As World War I neared its end, Germany turned its focus to internal security. Serious unrest in Berlin during the summer of 1918 led the Prussian Ministry of the Interior to make a surprising decision. Bernhard Weiss, a little-known Jewish war hero and recipient of the Iron Cross First Class, was ordered to leave the front lines and serve as deputy head of Berlin’s criminal police.
Once there, he applied advances in scientific policing to crime solving, with improved microscopes, more reliable polygraphs and more accurate blood testing. He also innovated, creating the first-ever mobile crime lab — referred to informally as the “Weiss wagon” — that could travel to the crime scene, thus improving the integrity of forensic evidence.
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