Iconic Images of Human Rights Violations (158): The Last Public Execution in France

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capital punishment / iconic images of human rights violations / law / photography and journalism

Eugen Weidmann (1908-1939) was the last person to be publicly executed in France in June 1939. He was guilty of multiple murders. Executions by guillotine in France continued in private until September 10, 1977, when Hamida Djandoubi was the last person to be executed.

Weidmann’s execution was photographed and even filmed. Here are some of the photographs:

24 Jun 1939, Versailles, France. Shirt pulled down over his shoulders to prevent interference with the guillotine's knife, Eugene Weidmann is being led into the courtyard of Saint Pierre Prison in Versailles to his execution on the guillotine. The basket which was to receive his dead body is shown (partially) at left.

24 Jun 1939, Versailles, France. Shirt pulled down over his shoulders to prevent interference with the guillotine’s knife, Eugene Weidmann is being led into the courtyard of Saint Pierre Prison in Versailles to his execution on the guillotine. The basket which was to receive his dead body is shown (partially) at left.

Here he is being put on the table and held by his feet

Here he is being put on the table and held by his feet

Eugen Weidmann execution

Here’s the film (careful: it’s upsetting):

This is the man in better times:

weidmann

For comparison: the U.S. performed it’s last public execution three years earlier, in 1936, and is of course still killing criminals in this day and age.

More on capital punishment. More iconic images of human rights violations.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: this day in history: Last Public Execution in France (1939) | euzicasa

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