Witches - myths and reality

Witches - myths and reality

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Witches: what is myth and what is reality

Hardly any other topic is as overloaded with myths as the figure of the witch. The fairy tale witch in the children's book, the herbalist in medical practice, the pioneer of emancipation in feminism, the medium for the supernatural in esoteric people, the noble savage in the fight against Christianity of the New Pagans or the salt in the soup of fantasy.

Fiction mixes with history, and the witch hunt of the early modern age with witch pictures, as developed by both our ancestors and contemporaries. However, the most common myths about historical witch hunts have disproved regional studies over the past 30 years.

Witch myth: The witch cult was a pagan religion that heroically perished in resistance to the Christian church.

It is true that the Christians captured or Christianized the pagan religions - from Mithra as the headgear of the Christian bishops to the birth of the Savior on the night of September 25, the day that Mithra was born. about the three wise men, who are derived from the Magi of the Zoroaster religion, the angels, who were the winged mediators between God and man in Babylon, Persia and Assyria, to the god with the crown of thorns and his trinity, which they derived from the Greek Dionysus rites took.

They built churches on Mithras temples and holy places of the Germanic tribes, they interpreted pagan gods and goddesses like Odin, Diana or Herate as demons and evil spirits, they put Easter on the celebrations of the fertility goddess Ostara. They converted the Gentiles with fire and sword, destroyed places of worship and libraries, slaughtered whole crowds of people who did not accept the new faith - in short, they adorned themselves with the strange feathers of polytheistic cultures and at the same time relentlessly assassinated the bearers of this knowledge.

However, there is no evidence that in the early modern period, the time of witch hunts, there was an organized pagan cult in Europe that opposed the church. In some witch trials, for example in the Baltic States and northern Italy, Benandanti and "werewolves" showed that they practiced rites and held beliefs that contradicted Christian teaching. There can be no question of an organized pagan culture, which not only some of today's Neo-Pagans suspected, but also the witch-hunters.

In the vast majority of witch trials, there is no evidence that the accused 's worldview differed significantly from that of their accusers and judges.

Witch myth: The witch hunt was used to destroy the wise women. These guarded the knowledge of abortion and contraception. Politics of the population hid behind the witch hunt by the Catholic Church in order to increase the number of subjects.

The social scientists Heinsohn and Steiger from Bremen developed this myth and were extremely successful with their book “The Destruction of Wise Women” because it corresponded to the spirit of the 1980s. The Catholic Church railed against abortion and feminists fought for the right to their own belly.

Regional studies show that Heinsohn and Steiger assumed completely wrong numbers and that charges of witchcraft processes such as intercourse with demons or magic that men took away their fertility were arbitrarily translated into modern terms, shifting the focus on abortion and contraception.

There were "wise women", in other words midwives and healers, who, in addition to many other effective and ineffective naturopathic remedies, also knew how to abort children or prevent pregnancy. However, these women did not make up the majority of the victims, nor were they systematically persecuted everywhere.

The witches' alleged deeds included thunderstorms that spoiled the harvest, as well as milk theft in cows, diseases that they "witch" their alleged victims, magical enrichment, animal transformation and, above all, the covenant with the devil.

It affected poor women who were on the margins of society as well as (at the height of the trials), well-off women, and men were just as among the victims as children.

In addition, there was never a centrally controlled organization of witch hunts that would have made systematic persecution of the "contraceptive healers" possible.

The thesis of the “annihilation of the wise women” still haunts especially in milieus far from science, especially among feminist-esoteric women. Historians have long since disposed of them in the trash can as pseudoscience.

Witches myth: "The witch hunt was a female persecution of the patriarchy (of men)"

Feminists in particular have spread this thesis since the 1980s. Among other things, it implied that the male witch hunters and witch judges felt threatened by strong women and therefore wanted to destroy them.

It is true that the basis of the witch hunts, namely the witch hammer (Malleus maleficarum) published by the Dominican Institoris and Sprenger, is one of the most misogynistic texts in world history.

Thus, because of her fickle nature, the woman is exposed to the devil's temptations to a far greater extent than the man, and femina is said to be derived from fe minus, meaning that the woman believes less.

The authors imagined a Europe-wide witch sect that was responsible for all misfortune in association with the devil. The authors referred to ancient texts and saw the followers of Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting and Hekates, the Greek goddess of the underworld, at work.

Roman-Greek ideas of witch-like beings such as the lamia and strigen, who sucked out the blood of children in the form of night birds or, half-woman, half-predator, lurked in the wasteland to eat humans, cited Institoris and Sprengger as evidence of the witchcraft.

The female body was a container for garbage, and they thought it was filled with salamanders and snakes.

The "witch hammer" was only a basis for the witch trials from the 16th to the 18th century, and the Dominicans initially met with bitter resistance, some sovereigns chased them out of their territories.

Wherever the instruments of the witch trial established themselves, the secular courts took over the persecution. Various informer used the possibilities offered by the witch trial to decide their own conflicts in their favor.

The aim of the trial was to confess, and the witch trial lifted restrictions on torture as dictated by medieval Roman law. While torture was allowed in the Middle Ages, confessions under torture were considered worthless.

However, the witch trial required repeated torture to the point of confession, and a lack of confession did not prove innocence, just that the devil was particularly protective of the witch / witcher.

It is true that the witch judges were men because early modern patriarchal society did not allow women to serve as judges. However, many informers were women, and many processes revolved around conflicts between women: young and good-looking women suspected old and ugly women of jealousy; old women suspected young and good-looking women of their attractiveness to the devil.

Social envy was as much a motive as the search for a scapegoat, which you could blame as an outlet for your own misfortune and fears. The early modern period was a time of crisis: plague and the Thirty Years' War devastated Central Europe, the "little ice age" reduced agricultural yields; the urban bourgeoisie prospered and the feudal system of the landlord economy broke up. Former servants and maidservants lined the streets as beggars and vagrants, and it was no coincidence that this rag proletariat made a substantial group of victims of the witch trials.

The vast majority of the victims were women, also because their lack of rights left them to the prey of the judiciary. Overall, however, a quarter of the victims were men, and the numbers vary widely from region to region. In some centers of witch hunts almost only women were burned as witches at the stake, but in Ireland the victims were almost exclusively "cunny men", men who were considered to be witches, and in the Salzburg witch-begging trials it mainly affected homeless young men, who earned extra income with fair tricks like "conjuring up mice from their sleeves". Children, and even animals, were executed in witch trials.

The gender trend shifted on certain charges. For example, the accusation of transforming into a wolf, eating people and cattle in this form, and having "unnatural fornication" with animals, especially men.

Just as the female witch also mirrors the sexually devilish sexuality of the woman, the demonized sexuality of the man is shown in the werewolf.

Myth: The Church persecuted the witches

Theologians designed the framework for the witch trials with the witch hammer and similar works that served as manuals for the trials.

The first convictions for witchcraft came as early as the 13th century, but mixed with charges of heresy and witchcraft. Heresy was seen as a spiritual crime, not a worldly crime.

The witch hammer was preceded by the medieval Jewish and heretic hammer. However, it differed in its objectives. The persecution of the Jews was about another religion that Christianity could not accept. The Church said the Jews alleged various crimes that also flowed into the witch trial, for example the construct of the Witches' Sabbath, in which the witches paid homage to the devil, was derived from the Jewish Sabbath, and the Inquisition also assumed damage spells, well poisoning and the Jews Devil belief. But the main thing was to fight an external opposition, namely a competing religion.

In the heretic process, the Inquisition was concerned with the inner opposition, namely interpretations of Christianity that contradicted the papal dogma. The Catholic Church did not lead the first crusades against the Muslims, but against the Waldensians and Cathars, who viewed the "worldliness" of the Christian clergy as blasphemy.

In the very center of the Catholic Inquisition, which relentlessly persecuted Jews and heretics, the clergy rigorously rejected the persecution of witches, and the 16th century Roman Inquisition even repeatedly opposed the persecution of witches. Even in the high Middle Ages, the Catholic Church did not regard witchcraft as a mortal sin, but the belief in witchcraft.

While the lawsuits against Jews and heretics were spiritual processes led by the ecclesiastical inquisition with the aim of forcing the accused to give up their beliefs and convert to Catholic Christianity, the witch trials fell within the jurisdiction of the secular courts.

The damage spell imputed to the witches was considered a secular crime, not the belief was punished, but the alleged perpetrators. Damaging magic was just as much an act as theft or assault, and from today's perspective palpable crimes were mixed with the idea of ​​the Devil's Pact.

For example, the victims were accused of actions that we now call defamation, slander or coercion, with the difference that the accused, such as plaintiffs and judges, were convinced that curses have a real magical effect, or that milk could conjure up a stick leaves.

This material damage caused by the "witch", however, increased enormously by the assumed pact with the devil. This constituted the actual capital crime from which the other evil deeds were derived.

The belief in the devil was and is elementary Christian, and the Church provided the dogmas. Under this umbrella, the witch trials offered a coordinate system in which almost every conflict could be negotiated.

If a beggar cursed a rich farmer who did not give him alms and plagued his miserable conscience, he could relieve himself by bringing the beggar to court for a magic curse. The victim was practically dead.

If a shepherd doctored a cattle owner's cow and the cow died, he could be held responsible for the shepherd having cast an evil spell on the animal.

If people died from an unknown illness, and that was very common at the time, the question of why led to the old widow who lived with her cat on the outskirts of the village.

When a well-to-do pharmacist built a second pharmacy in the neighboring town, the social envy said it couldn't be right, and accused him of turning into a wolf and flying from one pharmacy to the next.

The church had little to do with all of this, and in the heyday of witch hunts, critical pastors were also on trial.

Christian worldviews, however, shaped the witchcraft process: The Catholic persecutors referred to the biblical sentence "You shouldn't let the wizards live", the Protestants represented the variant of the Luther Bible "You shouldn't let a witch live". For some historians, this is the reason why fewer men were murdered in witch trials in Protestant regions than in Catholic ones.

Local Christian preachers often drove the witch hunt by providing direction and guilt to the people's despair at natural disasters, disease, material ruin or the aftermath of war.

Some historians consider the religious dispute between Protestants and Catholics to be the engine of witch hunts, which at the same time served to eliminate competitors, eliminate marginalized groups or to deal with family conflicts. Accordingly, there were few witch trials in the Catholic countries of southern Europe such as Spain, Portugal or Italy because the denominational division did not provide any fuel.

Myth: The witch hunt was rampant in the dark ages

Belief in witches was widespread in antiquity and the Middle Ages, but the systematic persecution of witches by courts dates back to the early modern period, from the 15th century, with regional highlights between 1550 and 1650, especially after the Thirty Years' War and the center in Germany and the Alpine countries.

It was a time of crisis, both ideologically and materially. The Little Ice Age led to the agricultural crisis in Central Europe in the 15th century, to inflation and famines. Hail and thunderstorms became commonplace, the temperatures dropped, and people lived mainly from agriculture.

The unfavorability of nature hit her deeply. Insecurity became fear, and fear became panic. Fear, on the other hand, is looking for a way to gain control, which unfortunately often means finding a culprit for the misery.

The hungry offered a paradise for viruses and bacteria without anyone knowing about these pathogens. Up until the 18th century, the plague raged again and again and devastated Central Europe like a nuclear war.

In fact, the first plague wave from 1347-1353 led to the search for culprits. The Jews were said to have poisoned the wells, and the trauma of the masses resulted in Jewish pogroms. The first allegations of witchcraft and witchcraft also hit the Jews. Sometimes they should have met with the "Sultan of Damascus", then with a three-headed hell dog, sometimes with the devil himself.

The reputation of the Catholic clergy crumbled. In the High Middle Ages, with few exceptions, neither rulers nor ruled, neither secular nor clergy, had questioned the Christian world view and the feudal rule derived from it. Now the church apparently had no answer to the plague and agricultural disasters.

In stable times of Christian rule, the devil was merely the bad example of a fool who grotesquely tried to copy God's deeds. Now he became an omnipresent power - an anti-deity.

God seemed to have left people, but hell on earth appeared in the bump-strewn corpses that unloaded ox carts into mass graves. Actual devil cults emerged in the 16th. Many considered it sensible to ally with the bodily and thus escape the terror.

Others celebrated wild orgies, drank themselves uncontrollably, danced like crazy and copulated wildly - if the demise was imminent, they could now "let the pig out" again.

The Catholic monopoly on world interpretation broke up. On the one hand, scientists questioned essential dogmas with their findings: Hardly any intellectual believed that the earth was round or that God had created the world in 7 days. Protestantism even dissolved the Church's claim to be Catholic, that is, all-encompassing. Various heretical movements won thousands of followers.

Wars, especially the thirty-year-old between 1618 and 1648, devastated large regions of Central Europe and the destruction of the entire infrastructure was accompanied by ideological confusion.

A wide range of disasters thus bundled up and shook the mental security of the masses. It was the time of despair, as a witch-hunted book title calls it. Cults proliferated that saw the apocalypse in the immediate future.

Anthropologists know that elementary need, without a practical way out, leads to scapegoats being held responsible for controlling fear. The early modern period meant a pattern for such an emergency situation for many people. Focusing all fears in the figure of the devil and his entourage calmed the psyche. Because there was a (fictional) way out - namely to fight the devil.

In many places, witch hunts were mass hysteria, sometimes even against the will of the local rulers. So-called Veit dances, in which hundreds of people fell to the ground in ecstatic convulsions, also prove that such mass hysteria was commonplace.

In addition, there were masses of traumatized people. People experienced how mercenaries raped their women and tipped the men in the village of Jauche into their bellies. Survivors of the plague waves had seen relatives “decayed” alive. Children wandered through smoking ruins and found their parents dismembered and desecrated. Peasants were plagued by hunger, merchants lost their livelihoods, gangs of robbers occupied the forests, and the fields were unused.

Traumatization goes hand in hand with dissociations in which those affected lose the feeling for space and time as for their own bodies. Black-and-white thinking, hallucinations of monsters and condensed fear images that seem to take on real form are symptoms of the post-traumatic stress syndrome as well as the recurrence of trauma with stored triggers, which the memory connects to it. These triggers expressly rarely have anything to do with the event objectively.

If a cat scratched his face as a child, his nightmares are later about cats that jump on him, and his fears focus on the image of a cat lurking in the shade.

In a time and society in which people believed in the supernatural, these images of fear were considered real. In the early modern era, demons were not metaphors for psychological conflicts, but an existential part of reality.

Those who are familiar with traumatizations need little imagination to imagine the explosives if a traumatized society that knew nothing about psychology in the modern sense got an explanation for their suffering with the witches who were in covenant with the devil. Misunderstood trauma, legal framework and witch pogrom were conditional. The catastrophes of the early modern period burned themselves into the psyche of the people, and in the fight against the "devil bailers" they rationalized their mental disorder.

There were also material motives. Informer received part of the victim's possessions. But also non-material motives like revenge or antipathy could be excellently acted out in the witch trial. If the state authorities agreed with the denunciators, it looked bad for the accused: the dispute over a border dispute in the field flared up at the stake.

Myth: The witches were natural healers and had extensive knowledge that has been lost through the witch hunt.

This idea is also widespread in medical practice. Like shamans in indigenous cultures, the persecuted people of Europe are seen here as healers of their communities who were a thorn in the side of academic doctors because of their alternative medicine.

This narrative is particularly popular in the transition between healing practice and the esoteric belief in supersensible. Laying tarot cards, making horoscopes, calling Odin or Lilith goes hand in hand with forgotten medicinal plants from the local "witch garden".

Heinsohn and Steiger's "wise women" are based on this myth, which was very popular in the 1980s, and which the authors also incorrectly linked to modern sociological questions, namely empirical research on population policy.

In the "healing esotericism", however, different levels of the term witch of cultural anthropology, ethnology, medical and social history merge.

The word witch is derived from Hagazussa, the hedge rider, who describes a woman who acts as an intermediary between the world of spirits and humans, similar to the shaman in indigenous cultures.

There were and are women who work as healers in this sense, and presumably also existed in the early modern period.

Medicine was particularly in the country, in the 16th to 18th years still not a monopoly of academic doctors, and magic rituals, the belief in the supernatural went hand in hand with herbal medicine. V

Om shepherd, who knew which ointments disinfected the wounds from sheep to the peasant woman who used hot envelopes for sore throats and the pastor who used diarrhea to fight diarrhea, there was a wide range of folk healers.

Some of them were related to their work in court. The farmers used magical help from shepherds who claimed to be able to cast a wolf spell that kept the wolves from the herds.

When the cattle fell ill, the farmer, who believed in the shepherd's magical abilities, saw an evil shepherd's magic at work. An old-fashioned service that had to do with both magic and veterinary medicine became a witchcraft process.

In other cases, ointments, herbs, and other "medicine" provided "evidence" of the devilish practices of a "witch". Added to this was the effect of hallucinogenic plants such as henbane, thorn apple or deadly cherry, which presumably flowed into the fantasies about the flight of the witches on the broomstick and the appearances of grotesque demons.

Magical ideas were widespread in Europe, in Jewish and Christianity, among the common people as well as among the rulers, among the educated and illiterate. However, the "folk knowledge" about medicine had very little to do with the persecution of supposed witches.

The persecution of witches rather invented theological and legal faculties. The academics networked through book printing and thus these theories spread. The ideas spread at the university seeped into the population in densely populated Central Europe via the printing press, without the academic fathers of witch hunts having the slightest glimpse of the medical methods of the rural population.

Myth: 1 million to 10 million people fell victim to the witch hunt.

National Socialists and feminists, "new witches" and esotericists have outdone themselves in the past century in the number of victims of historical witchcraft persecution. Heinsohn and Steiger still assumed that about 500,000 victims, some feminists brought in the “Holocaust on women”, which was to surpass the Shoah with 9 million victims.

The organizer of the Holocaust, Heinrich Himmler, was convinced in the meantime that the "Jewish-Roman Church" had carried out the witch hunt to wipe out the "Germanic woman" and thus the existence of the "Germanic race". Numbers in the millions are also from him.

Some feminists took up the thesis in the 1980s, with the difference that the Church was not concerned with "Germanic" but generally with "women".

Heinsohn and Steiger needed their mass numbers because only in this way could they support the thesis of the extermination of wise women. Like other researchers who came to similarly high numbers, they worked with historical material, but misinterpreted it.

They extrapolated persecution hotspots to unexplored regions. Although this is still problematic today, this method did not do justice to the social structure of early modern times:

Spiritual and secular territories, princes and bishops, Protestants and Catholics, free cities and kingdoms, they all cooked their own soup.

The common superstructure that the authors of the "Wise Women" imagined did not exist in the 16th century, especially in the waves of witch trials during the Thirty Years' War, any central control that would have made projections more legitimate was erased.

Regional studies showed that the practice of witch trials in cities that were only a few tens of kilometers apart often looked very different. If dozens of women died at the stake in one city in the course of ten years, there was often no single process in the neighboring city. If a fanatic witch hunter ran his mischief in one county, another noble granted asylum to persecuted people on his territory.

Nevertheless, the witch trials were a mass phenomenon. There are many reasons for that.

1) The torture led to confessions.

2) These confessions convinced "the people" of the reality of witchcraft

3) The tortured had to betray their "accomplices". They betrayed all kinds of people they could think of to put an end to the pain.

4) Once the witch hunt was established, hardly anyone dared to criticize it because it quickly led to their own death.

5) The people in the surrounding regions became aware of the “witchcraft” and also denounced them.

The main focus of the witch trials was Thuringia, the Rhineland, Würzburg, Bamberg, Cologne with 2,000 and Mainz with 1,500 victims, Westphalia, the Valais and Scandinavia.

Systematic regional studies of historians over the past 30 years decode a total of 30,000 to 50,000 victims in the witch hunt in Europe. However, this is still the largest non-war extermination of people in Europe at the time. Only the mass murders of fascists and Stalinists in the 20th century exceeded these numbers of victims outside of the war.

Myth: Enlightenment and modernity ended the witch hunt

This myth originated in the Enlightenment of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and goes hand in hand with the idea of ​​the persecution of witches as an expression of the dark Middle Ages, as a time of superstition and backwardness that the new age of knowledge would have overcome.

Almost everything about this idea is wrong. The witch hunt was not focused on the most backward, but the most progressive regions in Europe. Only achievements of the Renaissance, namely the pressure and thus the first mass media, spread the treatises on the witch sect in Europe. Readers were the educated classes and not the illiterate.

Leading witchcraft theorists were considered intellectual luminaries of their time and taught at outstanding universities. For example, Jean Bodin, one of the most avid witch hunters, was also the founder of absolutist theory of the state, that is, the modern state.

Bourgeois historians in the 19th century, ideologically shaped by the myth of the enlightened modern age (i.e. their time), which had come into the light from the dark Middle Ages, saw Bodin as a prototype of a man torn between modern and medieval times - the founding father of the modern state was therefore involved one leg in the Middle Ages.

This idea was as popular as it was wrong: Bodin saw a major obstacle to state building in the independent behavior and common law of communities and marginalized groups, which he wanted to bring under the general control of a central state. The "witches and wizards" about whom he wrote his second major work alongside his state theory were exactly such a community for him.

Although he really believed in the devils and demons, he drew similar conclusions to modern dictators who want to keep their enemies in check under a total state. So Bodin had more in common with Robbespierre, Saddam Hussein or Stalin than with a Swabian farmer who saw a witch at work when the milk was acidic.

A general legal situation belongs to the modern state. The witch trial created a basis for this. Nicht mehr das „Verbrechen gegen die göttliche Ordnung“ stand im Mittelpunkt, sondern die Schuld des „Täters“ / der „Täterin“. Der genaue Fragenkatalog der Richter, die bis ins Detail vorgeschriebenen Methoden, das Geständnis zu erzwingen und die ebenso akribischen Vorgaben, wie welche Aufgaben der Angeklagten zu bewerten seien, waren keinesfalls „mittlelalterlich“ im verächtlich-bürgerlichen Sinne von irrational, sondern entsprachen eher Abläufen einer modernen Verwaltung.

Die Hexenverfolgung fand nicht im Mittelalter statt, und das ist kein Zufall. Sie blühte in den Umbruchprozessen von Renaissance und früher Neuzeit – die Opfer verbrannten auf den Scheiterhäufen, als Leonardo da Vinci seine Flugmaschinen erfand, John Locke den Liberalismus entwickelte und Isaac Newton die Schwerkraft entdeckte.

1782 wurde Anna Göldi in der Schweiz als Hexe getötet, und die letzten bekannten Hinrichtungen wegen Hexerei in Europa fanden 1793 statt – zur Zeit der Französischen Revolution. Da lag das Mittelalter 300 Jahre zurück.

Das Bürgertum des 19. Jahrhunderts machte, laut Adorno, die Mauern unsichtbar. Mitmenschen, die den bürgerlichen Normen nicht entsprachen, verbrannten die Bürger nicht mehr auf Scheiterhäufen, sondern steckten sie in Irren – oder Armenhäuser, in Arbeitslager und Erziehungsanstalten.

Außerdem hörte die Verfolgung von Menschen als Hexen international nicht auf – bis heute nicht. Heute verurteilen Dorfgerichte in Südafrika Menschen wegen Hexerei zum Tode, und die Opfer sterben mit benzingefüllten Autoreifen um den Hals – in Flammen. Im Kongo ermorden bewaffnete Gangs Straßenkinder, die sie für Hexen und Hexer halten; in Tansania werden Albinos wegen ihren vermeintlichen Zauberkräften geschlachtet

In Papua-Neuguinea versucht der Staat, die Hexenpogrome der Dorfbewohner zu stoppen, doch der Erfolg bleibt gering. Auch in Indien kommt es immer wieder zu Lynchmorden an vermeintlichen Hexen. In Saudi-Arabien verurteilen Richter „Hexen und Zauberer“ nach islamischen Recht mit dem Tode.

In Afrika, Mexiko, Indien, Indonesien und Malaysia wurden in den letzten 50 Jahren mehr Menschen wegen Hexerei ermordet als in der Hexenverfolgung Europas in der frühen Neuzeit, sagt der Historiker Rune Blix Hagen.

Alte Naturheilkunde

Spezialisten für Naturheilkunde? Hüterinnen alten Wissens? Weise Frauen in Einheit mit der Natur? Den Opfern der historischen Hexenverfolgung werden solche Bilder, wie sie auch in der Heilpraxis weit verbreitet sind, nicht gerecht.

Sie waren Bäuerinnen und Mägde, Kaufmannsfrauen und Bettlerinnen, Hirten, Obdachlose und Apotheker, Alte und Junge, Frauen und Männer. „Hexen“ wurden sie nur, weil eine terroristische Justiz sie dazu machte, sie folterte und ermordete für etwas, was sie nicht getan haben konnten.

Opfer der Hexenverfolgung waren also fast immer ausschließlich Opfer von Justizmorden. Zur Hexe wurde Frau, zum Werwolf wurde Mann nicht wegen einem geheimen Wissen, sondern, weil Justiz und Mob das Opfer zum Opfer machten. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


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  • Hortzitz, Nicoline (Hrsg.): Hexenwahn. Quellenschriften des 15. Jahrhunderts aus der Augsburger Staats-und Stadtbibliothek. Mit einer historischen Einführung von Gertrud Roth-Bojadzhiev, Silberburg-Verlag, 1990
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  • Sebald, Hans: Hexen damals - und heute?, Umschau, 1987
  • Walker, William T.; Sidky, Homayun: "Witchcraft, Lycanthropy, Drugs, and Disease: An Anthropological Study of the European Witch-Hunts", in: Sixteenth Century Journal, Volume 30 Issue 2, 1997,
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Video: The Trials Of The Pendle Witches Witchcraft Documentary. Timeline (July 2022).


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