• Sign up or login, and you'll have full access to opportunities of forum.

Judicial Corporal Punishment Of Women: Stories And Novels

Go to CruxDreams.com

Jon Smithie

Governor
Jon, many thanks for this translation!
This museum really exists and there is even a site.
Here is the mentioned punishment bench, or "der Württemberg Prügelbock".
OMG, Elephas, this is awesome! I had no idea the story was based in reality!

I was having a hard time picturing the device in my mind. I assumed (best guess) that it was a whipping horse, like those used in England, since the translation mentioned the imprints of feet. But I obviously I locked into that assumption way too quickly. I couldn't really visualize how the ankle stocks worked, and the rails, and what was meant exactly by tightening up the buttocks. The picture, of course, makes it perfectly clear. Still don't know how the footprints got there, but whatever. I just had a thought--I wonder if it meant the "feet" of the bench? I had to go back and take a look at it. Here's the auto translate:

- Do you see? Here stood the severe frost. If they look closely, they can see the imprint of the four feet on the floor. Whoever was beaten on this writhed in despair as much as the iron ankle and wristbands and the strap that clenched his waist allowed.

So obviously yes, it's the feet of the bench. And just as a note, masculine pronouns were routinely substituted in the translation where it was clear a feminine pronoun was meant. It was interesting that the device (I assume) was frequently referred to as a "frost." And (again, I think) that it was also referred to as "The God," or the "The Goddess." as in:

They noticed that a perpetrator would go to the case for a longer time than to the prison for a shorter time. There the God waited for them, and the judges took the opportunity that the women feared a monster from the whiplash falling on their naked buttocks.

Of course, those were other, tougher times, and we must not forget that the austere Goddess must have been such an awful beating that the sacrifice will never forget. And so this woman had to put up with what was tailored.


The above is pretty clear. But at times the auto translation from Hungarian to English was completely bewildering. Any suggestions from anyone on good auto translate programs would be welcome.

I checked out the website and discovered that Ludwigsburg is just north of Stuttgart. I've been to Stuttgart many years ago and had a great time there. Had I only known about Ludwigsburg, though, I might still be there, sigh.
 
Last edited:

nsur1

Onlooker
This drawing may help in visualising how this whipping bench would work in practice -- slightly different design but clearly the same idea. I don't know the name of the artist -- there are 12 of his drawings circulating online, none credited -- but from the style and the backgrounds I've always assumed he (or she?) was Austrian or Southern German.

1909027555.jpg
 

elephas

Tribune
This drawing may help in visualising how this whipping bench would work in practice -- slightly different design but clearly the same idea. I don't know the name of the artist -- there are 12 of his drawings circulating online, none credited -- but from the style and the backgrounds I've always assumed he (or she?) was Austrian or Southern German.

View attachment 873211
This artist is known as Prue.
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
It was argubaly more humiliating as she was entirely innocent and the punishment came out of the blue, without any sort of formal trial: dragged out of her respectable father's home by soldiers, forcibly stripped and examined for virginity in jail (which she passed, but which didn't save her), then strung up on the whipping post outside her own home in front of all her neighbours and her father's parishioners, presumably stripped at least to the waist and whipped to the blood until she was lifeless. Revived and dragged by cart to the Town Hall on the other side of the main square, where she was strung up and flogged again, and again -- again -- again -- and yet again in another four places around the perimeter of Potsdam to make sure every lowlife in town has had the chance to gawk at her nudity and hear her screams. Half-dead she is then flung onto the cart and delivered for lifelong incarceration to the workhouse in Spandau, a prison set up for fallen women and whores who are forced to spin wool for 12-15 hours a day, with constant abuse, humiliation and punishments by cruel jailers.
What's interesting about Doris Ritter's fate is that she made a return to honorable society, married well, gave birth to six children and was so much a part of European respectable society that Voltaire actually put down a brief description of her later in life, describing her as a 'tall, gaunt woman akin to a Sibyl'.
Now of course marriages in that class and age often had a transactional aspect and maybe one condition of her being accepted as wife after her fall from grace was a regular, but secret 'reenactment' of her ordeal with the husband ...
 

nsur1

Onlooker
What's interesting about Doris Ritter's fate is that she made a return to honorable society, married well, gave birth to six children and was so much a part of European respectable society that Voltaire actually put down a brief description of her later in life, describing her as a 'tall, gaunt woman akin to a Sibyl'.
I'm not sure I would describe her post-incarceration life in quite as rosy terms. Full details are given in the PDF of the book chapter I have posted above (in German only, I'm afraid), according to which she made a much less respectable match than her sisters (her husband ran a marginal haulage business), and lived on the breadline at the edges of respectable society thereafter. King Frederick II, her supposed "lover" who caused her ordeal, made very little effort to rectify it -- she was given a desultory pension and her husband was given a meaningless appointment as haulier to the court which made him effectively no money and little prestige. Voltaire did indeed visit her, but mainly out of a ghoulish attraction to her notoriety, not because he met her at Court (where she was never admitted) -- it is very clear from his description that he was going slumming when he went to her house. His description of Doris is far from flattering. He called her piano playing atrocious and said that from her ugly figure you would never have thought her to be a woman who was flogged for attracting a Prince. Of course, this visit happened more than twenty years after her flogging and incarceration, and will not reflect what she looked like at sixteen. Three years in a Bridewell-like Spinnhaus are likely to have left their marks on the poor woman, and in those days women of fourty were likely to look much more aged and haggard than today, especially if they have had a hard life.

Voltaire, incidentally, is the only source for the suggestion that the King forced Crown Prince Frederick to witness the flogging. Most other sources put Frederick in a remote jail cell far from Postdam that day, and it may be that Voltaire embellished his account, or conflated it with the established historical fact that the King forced Frederick to witness the beheading of his best friend and co-conspirator Katte a few days later.
 

nsur1

Onlooker
Oh, absolutely.

I also suspect Voltaire may have embellished his description of her poverty-stricken household somewhat for effect. After all, in order for him to say that her piano-playing was atrocious, he must have heard her play. Pianos were expensive in the 1750s! Still, Frederick II doesn't come out of all of this very well. Even in the day, people thought his treatment of Doris to be particularly ungrateful and shabby.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
What's interesting about Doris Ritter's fate is that she made a return to honorable society, married well, gave birth to six children and was so much a part of European respectable society that Voltaire actually put down a brief description of her later in life, describing her as a 'tall, gaunt woman akin to a Sibyl'.
Now of course marriages in that class and age often had a transactional aspect and maybe one condition of her being accepted as wife after her fall from grace was a regular, but secret 'reenactment' of her ordeal with the husband ...
So maybe Sanjay acted in haste by divorcing Priya...;)
 

Venom

Condemned
I'm not sure I would describe her post-incarceration life in quite as rosy terms. Full details are given in the PDF of the book chapter I have posted above (in German only, I'm afraid), according to which she made a much less respectable match than her sisters (her husband ran a marginal haulage business), and lived on the breadline at the edges of respectable society thereafter. King Frederick II, her supposed "lover" who caused her ordeal, made very little effort to rectify it -- she was given a desultory pension and her husband was given a meaningless appointment as haulier to the court which made him effectively no money and little prestige. Voltaire did indeed visit her, but mainly out of a ghoulish attraction to her notoriety, not because he met her at Court (where she was never admitted) -- it is very clear from his description that he was going slumming when he went to her house. His description of Doris is far from flattering. He called her piano playing atrocious and said that from her ugly figure you would never have thought her to be a woman who was flogged for attracting a Prince. Of course, this visit happened more than twenty years after her flogging and incarceration, and will not reflect what she looked like at sixteen. Three years in a Bridewell-like Spinnhaus are likely to have left their marks on the poor woman, and in those days women of fourty were likely to look much more aged and haggard than today, especially if they have had a hard life.

Voltaire, incidentally, is the only source for the suggestion that the King forced Crown Prince Frederick to witness the flogging. Most other sources put Frederick in a remote jail cell far from Postdam that day, and it may be that Voltaire embellished his account, or conflated it with the established historical fact that the King forced Frederick to witness the beheading of his best friend and co-conspirator Katte a few days later.

I have only just learnt about the sad story of Doris Ritter through this thread (thank you, elephas), but knew that Frederick had been made to watch his friend being executed. It is widely believed that this episode led to the abolishment of torture in Prussia by Frederick as a king.
 
I agree with you: Doris was too young and innocent, her punishment was absolutely undeserved, so don't go too deep into details. But we can imagine such a story not as a historical event, but as a fantasy in a kingdom reminiscent of old Prussia, where the girl would be somewhat older, and for such a harsh sentence there would be more "solid grounds". That could be a good JCP storyline.
Also I would like to ask you, what interesting JCP stories in German do you know?
There are many ways to reimagine how Doris Ritter's punishment was carried out. Perhaps she might have been sentenced to more than just a public whipping....
 

Attachments

More scenes from the past of public whipping. Doris Ritter was not alone.
 

Attachments

Top Bottom