a witchcraft trial naive painting by Frizztext
One of my wife’s ancestors was accused in a witchcraft trial – but lawyers saved her life. Her name: Dorothea_Becker, born 1536 | gone 1609. She was accused by the catholic church to be a witch, death sentence (by fire); but lawyers from the university of Muenster fought for her and saved her life versus the absurd trials of the Catholic Church`s “INQUISITION“. Thankfully Dorothea Becker organized a fond, to support poor students of her descendants, if they would study on the university of Muenster. The uncle of my wife Barbara Cloer-Vedder-Fritze, Carl Wigge, was one of those, who got money from Dorothea Becker. P.S.: After many years in prison, free at last, she had to pay for the food in the prison! About the level of justice during those trials, a typical test like this: They threw the woman into the water, hand in chains. Judges said: If she dies in the water, going down to the ground, then the devil called for her. But if she survives with head above the water, she is so very bad and full of sin, that even the devil does not like her: We must kill her by fire.
following the roots back, women’s line: my wife Barbara Fritze, born as Barbara Vedder – her mother Sophia Vedder, born as Cloer – her mother Maria Cloer, born as Wigge – her mother Anna Wigge, born as Bitter (living in Schoenholthausen) – further back to Dorothea Becker, wife of Franz Ab Hardt, living in Kirchhundem, in prison in Bilstein, Germany – more at https://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/witchcraft-trial/
Seven brothers and sisters (out of ten) of Anna Bitter emigrated from the small village Kirchhundem / Schoenholthausen to the United States. One of the emigrated sisters (named Kaufman, had a rent a costume business in Philadelphia) wrote many letters to Germany, one day found in an old suitcase by my mother in law Sophia Cloer-Bitter …
Non-religious lawyers won the trials versus the catholic church – and that was the beginning of a system of justice in the 16th century, developing versus absurd rites of the catholic church. It was a good idea of the saved woman Dorothea Becker to organize a foundation, helping students, isn’t it? To establish more reason in social networks …
As Mrs. Wolf (Jewish) from Amsterdam told us some years ago, she observed on the cemetery of Bad Berleburg (near Schoenholthausen and Bilstein and Kirchhundem) a youth gang with hand-guns. Target: Jewish graves. It seems, that they are still not very wise in those villages. Sometimes it is the best to escape from certain countries. They will not learn. But many of them like to join their local “Schützenverein”.
- 700 years to the day… that’s when the “Burning Times” started… (tannhauser4.wordpress.com)
- You have been invited to Coni Dubois Genealogy Research Update 2011 on Ancestry.com (conidubois.wordpress.com)
- -98 % of American Catholic Women Use Birth Control ‘Banned’ By Their Church (answersforthefaith.com)
“They threw the woman into the water, hand in chains. Judges said: If she dies in the water, going down to the ground, then the devil called for her. But if she survives with head above the water, she is so very bad and full of sin, that even the devil does not like her: We must kill her by fire”
Wow, first off may I say this is wrong.
May I say I don’t like the Catholic Church.
I was amazed at your story and Barbra and all that she endured during such a trial. It’s a family not a cult.
I remembered, Jackie, that you once have written an article about the term UNJUST. my wife’s story is another example. But non-religious lawyers won the trials versus the catholic church – and that was the beginning of a system of justice in the 16th century, developing versus absurd rites of the catholic church. It was a good idea of the saved woman Dorothea Becker to organize a foundation, helping students, isn’t it? to establish more reason in social networks …
I agree, completely. I don’t like any unjust things.
One of those, a Mr. Rosenthal, later delivered German sausage as a butcher to the White House …
as Mrs. Wolf (Jewish) from Amsterdam told us some years ago, she observed on the cemetery of Bad Berleburg (near Schoenholthausen and Bilstein and Kirchhundem) a youth gang with hand-guns. Target: Jewish graves. It seems, that they are still not very wise in those villages. Sometimes it is the best to escape from certain countries. They will not learn. But many of them like to join their local “Schützenverein”.
They had strange ideas in those days, and this was one of the worst – burning someone accused of being a ‘witch’ just because they had different religious opinions.
Great that you can go so far back in your wife’s genealogy.
Dorothea Becker was a wise woman with forethought, organizing a fund to help poor students of her descendants who wanted to study at the Muenster university who had helped her.
Very interesting post Frizztext.
thanks Barbara in Australia, for diving into those bad days of European history – I hope, you nevertheless now have time enough to dive at your beautiful beach near your home!
personen, die (von irgendwem) der hexerei beschuldigt wurden hatte keine chance:
entweder sie gestanden in der folter und wurden verbrannt oder
sie wurden als verstockte sünder mit einem stein um den hals ertränkt
die katolische kirche hat im namen der christlichen religion in einem ausgekügelten system neben der hexenverfolgung auch andere unglaubliche verbrechen verübt und bis heute dazu keine entschuldigung abgegeben
als beispiel sei der kinderkreuzzug angeführt
und dann noch der kult um den unfehlbaren papst:
welche anmaßung, dass ein mensch stellvertreter gottes sein soll
im Blog der Inderin Rita Banerji las ich:
why not arrest the pope?
als sie sich mit dem Kindsmißbrauch innerhalb der katholischen Kirche zu beschäftigen begann.
Eigentlich eine gute Idee,
um mal richtig Schwung in die Sache zu bringen 🙂
A new book is just out “The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse.” This book exposes the way the Vatican has run a secret system that protects paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world.
It asks many critical questions: Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law?
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I don’t know how I missed this one…
The witch trials are certainly not one of our prouder moments.
What a women your wife’s ancestor was. Admirable. Thank you for sharing this story where we could all read it.
Blog on …
Thanks for pointing me to this post. What a brave and resourceful woman.
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I too am a decendant of Dorthea de Hardt. It was her son Eberhardt who started the scholarship which educated young men of the family for over 300 years. Her courage to stand up to the unjust charges and the repeated torture make me very proud. She never admitted to witchcraft, and never implicated others. The prosecutor stated that they could have tortured her to her death, and she would not have given in. A woman of great faith.
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thank you for making a contact, yes she was a hero, nowadays feminists say a SHERO!