This master thesis focuses on the emigration of criminals and released prisoners to USA subsidised by the Danish government. A register from the police of Copenhagen shows that 1.101 people were given help from the police to emigrate to USA from 1864 to 1905. Alongside this number, several people emigrated with help from the Danish Prison Association and the Department of Justice. The Danish bookseller August Carl Ditlev Riemenschneider was one of those persons who emigrated with help from the Department of Justice. In 1884, Riemenschneider and his business partner Benedikt S. Salomon were convicted of forging a large amount of money and sentenced to imprisonment. In prison they were both offered reduced sentences if they agreed to leave Denmark forever. Only Riemenschneider accepted this offer and emigrated to USA in 1887 where he took up residence in New York City as an electrical engineer. Through the analysis of the case of Riemenschneider this master thesis addresses how the public authorities in Denmark legitimised the government-subsidised emigration of criminals and released prisoners to USA, and which motives the criminal and released prisoner would have to accept the offer of emigration. In this context, the conclusion is that the public authorities represented by the police of Copenhagen and the Department of Justice justified the emigration on grounds of national security and economical factors, and that this type of emigration was seen as a boon to the Danish society. From a different perspective, The Danish Prison Association complied since they saw emigration as an opportunity for the criminal and released prisoner to start a new life without the stigma from the Danish society. The case of Riemenschneider who is the key figure in this master thesis, with a micro-historical approach, shows that the public authorities in Denmark had strong faith in the government-subsidised emigration of criminals and released prisoners. This is illustrated by the fact that even though they received a number of complaints from the American government they still proceeded with the government-subsidised emigration of criminals and released prisoners up until the first decade of the twentieth century.
|Uddannelser||Historie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||28 jan. 2016|