Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Weidmann, la dernière exécution publique par guillotine

Exécution E. Weidmann guillotine Versailles
Recent press articles about the death penalty have caught VDP's attention regarding the last public execution by guillotine in France, on 17 June 1939. If you look closely at the doorway on the right... and compare it with the photo below which appeared on VDP on 13 January 2010 (click here to see the original post), you'll notice it's the same... The door is now the entrance of the assize court, where popular juries hear and judge crime cases, but was, at the time, Saint Pierre prison. Meet Eugen Weidmann, a German criminal who, along with two French cronies, specialised in kidnapping to rob and kill. His victim count amounted to six murders... From then on, executions ceased to be public and became private until the last one in 1977. The death penalty was abolished in 1981. Not for the fainthearted, you can see a video by clicking here, which actually shows interesting views of Versailles in 1939 (stop at 0:34 if you don't want to see the beheading!) One of France's most famous serial killers, Landru, who claimed eleven lives, was also executed here in 1922...

De récents articles dans la presse au sujet de la peine de mort ont attiré l'attention de VDP sur la dernière exécution publique par guillotine en France, le 17 juin 1939. Si vous regardez bien le portail sur la droite de la photo ci-dessus, vous reconnaîtrez l'entrée de l'actuelle Cour d'assises, qui était à l'époque la prison Saint Pierre. La photo ci-dessous, VDP vous la montrait à l'origine le 13 janvier 2010 sur ce blog (cliquez ici pour voir le billet). Le condamné à mort était Eugène Weidmann, un criminel allemand qui s'était fait une spécialité de kidnapper pour dérober puis tuer. A son actif ? Six meurtres. A partir de là, et sur décision de Daladier, les exécutions devinrent privées jusqu'à la dernière en 1977 et l'abolition de la peine de mort en 1981. Vous pouvez consulter une vidéo de l'exécution en cliquant ici, on y voit la rue Clémenceau... Landru, fut également exécuté ici en 1922...

Cour d'assises de Versailles
Guillotine in Versailles Weidmann execution
Guillotine in Versailles Weidmann execution
Eugène Weidmann
Eugène Weidmann
Henri Désiré Landru
Henri Désiré Landru

14 comments:

William Kendall said...

And of course I just had to watch the video. A beautiful entrance!

Geoff Wilkinson said...

Yes I had to watch as well....a bit speechless really....

Michelle said...

I also had to watch the video. I too, am a bit speechless.

Bob Crowe said...

I would never have guessed the event was so recent. No thank you to the video. Western Europe is far ahead of this benighted country on the matter.

Revrunner said...

Gruesome! Testimony to man's incredible cruelty.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Thanks for the warning Ciel :) You just can't tell by the way a person looks, I mean Wiedmann doesn't look like a killer, he looks quite charming.. A bit like Ted Bundy I guess!

Taken For Granted said...

Thank you for this post. I was unaware of the history of public execution in France. Was surprised it was so recent, just prior to WW II. France is way ahead of the U.S.A. on outlawing the death penalty. BTW, my old friend, S. Clay Wilson (San Francisco underground cartoonist) did a series about a murderer he called named Dr. Weedman who was likely based on this same German mass murderer.

Tanya Breese said...

such an interesting post...i can never understand how people can be so evil.

joo said...

Really interesting...and I love the door (now!)

Sharon Anck said...

I'm with Bob, I had no idea this was done so recently. I also agree with Grace. That guy doesn't really look like a serial killer. You just never know!

VP said...

Public executions are unthinkable now, but there is still a lot of bad guys around who really deserve a lethal injection or something like that.

Wayne said...

I watched the video, I'm not sure how to express my reaction (but I am still in a confused state of mind). It's hard to imagine the execution was carried out so close to that door; imagine the people who have walked there since.

RedPat said...

I skipped the video! ;-)

Halcyon said...

Pretty gruesome!