Why did Oliver Pötzsch write The Hangman's Daughter?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch, the author states that he wrote the book because of his personal heritage. He is descended from a line of hangmen.

As a descendant of the executioner’s dynasty Kuisl, I have been fascinated by their history since my childhood.

As is the case with Jakob Kuisl, the hangman in The Hangman's Daughter, Pötzsch says that the people of this profession (noted in the novel as a much-needed profession) were greatly feared. They were outcasts who made their living providing a necessary service, but they were shunned by the general public. The job was passed from one generation to the next, and it took someone with great strength and skill to do a "good" job. In writing this novel, Pötzsch felt more connected to his heritage—to his ancestors. For the author, he says it was also a question of paying homage to the Kuisls of the past—defending and honoring them.

A great deal of his information came from a file that Pötzsch's "grandmother's deceased cousin" compiled regarding the family's genealogical history.

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