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Camillo Windt

Not much is yet known on Windt’s life and career, other than that he was responsible for Vienna’s photographic Criminal Albums. When the Berlin police in 1896 started planning the conference to discuss the introduction of the Bertillon System throughout the German Empire, the most important Austrian-Hungarian police forces were involved, including Vienna. Because of the expertise he had gained as employee of the Sicherheitsbureau of the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, Windt was appointed delegate during this conference. In preparation, he visited Bertillon in Paris mid-May 1897. Upon his return from the conference, Windt produced a detailed report with his findings. Resultantly, when a Criminal Investigation Service was established in Vienna at 3 April 1898, Windt was appointed the first head. He was ordered to create an empire-wide infrastructure for recognition services, but decided to commence the build-up of a network of measuring stations only after the Viennese Central Bureau had gained experience of its own. Therefore, he first studied the experiences with anthropometry in the German Empire (besides Berlin he visited Hamburg and Dresden), Britain (London) and the Netherlands (The Hague). The central Viennese service was operational in November 1899, based on his studies abroad. The service was appointed Central Bureaux for the transnational communication and dissemination of intelligence regarding anarchists. Upon the turn of the century, Windt conducted experiments with the new techniques of dactyloscopy, identification by fingerprints. Through these methods, he attempted to include London in the network of direct intercommunication with regard to anarchists, which existed since the Berlin conference between Berlin, The Hague, Bucharest and Bucharest, supplemented by St. Petersburg and Paris following the Rome conference. It is likely he visited Robert Anderson and Edward Henry during a study trip to London in 1902/3. Subsequently, Windt translated into German Henry’s book Classification and Uses of Finger Prints (1904).

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