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"This is the most horrible place on Earth"

(Fritz-Dieter Krawatte, 1836)

The dark years

Between 1799 and 1837 the Burg served as a Prison, and for some years it also housed the city's asylum.

One of the notorious descriptions of the cruel reality of the Burg was written by the famous author Fritz-Dieter Krawatte He had publically critizised the Grand Duke, and in 1826 he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, to be served at the Burg.

Krawatte spent 8 of those years in the asylum, but still managed to maintain his sanity. When he was released in 1836 he published a book about his experiences, "Zur Hölle und zurück" ("To hell and back").

"The Burg eats flesh, the dungeons eats our souls. I wake up to the cries from my friends in Hell, I fall asleep to the sounds of bottomless horror. This is the most horrible place on earth. Our bodies fall apart, our wounds fester and rats laugh in our faces. Only in my sleep can I find rest, only in my nightmares can I find comfort. Because even the worst nightmare is nothing compared to this."

(from "Zur Hölle und zurück" 1836)

The book created much debate, and was doubtlessly one of the reasons why the prison was closed down one year later. Some 100 years later Krawatte's fate inspired Thorbjörn Eichsmann to write his legendary poem "Flesh Frog".