...it was considered “light”

Water Torture

In order to best carry out this form of torture, the accused was placed on a kind of "rack" that consisted, in one of its forms, of a large table with a raised center.

After tying the hands and feet of the victim to the edges of this table, the torturer proceeded with his work in one of several ways. One of these methods involved forcing the victim to swallow large amounts of water with the help of a funnel, then striking his swollen and arched abdomen repeatedly with heavy blows. Another form of water torture involved inserting a cloth tube into the mouth of the victim, forcing it as deep as possible into his throat. The tube was then filled slowly with water, swelling up and choking the victim. If that weren't enough, the tube would then be pulled violently from the victim's throat, causing internal abrasions, only to be inserted again and the process repeated. The final version uses a stream of water. In this case, the individual being tortured would be placed naked on a table and, for hours and hours, would be sprayed with a fine jet of ice cold water. It's interesting to note that this form of torture, in all of its variations, was considered "light," and any eventual confession obtained through this technique was considered by the courts to be "spontaneous" and obtained without the application of torture.

...with feet stuck in wooden logs

The Throne

This instrument was made of a pillory-chair, sarcastically called THRONE. The victim was put upside down, with feet blocked with wooden blocks.

Such torture was a favourite one among those judges who wanted to stick to the law. In fact, the legislation that regulated the use of torture, permitted just one session during the interrogation. In spite of this, the majority of judges disregarded this rule, calling the following session just a continuation of the first one. The use of the THRONE allowed to declare just one session even if it lasted ten days. Since the prolonged use of the THRONE did not leave permanent signes on the victim body, it was very apt to a long use. It is to point out that sometimes, together with this punishment were carried out on the prisoner also the torture of water and white-irons.

... Very sharp spines fluttered the body of the unfortunate

The Virgin of Nuremberg

The idea of mechanizing torture was born in Germany and it was there that the "Virgin of Nuremberg" has its origins.

It got its name from the fact that its exterior resembled a Bavarian girl, and also because its prototype was constructed and first used in the underground tunnels of the secret courthouse of Nuremberg. The condemned was locked up inside it, where sharp blades pierced his body. The blades were positioned in a manner so that, even though they penetrated various parts of the body, they did not rupture any vital organs, ensuring a long and agonizing period of suffering. The first account of an execution with the "Virgin" dates back to 1515 and was detailed by G. Freytag in his book "Bilder aus der deutschen vergangenheit" which related the punishments inflicted on a counterfeiter who survived three days inside the "sarcophagus" amidst terrible spasms.

List of Torture Instruments on Exhibition