Suicide in Denmark

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Denmark
Suicide in Denmark

Selvmord

When someone was found to have not died of natural causes, authorities made an investigation. First and foremost, authorities would investigate whether the dead had looked after on the day on which it could have been an accident, or whether he been maliciously killed.

One advantage to be furious

If it was determined that there was a suicide, authorities investigated the reasoning behind it. Sometimes you will be able to read that the dead man's family did much to explain that he had gone mad or was furious when the suicide occurred. According to Danish law from 1683, murderers were not to be buried in consecrated ground. This was in principle until 1867, when murderers were not buried in the cemetery with the usual ceremonies. There could be exceptions, however. If you could prove that the deceased had not been quite himself when the suicide occurred, the deceased may have been buried just outside the cemetery wall. If this sort of pardon was given, it would be located in the county archive.


Folklore about suicide

According to religious and cultural belief, one could not find rest and go to Heaven if they were not honorably buried in the cemetery. Those who committed suicide could not be buried in church cemeteries. Many felt that even murderers could not be clothed in burial-clothes, but were buried in what they had on when they died.

When one committed suicide, they lost honor and all chance of forgiveness from God. Because of this grave consequence, some who felt they could not continue living would often commit murder (the punishment of which was death) in order to end their life.


Suicide in Copenhagen

1771-1845 Go in the Registry "Københavnske politi og domsmyndigheder" Vol II, page 106 - the bailiff enforcement and business protokoller.
1878-1907 Go in the Registry "Københanske politi og domsmyndigheder" Vol I, page 155

References