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

Artistic depiction of the execution by burning...

Image via Wikipedia

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”.

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