A court in Cologne has pardoned 38 witches, 385 years after they were sentenced to death and burnt at the stake. They will now be rehabilitated.
Cologne City Council pardoned 38 witches in a symbolic gesture on Thursday, but councillors rejected "any violation of human dignity and human rights" the Local reported. Germany's most notorious witch, Katharina Henot, was amongst those pardoned.
In February the trial of Henot was reopened in an effort to exonerate her and clear her name. Henot was sentenced to death by torture in 1627 after having been convicted of witchcraft. The Telegraph reported that Henot was tortured and then paraded through Cologne "in an open cart before being tied to a stake and burnt."
According to the Local it is likely that Henot had no connections with the occult but was charged with witchcraft by political rivals. Hartmut Hegeler, an evangelical priest who made the bid to clear Henot's name, said "Katharina held her own reputation in high esteem, she would want to have it cleared.”