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The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria$
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Nancy M. Wingfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801658.001.0001

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The Riehl Trial

The Riehl Trial

(p.17) 1 The Riehl Trial
The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria

Nancy M. Wingfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the widely publicized November 1906 trial of Regine Riehl, a Viennese brothel keeper of Jewish origin. Riehl faced charges of embezzlement, fraud, pandering, and other crimes associated with the operation of her establishment. The trial became a point of reference for discussions of the efficacy of regulated prostitution in Cisleithanian Austria. The proceedings generated a great deal of publicity because Riehl’s alleged gross maltreatment of the tolerated prostitutes she employed occurred in a bourgeois neighborhood near the center of the imperial capital. The chapter addresses both the trail itself and the varied ways the local and regional press reported it. In their one-dimensional descriptions and explanations, the prosecution and newspapers presented the prostitutes in this trial as simple, often passive, victims at the hands of Riehl, but closer examination of their behavior reveals that the women acted in a variety of ways.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, brothel, vice police, prostitution, Regine Riehl, trial, Vienna

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