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The Source:

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


The Case:

It's a rather unpleasant case, I admit. But it did happen.

In March 1877, in the village of Heidemühl, in the Schlochau district, the corpse of a child that had not been dead for long, was hacked to pieces in its grave. And I will quote: "aus dem bekannten Gründe und nach gewohnter Weise" which translates into "for the well-known reason and in the usual manner". A piece of the corpse's flesh was fed to a sick child by way of medication.

The Date:

The event is reported to have taken place in March 1877.

The Place:

"Heidemühl" seems to have been renamed to "Borowy Mlyn". There are several Polish places that are called "Borowy Mlyn", so take your pick. My bet is on the one you can find about 40km to the North of Schlochau. And obviously Schlochau has been renamed as well. It is now called Czluchow.

Personal Comments:

Personally I found the casual remark "aus dem bekannten Gründe und nach gewohnter Weise" rather shocking. It implies, or at least suggests, that this was common practice rather than an exceptional incident.

Possible Follow-Up:

Read the account by Mannhardt. Try to find the original magazine version. If I'm not mistaken Schlochau is Kashub territory. make sure that this is true. And if it is, then see what else you can dig up about these kind of superstitions among the Kashubians.

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

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