Wondering about an executioner’s life? Read this guy’s diary!

Wondering about an executioner’s life? Read this guy’s diary!

Anyone looking for a bit of a dark read with some seriously interesting historical context should look no further than Franz Schmidt's personal diary.

While most diaries deal with internal struggles and personal turmoil, Schmidt's was full of death—and lots of it.

Why? He was an executioner.

Born in 1555, he became an executioner at the age of 18 under his father's supervision in Bamberg in 1573.

In 1578 he was promoted to executioner in Nuremberg where he married the chief executioner's daughter. He eventually retired after a long 45 year career in 1617 where he enjoyed the spoils of being one of the wealthiest in the town.

Throughout his career he kept a diary that accounted for all 361 executions he performs and 345 minor punishments, such as flogging or finger amputations.

The entries contain dates, place of punishment, method of executions, name, origin and details of the crime. Methods included rope, sword, breaking wheel (which occurred only twice in his career), burning and drowning. Interestingly morbid stuff!


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