Skip to comments.Swiss Memorial to Atone for Killing of 'Witch' in Age of Enlightenment
Posted on 06/13/2014 6:36:43 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The Swiss town that ordered Europe's last execution for witchcraft will unveil a memorial on Friday for the woman beheaded more than 200 years ago, accused of bewitching a child.
Servant Anna Goeldi was denounced as a witch after her employer's eight-year-old daughter fell ill and began spitting up pins during fits of coughing, according to documents in the local archives.
Authorities in Glarus, central Switzerland, became convinced Goeldi was a witch after she later appeared to cure the child using supernatural powers.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Maybe...just maybe...she’d been feeding pins to the poor child.
That was my first thought!
And maybe the child was disturbed and swallowed pins.
‘Well that just makes my whole day. But in the same sense, let’s not forget the 100 million who were killed by communist atheists in just the last century alone.”
Well, that’s a bit different. The communists had a goal of “progress,” so all was good! /sarcasm
I take it that they didn’t have many problems with witches when they got rid of this one?
Did her witchly cure involve no longer feeding pins to the child?
This was not exactly a witch hunt in any hollywood sense.
The notion of "witchhunts" in the Hollywood sense are misunderstood as well. The Crucible was written before McCarthy's rise AND there WERE witches in that story.
The Communists' plea was that there was nothing inherently evil about being a Communist/witch. The Crucible also made that point that it is shaky ground to take the word of a "criminal" to implicate someone else.
There are partisan witchhunts today (look at the IRS and now FBI investigations of tea party activists). Hollywood Reds don't give a DemocRat's behind.
The Crucible was written in 1953.
The Crucible is a 1953 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists. Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of "contempt of Congress" for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended...
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism." The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression against communists, as well as a fear campaign spreading paranoia of their influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, "McCarthyism" soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries...
In 1952, Kazan appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); unwilling to risk his promising career in Hollywood for the Communist cause that he had come to despise, Kazan named eight members of the Group Theatre, including Clifford Odets, Paula Strasberg, Lillian Hellman, J. Edward Bromberg, and John Garfield, who in recent years had been fellow members of the Communist Party.
After speaking with Kazan about his testimony Miller traveled to Salem, Massachusetts to research the witch trials of 1692.
The Crucible, in which Miller likened the situation with the House Un-American Activities Committee to the witch hunt in Salem in 1692, opened at the Beck Theatre on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Though widely considered only somewhat successful at the time of its initial release, today The Crucible is Miller's most frequently produced work throughout the world and was adapted into an opera by Robert Ward, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1962. Miller and Kazan were close friends throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, but after Kazan's testimony to the HUAC, the pair's friendship ended, and they did not speak to each other for the next ten years. The HUAC took an interest in Miller himself not long after The Crucible opened, denying him a passport to attend the play's London opening in 1954. Kazan defended his own actions through his film On the Waterfront, in which a dockworker heroically testifies against a corrupt union boss.
Miller's experience with the HUAC affected him throughout his life. In the late 1970s he became very interested in the highly publicized Barbara Gibbons murder case, in which Gibbons' son Peter Reilly was convicted of his mother's murder based on what many felt was a coerced confession and little other evidence. City Confidential, an A&E Network series, produced an episode about the murder, postulating that part of the reason Miller took such an active interest (including supporting Reilly's defense and using his own celebrity to bring attention to Reilly's plight) was because he had felt similarly persecuted in his run-ins with the HUAC. He sympathized with Reilly, whom he firmly believed to be innocent and to have been railroaded by the Connecticut State Police and the Attorney General who had initially prosecuted the case.
Miller himself has said it wasn’t about McCarthy. The House Committee on Un-American Activities started investigations in the 1930s and the post-war 1940s saw US Communists getting investigated as the Cold War got underway (and the Soviets conquered the lands freed from Nazi rule).
Today the IRS commits Un-American activities against Tea Party groups and the media yawns.
LIFE AND LETTERS
about the inspiration for and influence of Miller's play, "The Crucible," a reflection of the Communist witchhunts of its time.
Miller recalled the source of his creation while watching the filming of the new movie of "The Crucible." When he wrote it, Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Comittee on Un- American Activites were prosecuting alleged Communists from the State Department to Hollywood; the Red hunt was becoming the dominant fixation of the American psyche.
Miller did not know how to deal with the enormities of the situation in a play. "The Crucible" was an act of desperation; Miller was fearful of being identified as a covert Communist if he should protest too strongly.
He could not find a point of moral reference in contemporary society. Miller found his subject while reading Charles W. Upham's 1867 two-volume study of the 1692 Salem witch trials, which shed light on the personal relationships behind the trials. Miller went to Salem in 1952 and read transcripts.
He began to reconstruct the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams, who would become the central characters in "The Crucible." He related to John Proctor, who, in spite of an imperfect character, was able to fight the madness around him. The Salem court had moved to admit "spectral evidence" as proof of guilt; as in 1952, the question was not the acts of an accused but his thoughts and intentions. Miller understood the universal experience of being unable to believe that the state has lost its mind...
I agree with you there.
Here’s the link to the New Yorker article:
I’ve looked before, I can try to dig it up again sometime. Search engines aren’t as good as they once were. Articles older than 2 years don’t turn up in matches so much anymore.
And the Commie sympathizers can hem and haw all they want about it, they were associating with card carrying Communists, some who knew that they were serving at the call of Soviet Russia.
They can say that they didn’t know how bad Uncle Joe Stalin was, but their moral outrage is misdirected.
McCarthy wasn’t the evil demon that I was taught he was in school. It wasn’t until I joined Free Republic that I learned the truth.
In the New Yorker article, he clocks it at 1950 that he began wanting to write something about Red hunts.
It isn’t the article where he discussed academic discussions of his piece.
And I found this too.
At a point, some of the “recollections” have shifted to “print the myth” accounts of how “it happened”.
And it wasn’t in this either..
We Now Know - The Myth of McCarthyism (Exposes Arthur Miller)
The New Criterion ^ | September 2000
This was not exactly a witch hunt in any hollywood sense.
What exactly do you say it was ?
"Miller did not know how to deal with the enormities of the situation in a play. "The Crucible" was an act of desperation; Miller was fearful of being identified as a covert Communist if he should protest too strongly."
I believe that Miller found a perfect vehicle for what he feared in the Salem witch trials.
Here’s another take on it:
“For nearly six decades, Miller has been creating characters that wrestle with power conflicts, personal and social responsibility, the repercussions of past actions, and the twin poles of guilt and hope. In his writing and in his role in public life, Miller articulates his profound political and moral convictions. He once said he thought theater could “change the world.” The Crucible, which premiered in 1953, is a fictionalization of the Salem witch-hunts of 1692, but it also deals in an allegorical manner with the House Un-American Activities Committee. In a note to the play, Miller writes, “A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence.”
Imho, this play has had a profound and damaging effect on the political climate of this country.