02-22-2012, 11:48 PM #1
German woman, burned at the stake for witchcraft 385 years ago, granted retrial
Extraordinary retrial begins of woman burned at the stake as a witch in 1627 (Daily Mail)
Katharina Henot was tried, convicted and burned at the stake in the German city of Cologne in 1627 for being a witch - one of an estimated 25,000 alleged sorcerers incinerated for practicing the dark arts in Germany in days gone by.
However, her supporters are hoping to see her name cleared of any wrongdoing in a trial which could pave the way for other similar hearings to take place.
Mrs Henot ran the local post office and attended parties in the city. Her modern-day defenders say she was tortured and burned because a political rival wanted to get his hands on her money.
Her story is well-known in Germany - there is a statue of her in the town hall in Cologne and a book was written about her.
Now Cologne council - the same body which found her guilty - is reopening her case.
Hartmut Hegeler, an evangelical priest and religious education teacher who made the request for the trial to be reheard, said: 'Katharina held her own reputation in high esteem, she would want to have it cleared.
'As Christians, we find it challenging when innocent people are executed, even if it was centuries ago.'
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