– September 2
) was a German psychiatrist
who was a native of Zweibrücken
. In 1890 he received his medical doctorate from the University of Strasbourg
, and later was an assistant to Emil Kraepelin
at the psychiatric university clinic in Heidelberg
. Afterwards, he practiced psychiatric medicine at the Universities of Halle
. In the 1930s Aschaffenburg's academic career at Cologne
was terminated by the Nazi edict, Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums
, and he emigrated to the United States where he worked as a professor at the Catholic University of America
in Washington D.C.
and at Johns Hopkins University
Aschaffenburg was a pioneer in the fields of criminology and forensic psychiatry. He believed that humans were less influenced by heredity than by one's social environment, and stressed that from a psychological viewpoint, criminal behaviour was a form of socially maladaptive behavior, and not a mental pathological condition. In Germany, he was publisher of a monthly journal regarding criminal psychology and penal reform, and in 1908 published Das Verbrechen und seine Bekämpfung, a highly influential textbook on criminology.