Siege of Münster

15.4.2019 kl. 18:09 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

This description of the 1534-35 siege of the Anabaptists at Münster is absolutely horrifying:

“Now everything was eaten, including hooves and intestines. Every cat and dog had long since vanished into the cooking pots, and the mice and rats that would have gone to the cats were caught and fried in the tallow from candles. River snakes, hedgehogs, sparrows, anything that moved was devoured. People ate the green bark and tender shoots of the willows that grew by the river Aa, and they ate grass. They ate chalk. They ate dried cow dung. One woman ate her still-born baby."

“Terrible maladies” resulting from famine, according to Kerssenbrück, afflicted the starving people; “their flesh decomposed and rotted” on their bones; “their skin become livid, their lips withdrawn; their eyes, fixed and round, stared from their sockets; they wandered around town, haggard and hideous, like mummies, and died by the hundred in the streets. The king had the bodies cast into large common graves, where they were dug up at night and devoured by the starving. Night and day the houses and streets resounded with moans and sobbing cries. Young men and old, women and children sank into the darkest despair.”