Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Better Late Than Never, I Suppose

In 1627 Katharina Henoth was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake in the German city of Cologne. Now, almost four hundred years later, a retired priest is bringing her case before the authorities once more. He hopes that she will be acquitted of the charges and her name exonerated.

She was accused, among other things, of causing the illness and death of several people, but it is thought the charges brought against her may have been politically motivated.

Hartmut Hegeler, a 65-year-old retired priest, is bringing the case to the same city authority that convicted Henoth four centuries ago, where he hopes she will be acquitted.

He told the newspaper that the city's appeals committee had an "historic opportunity" to clear Henoth's name and take "a symbolic stand against a violation of human dignity."

Hegeler hopes that Katharina's case will be the first of many. He is seeking acquittals for all of the women executed for witchcraft in Cologne during the European witch craze. I applaud him for being willing to shed light on the injustices carried out during those times in the name of stopping witchcraft, though of course at the end of the day with or without an acquittal the victims are still just as dead.

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3 comments:

Casey Jones said...

Actions such as this are important in a world where people are still put to death for witchcraft.

J.C. said...

I think this is a beautiful thing. Now if we can just get people to stop killing people because they are witches even if they are truly witches (or any other forms of religious intolerance), then we will have some serious progress.

Ananael Qaa said...

Very true. One can hope that in parts of the world where witch hunting persists folks will take notice. There's no acceptable reason for anyone in the modern world to be repeating the horrific mistakes of medieval and renaissance Europe.