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The Source:

Thomas Schürmann:
"Nachzehrerglauben in Mitteleuropa"
Marburg, 1990

The Case

So what is the story this time ? In 1622, when the plague was raging in various places, the villagers from a place called Matzen first sacrificed a plague victim to the devil in an attempt to stop the plague. They also buried another plague victim face down. Thomas Schürmann has his own ideas about the how and why. He also gives us the relevant passage (in Latin) of the monastic source material. I am not going to repeat it here as I don't want to get myself into copyright trouble and such. So I suggest that you go check out Thomas Schürmann's report for yourself.

The Date:

We have been given the year of 1622.

The Place:

Matzen used to be a seperate entity but now is part of the town of Bitburg. And Bitburg can be found in the West of Germany, North of Trier and close to the Luxemburg border.

Possible Follow-Up:

According to Thomas Schürmann these facts are based on Nikolaus Kyll's "Die Bestattung der Toten mit dem Gesicht nach unten", which was published in the "Trierer Zeitschrift für Kunst und Geschichte des Tierer Landes und seiner Nachbargebiete", 1964. Then again Nikolaus Kyll seems to have found them in some obscure manuscript from the Abbey of Prüm, the "Relationes rerum Gestarum Prumiensium conscriptae". By now you should know what to do. Don't be satisfied with 3rd-hand reports like mine. Go find those titles and follow the case to its very source.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2014

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