, Bl. 107–13, GStAPK, I HA Rep. 84a, Nr. 58286. In nearby Potsdam, the local court and police had acquired their own Green Minna in 1906. See Vorwärts, Nr. 15, Beilage Vorort, 19 January 1906.

40 Royal Prussian Chief Prosecutor to Charité Directorate, 3 January 1895, Bl. 154, as well as to district prosecutors and prison directors, 14 December 1908, Bl. 284, UAHUB, Charité Directorate, Nr. 1048.

41 A better, city-run ambulance service to replace the more heavy-handed and militarised system used by Prussian agencies became a central demand of working-class protests in the early 1890s. See Beddies 2010.


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