Book Chapter

Germany: "The mother of the witches"


About half of all the women and men ever executed for witchcraft were German. Friedrich Spee, the great German opponent of the witch hunts, was right when he called Germany “the mother of so many the witches”. 1 Almost 25,000 people were executed for witchcraft in the German lands. Why about 50% of all the executions for witchcraft took place in Germany even though only about 20% of the total population of early modern Europe lived there is the basic question this chapter tries to answer. 2 An analysis of the catastrophic German witch hunts might help us to understand the basic patterns of witchcraft persecutions in general.

Attached files


Dillinger, Johannes

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of History, Philosophy and Culture


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-01-23

All rights reserved.

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Germany: “The mother of the witches”
This RADAR resource is Part of The Routledge history of witchcraft [ISBN:9781138782204] / edited by Johannes Dillinger (Routledge, 2019).


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