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The Source:

W. Mannhardt :
"Die praktischen Folgen des Aberglaubens"
Edition Geheimes Wissen, Graz, Austria, 2007


The Case:

I will try to translate what Mannhardt has to say:

"When the highly respected Catholic Propst became the first victim of the epidemic in Danzig's suburb St. Albrecht, soon rumors started that he had had the red mark on his face and was seen at night by the people who lived there, as a Gierhals. In the "Gaststube" of the Penneraian Brewery the workmen were already gathering to perform the superstitious acts on his corpse, and it was only with great difficulty that they were stopped".

The Date:

Sadly no date is given. But seeing as how and where Mannhardt places the case chronologically, we may assume that the events must have taken place between 1855 and 1870. My guess is that it probably happened in 1855 when there was an epidemic of cholera in the area.

The Place:

You shouldn't have any trouble finding the famous harbour town of Danzig on a map of Poland. Supposing that you know that it has been renamed to Gdansk.

Possible Follow-Up:

You could start with reading the account by Mannhardt. And then, of course, you could see if it is possible to find back the case in the old German newspapers from 1870.

© 2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2011

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