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Ludwig Von Windheim

Ludwig von Windheim studied law and political science in Göttingen, Munich and Berlin. Following applications as trainee lawyer, government assistant in Köningsberg, district administrator and labourer in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, Windheim was appointed Chief of Police of Szczecin in April 1895. Only some months later, in June, he succeeded Von Richthofen as police president of Berlin. In his new function, he immediately ordered Leo Hüllessem to conduct a study trip to Bertillon in Paris, after which the Bertillon methods were introduced in Prussia under Berlin’s supervision. Together with Hüllessem and Graf Pückler (Chief of the Criminal Police), Windheim initiated the Berlin Conference for the introduction of the Bertillon system throughout the German Empire (14 ad 15 June 1897). During the preparations, he maintained close contact with the Prussian Interior Ministry, and strongly was in favour of the presence of Austro-Hungarian, Romanian and Dutch representatives. Among other things, blueprints for the creation of direct communication lines between (to be established) national police authorities were discussed, to improve transnational police cooperation. Most of all, Berlin was appointed Central Bureau for anthropometry for the German Empire. Immediately after the conference, Windheim visited London’s Metropolitan Police in November 1897, and, together with Hüllessem, the bureaux of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Hamburg – in all cases to study the application of the Bertillon system and the registration of anarchists. He ordered Hüllessem to do the same. Based on a note written at the end of his police career in December 1902, it is clear that in the last seven years he cooperated with police authorities in, other than Germany, Austria-Hungary, Britain, the Netherlands and Romania, France and Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Luxembourg, Russia and St. Petersburg, Spain and Bern. At the end of 1902, he became governmental president for Frankfurt (Oder). In 1903 he was appointed Oberpräsident of the province Hessen Nassau, in 1907 of East Prussia and in 1914 of Hanover, until his retirement in 1917.

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