Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Quoting Wikipedia: "The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer Hamida Djandoubi on September 10, 1977."

What happened next? Have they been dismounted? This does not seem really plausible because of their importance in French history. I suppose a couple of them are in history museum, but what about the others?

share|improve this question
3  
They use them to make the fries now. ;-) –  T.E.D. Apr 23 '12 at 18:45
add comment

1 Answer

Yes, all guillotines have been dismounted. Public executions are no longer popular, and even the memory of them is not something most people want to face. While executions were originally public, they gradually became less so: execution times changed over the 19th century to happen in the dead of the night, then at dawn; in 1939 (a lot later than in most other European countries) the law requiring executions to be public was repealed and executions were henceforth held in prisons.

Nowadays, you'll find guillotines in museums or in private collections throughout the world. The French Wikipedia article gives the whereabouts of a few of them. This is not an exhaustive list by any means.

According to this thread, the last guillotine that was in operation is now in the Gendarmerie school in Fontainebleau (not publicly accessible).

share|improve this answer
1  
I think you mean repealed and not repelled here. –  Noldorin Nov 11 '11 at 4:17
3  
Public executions used to be the norm all over Europe. The UK stopped public executions and then switched to more effecient hangings which would break the neck quickly rather than strangle the victim. Strangelation is good for showing off, but if you're doing it private you want a clean job. –  Rory Nov 11 '11 at 10:08
1  
Do you have a source (french or english) for your statement: "Yes, all guillotines have been dismounted."? That is actually the part I am looking for. Thanks for the answer. –  Gopi Nov 11 '11 at 21:51
    
@Gopi I may have been using the wrong word. You can no longer see guillotines in the place where they were formerly used (town squares or prisons), as far as I know (though I do not have a reliable source for that). Some of the guillotines in museums or private collections are in working order. –  Gilles Nov 11 '11 at 22:01
1  
@Gilles Ok, I see what you mean by dismounted. Then when I asked if they were dismounted I meant "destroyed". –  Gopi Nov 12 '11 at 12:08
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.