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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rothenburg-Criminal and Punishment Museum

Rothenburg Criminal and Punishment Museum:  This museum was great.  It specializes in everything connected to medieval criminal justice.  You can learn about medieval police, criminal law and above all, instruments of punishment and torture.  A person could literally spend all day here learning about justice during medieval times.

As a general rule, there were 5 degrees of torture when getting an accused person to confess his/her crimes.  First degree--threat of torture, Second degree--escort to the torture chamber, Third degree--undressing and binding, Fourth degree--hoisting for a period of time, Fifth degree--different methods such thumb screws, leg screws, whipping, Spanish Boot, stretching, lifting with weights

The people believed in witches.  Witchery was considered to be a pact with the devil.  Witches were in a position to harm other people--even death.  Most with prosecution took place in the 16-17th centuries.

The punishment was a payback of the crime.  The punishments were harsh in order to scare people and discourage them from committing crimes.

A person could be sentenced to death by various methods, depending on the crime.
Child Murder-Drowning
Theft (value over 5 gulden)-Hanging
Counterfeiting-Boiling or Fire
Witchery-Burning or Drowning
Treason, Incest, Bigamy, Blasphemy, and Heresy were also punishable by death

Prisoner wagon
Dunking cage
The criminal in the stocks
Interrogation chair for witch trials
A type of rack
The rack
Another interrogation chair with an adjustable pointed 
screw--which would go into the back of the head
The Iron Virgin--a coat of disgrace and punishment for sinful women and girls
Drinker's Barrel--used for men who drank too much
Posts for public punishment
Looking down the barrel of a canon
Various instruments of torture-Body Irons, Body Hopp, 
Double Leg Screws, Head Truss, Boot with Screws
Various instruments of torture-Finger Screws, Thumbscrew, Tongue Screw, Mouth Pear
Two types of thumbscrews
Executioner's Axe
Chopping block and executioner's axe
Swords used by executioners
Executioner's sword and axe

Double-Neck Violin for quarrelsome women.  The two women 
were locked together until they could get along with each other.

Single Neck Violin
Gambler's Necklace or a Chain for Cheating--used for cheating at cards or dice.  The accused was forced to stand at the pillory in town.  It was illegal to bet more than a person had on his person (including clothes).
Mask of Shame for gossiping women (and men)
Mask of Shame-this mask has a mustache, horn and openings on the sides for the attachment of chicken feather (symbolizing the lack of sexual restraint).  Bells on the top would alert others of the wearers presence as he passed by.
Mask of Shame--with a pig snout indicating that the wearer was acting like a pig
Mask of Shame

Mask of Shame
Flute of disgrace for poor musicians
Chastity belts--used to force a wife to remain faithful to her husband while he was away.  Also used while a women was traveling alone or in a dangerous area where rape was possible.

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