The last witch to be executed in Europe, Anna Göldi (or Göldin) could be rehabilitated. Members of canton Glarus‘ parliament have voted the measure despite the local government’s opposition to the move after lobbying by Swiss journalist Walter Hauser. Göldi was decapitated in 1782 after being sentenced for poisoning her employer’s child, although the heart of the trial was her alleged involvement in witchcraft. The court is believed to have wanted to avoid the embarrassment of an official witch trial. Arrested in 1782, she had confessed to have acted in the Devil’s name, albeit after undergoing torture. The canton’s government, backed by the Protestant Church, had refused rehabilitation, reasoning that 225 years after the fact it could not take any responsibility for what happened, even if there had been a miscarriage of justice.
Posted on Nov 8, 2007 by swissjourno