Ludwigsburg Prison Museum

This is the second of two posts about Ludwigsburg Prison Museum.  The first post dealt with capital punishment exhibits. This one deals with the museum’s corporal punishment exhibits.

Whipping Bench

A culprits head and wrists would be put in the pillory at the head of the bench. The bar at the bottom would be closed over their legs.

Hazel cane and birch rod

Prison Welcome

New prisoners were given a ‘Welcome’ of  12 to 40 strokes of the hazel rod or birch.  For example, den einfachen wilkomm of 15 strokes. If a welcome was given in public female culprits would wear ‘whipping drawers’ and be beaten with a hazel rod [see picture]. If the welcome was given in private it would be administered on the bare skin with a birch.

See ‘Nell in Bridewell’ by W Reinhard for a description of life in a 19th Century House of Correction in Germany. The welcome was in addition to any corporal punishment ordered by a court or by the prison governor. Some institutions also gave “Farewells”.

Branding irons and ‘fiddle’ for restraining neck and hands

The  fiddle, was a  restraint and punishment device used in medieval times, that saw the arms and head of the victim held in a rigid and unnatural position that over time caused terrible cramps and painful muscle strain.”

Prisoners locked into the fiddle  were also unable to sleep in a normal comfortable posture nor could they relieve themselves or tend to personal hygiene demands.

The two objects in the right hand side of the display case are branding irons.

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