Tagged with German history

The Young need their Butterflies

It is often hard to make sense of how children fitted into society inthe past – we are told that teenagers were invented in the late 1950s, we are told that children were not valued or loved because they often died young, they are often depicted as little adults. But this story shows something else: … Continue reading

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

There were a lot of aftershocks from the First World War, one of them was a widespread desire to escape the horrors and decadence of Europe. A book Forgotten Fatherland tells of the colony in Paraguay set up by Friedrich Nietzche’s sister Elizbeth, in fact a lot of Germans seem to have headed to South … Continue reading

Extreme Weather in Germany

From the London Papers 1767 “Frankfurt Jan 24 We hear from the country of Eichsfield, that the wells are either frozen or dried up.; that the mills have stopped working for 3 weeks; and that they have no bread but what is made of rye or barley. Kirn on the Nobe, Jan 26 the cold … Continue reading

Germans and the War

Britain and the States  have been making movies about the Second World War for decades; they were used for propaganda and morale boosting, and bookshops still have shelves groaning beneath the books still in print. The Germans themselves have been wary of this, but when they do it, they do it well. Heimat is a … Continue reading

Men Reclaiming their Island

Christmas is the time that ancient rituals emerge across Europe, and some, like the Black Pieters who accompany St Nick in the Netherlands, often cause outrage with their whiffs of racism. This one, from the most  western of Germany’s North Sea islands, should cause outrage to feminists, but it is important to perpetuate as a … Continue reading

On Mercy and Children

Another snippet from ”The Faithful Executioner’, in which about 1/4 of his executions were of children, which seems truly barbaric by today’s standards. the official law was that children should be shown mercy, but that there was leeway when their crimes showed they were ‘mature in evil’ The executions in Nuremberg were all for theft, … Continue reading

What’s German for Cri de Coeur?

Another dip into my book ‘The Faithful  Executioner’ by Joel F. Harrington, and this is one of the most intriguing. In fact it’s as if a whole book could be written on this one. It involves sme lines scrawled on a church wall by the distraught husband of a woman executed for lewdness and harlotry… with … Continue reading

Troublesome Women

One of the strangest statistics of modern life is the vast over representation of men in the criminal justice system – something like 95% of prison places are for men. I think this is a fairly new trend, as many crimes used to be driven by poverty, though there seems to have been a fairly … Continue reading

Sow Gelders and Gravediggers

The story accounted in Joel F. Harrington’s fine book, ‘The Faithful Executioner’ is one of a highly trained professional who suffered terribly by being socially excluded by his profession,. Harrington writes of how executioners were, though highly trained, grouped with gravediggers, tanners and butchers. they were mostly seen by their fellow citizens as amoral, mercenary, … Continue reading