Bob Dylan on the Train from Dublin to Belfast, Ireland, 1966
Barry Feinstein

Photos by Maggie Famiglietti

Last Public Execution by Guillotine, 1939.

Public executions aren’t some ancient historical footnote. Many countries still regularly decapitated criminals publicly less than a century ago. Above, we can see the guillotine’s blade about to claim the head of Eugen Weidmann. Weidmann was a robber and a murderer before he eventually got caught and sentenced to death. On June 17, 1939, entire crowds turned up to see the gory spectacle.
Why would they turn up to witness such a macabre display? Back then, authorities used public executions to make examples of the condemned. Parents would drag their children along to see, saying something along the lines of, “See what happens to people who disobey!” People also came for the entertainment value. We go to the zoo or to sports games, while the French would go to see public beheadings for fun.
This picture ended up being so controversial that the government only allowed executions behind closed doors following its publication. The times had indeed changed—instead of viewing them as having a “moralizing effect,” public executions were viewed as uncivilized and barbaric. The guillotines were then operated out of the public eye until 1977, when the country abolished capital punishment. All the devices then found themselves stashed away in museums. (x)

04/10/13 - dreams

(Source: edwardandrew)

Robert, Ted and John Kennedy, August 28, 1963.

A Red Army soldier marches a German soldier into captivity. Battle of Stalingrad, January 1943. 


Rival Mob

First Unitarian Church