The Jews of Cologne burnt alive
From a Woodcut in the "Liber Chronicarum Mundi:" large folio, Nuremberg, 1493.
In 1370, the people of Brussels were startled in consequence of the statements of a Jewess, who accused her co-religionists of having made her carry a pyx full of stolen hosts to the Jews of Cologne, for the purpose of submitting them to the most horrible profanations. The woman added, that the Jews having pierced these hosts with sticks and knives, such a quantity of blood poured from them that the culprits were struck with terror, and concealed themselves in their quarter. The Jews were all imprisoned, tortured, and burnt alive. In order to perpetuate the memory of the miracle of the bleeding hosts, an annual procession took place, which was the origin of the great kermesse, or annual fair.
A more refined form of torture was to bind a coolie's left wrist with a piece of fine rope, which was then put through a ring in a beam about nine feet from the ground. This rope was then made taut, so that the unhappy coolie, with his left arm pulled up perpendicularly, had to stand on his tip-toes. In this position he was kept, as a rule, for two hours, during which time, if he tried to get down on his heels, he must dangle in the air, hanging from the left wrist.
In another form of flogging practised, a short bamboo was used. The coolie would strip to the waist and go down on his knees with his head on the floor. His castigator would then squat beside him, and strike him across the shoulders with lightning rapidity. The blows, though apparently light, always fell on the one spot, and raised a large red weal before cutting the flesh. During the first quarter of this year no fewer than fifty-six coolies were whipped, after 8 p.m. one evening, at the Witwatersrand Mine, the dose varying from five to fifteen strokes.
Every mine has its lock-up for malingerers, deserters, and others. At the Witwatersrand the coolies are handcuffed over a horizontal beam.
The floor is of concrete, and they may sit down, but the beam is so far from the floor that it is impossible for any but exceptionally tall men to sit while handcuffed. They must therefore squat, and for a change raise themselves in a semi-standing posture.
All the measures taken by the Government and the mine owners to prevent desertion have proved ineffective. The country around the Witwatersrand Mines has taken upon itself the aspect of the whole of the colony during the late war. Mounted constables with loaded revolvers organize drives. The whole district is patrolled, and every effort is made to bring back the deserters to the compounds. But as soon as one lot has returned another escapes. Every day you may see a mounted policeman riding down towards the law courts, followed by a string of Chinese deserters.