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Scene of some of the cruelest witch trials in German history was the principality of Bamberg. Under the reign of the Prince-Bishop Gottfried Johann Georg II Fuchs von Dorn home, at least six hundred people were burned as witches in the years 1623 1633. The persecution began under Bishop Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen, the "witch bishop", who reigned 16091622 about Bamberg and was responsible for about three hundred suspected witches were sent to their deaths. Johann Georg II reinforced the campaign. He sat under the Suffragan Bishop Friedrich Förner an organization to witch hunt and had special prisons for the suspects build. He sat down ruthlessly on legal regulations of time. The suspects of witchcraft were often left on the details of the indictment in the dark, and many were denied legal representation, which in their defense could occur. Once in prison, had a suspect but little chance to escape the death penalty.
, the processes were often superficial, and there are reports of a victim, Anna Hansen, who has been out just three weeks after her Arrestierung to execution. Many prominent citizens fled from the principality or died as victims of the witch hunt. Your property is used to pay the costs of the process, the torture and execution. What is left of loving possession, went to the bishop. Dr. Georg Hahn, the Chancellor of Bamberg, was one of the few who dared to put this policy into question, and he was tortured and burned in 1628 as punishment for his complaint together with his wife and daughter at the stake. From the confessions obtained under torture confession of the Registrar five mayors were concerned, their fate was with the accusation that they had committed crimes such as sexual intercourse with demons and be ridden on black dogs to witches sabbath, sealed. Want refugees from Bamberg to Emperor Ferdinand II, to influence the courts of the Prince-Bishop were useless because the bishop ignored all appeals for moderation.
A hideous aspect of the Bamberg witch trials was the extensive use of torture. The questioner turned a variety of procedures in order to extract confessions, including the Spanish boots, cold baths, the forced eating of salted herring, the immersion in boiling water, which was mixed with lime, the wounding of the neck with a rope, kneeling on the prayer stool - a spiked board - sitting on a heated iron chair, the scorching of the skin in armpits and groin with submerged in sulfur burning feathers, flogging, entrapment in the floor - which was specially occupied with iron spikes to the to increase pain - the ladder, the raising and applying the thumbscrews. On the way to his execution, the other guilty declared witches torments were suspended; them to cut off the right hand, or rent the convicted women with red-hot pincers breasts.
Finally, the outrage over the persecution was so strong that saw itself obliged the emperor 163o harder to fight against the prince-bishop. The reports on the procedures were reviewed and instructed the Bamberg courts to express the charges and to entitle the accused the assistance of a legal adviser. Although the confiscation of property was prohibited, but the use of torture continued to be allowed, and the atmosphere of terror in the region gave way only when Bishop Förner died the following year. In 1631 there were no executions for witchcraft in Bamberg, and in 1632 finally ended the death of the witch-hating Bishop of Bamberg the persecution.
The witch trial records of the Bamberg State Library