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The Source:

Alfred Mede:
"Sagenbuch des Koenigreichs Sachsen"
G. Schönfeld's Verlagbuchhandung, Leipzig, 1903

The Case

In the village of Holscha, after her husband had died, an old woman drowned herself in a pond. In those days, suicides were not buried in the churchyard but handed over to the hangman. In this case, the hangman was living in Lissahora. He came over with his cart and took the corpse to the Räuberkretscham and buried her down there. But when he wanted to ride home, he found that the dead woman was sitting in his cart. This happened 2 times. Then he chopped off the woman's head with a spade and the dead woman was never seen again.

The Date:

For the moment all we can say is based on the publication date of the book. So we will file this as "before 1903".

The Place:

Both Holscha and Lissahora are places near Neschwitz, which can be found in Sachsen, NorthEast of Dresden. As to the "Räuberkretscham", "Räuber" means thieves and a "Kretscham" is something like a pub or inn. So going by its name or nickname, we could assume that the Räuberkretscham was a pub or inn with a bad reputation. Although it is also possible that it got its name from the fact that it was close to the place where the executioner buried his corpses. There is a village South of Neschwitz that is called "Dreikretscham". Could one of those 3 "Kretscham" have been the one we are looking for ?

Possible Follow-Up:

Find and read Alfred Mede's rendering of the story in his "Sagenbuch des Koenigreichs Sachsen". More Sagenbücher have been published about Sachsen. Go check them all out and see if this story gets a mention elsewhere...

© 2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed February 2012

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