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Anarchist kills Empress Sissi

10 September 1898
Luigi Lucheni in l'Illustration, 17 September 1898
BG B2/860

Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria-Hungary rejected being surrounded by bodyguards. She was stabbed on 10 September 1898 before boarding a boat on Lake Geneva. The offender, Luigi Lucheni,  was arrested at the spot and stated: 'I certainly hit the right place, I must have killed her. I am a jobless anarchist, an enemy of the rich, not of the workers.' Later on the assassin appealed to the right to not incriminate himself. According to the criminologist Lombroso, the Italian anarchist suffered from 'a great deal of degenerative symptoms that are typical for both epileptics and criminals.' By contrast, Lucheni was convinced that people are not born as criminals, but made criminal by the conditions of life. Anarchist assault were very common in fin-de-siècle Europe.