The Guillotine has appeared in the Middle Ages. The name “guillotine” dates back to the late 18th century or the French Revolution, but a similar machine has existed for several centuries, and was used in Germany and Flanders, and in England there was a known “hanging out of Halifax” which is supposed to have been used to cut the heads of the convicts from antiquity. The achievement of the French Guillotine was inspired by two early mechanisms: Renaissance Italy Mannaia, and Scotland’s “The Maiden”, which supposedly took the lives of over 120 people in just two centuries. There is evidence to show that a more primitive form of the guillotine has been used since the Middle Ages on French territory.
It was originally intended to be a more human form of execution. In 1789, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed to the French government to adopt a more “mild” form of execution for the convicts. Although Guillotin was against the death penalty, Guillotin pleaded for beheading, arguing that it was a more humane and faster way than a sword or decapitation with the ax, which often failed. Later, he monitored the development of the first prototype, conducted by royal court doctor Antoine Louis and piano maker Tobias Schmidt. The device had its first victim in April 1792, and was immediately known as the “guillotine” to the horror of the alleged inventor. Although Guillotin, through his idea, only attempted to alleviate the sufferings of the condemned to death, he wanted to distance himself from the hysteria produced by the apparatus in the 1790s, and his family filed a petition to the government to change the name, but without any result .
At the end of the eighteenth century, during Jacob’s terror, thousands of “enemies of the French Revolution” saw their end in the guillotine tales. Some audiences complained that the mechanism was too fast and could not enjoy a longer “show”. People came with the hundreds in the Concorde Guillotine-2Place, the place of the revolution, to watch the morbid show. The guillotine had become a real muse, being worshiped songs, poems and jokes. Spectators could buy souvenirs, and before the executions, while reading the victims’ names list, they could take a small snack at the nearby restaurant, “Cabaret de la Guillotine”. Some people came daily – “Tricoteuses” being a group of women who lived near the esophodus and during the breaks between the executions knit. The show extended to convicts, many of them dancing as they climbed the scaffolding stairs, saying jokes or giving the crowd the last words. The fascination of the guillotine diminished at the end of the nineteenth century, but public executions continued in France until the 20th century.
Since the beginning of the guillotines, speculations on the heads have varied. The debates peaked in 1793 when a coward gave him a slap on the face of a convict after his head had been cut off, and the people in the audience claimed that the cheeks of the man were reddened by rage. Later, doctors ask the convicts to try to blink or leave an open eye after execution to prove that they can still move. These horrible experiments were ended in the thirteenth century, but studies conducted on laboratory mice showed that brain activity continued for four seconds after decapitation. Although it is associated with the French Revolution, the guillotine has taken as many lives in Germany as the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler made guillotine an official method of execution during the 1930s, and ordered that 20 such devices be located in different German cities. According to Nazi documents, the guillotine killed over 16,500 people between 1933 and 1945, many of whom were fighters in resistance and dissident politics. Guillotine was the method of France for the death penalty until the end of the twentieth century. Criminal Hamida Djandoubi was the last guilty guilty man who was executed in 1977. However, the guilty years have officially ended in September 1981, when France finally abolished the death penalty. The guillotine saw its end after 189 years of terror.