Katharina Henot was burned at the stake for sorcery in 1627.
As the first female postmaster in Germany, Katharina was a well-known citizen of Cologne. Her and her brother Harger Henot inherited the post office from their father.
From 1626 to 1631 the city was in turmoil over a great witch hunt. When a nun at one of the convents became possessed (maybe it was “the change”) rumors flew and Katharina and her brother Harger were accused of bringing death and disease to the convent by use of magic. She was thrown in jail and denied bail.
She was tortured and beaten, but denied everything. Harger tried to get her freed- but he was unsuccessful. Katharina was found guilty (in a very suspicious trial) and burned at the stake. After her death, it was proven that she was a victim of a conspiracy from the authorities of Cologne who had wanted a central post office system.
Harger continued to try and clear her name even after Katharina’s execution (murder), but he too was named as a witch (luckily, he was spared.)
Here’s the really cool part: in 2012 (yes- 2012) the city council of Cologne exonerated Katharina Henot and the other victims of that witch trial. A beautiful statue of her sits on top of City Hall Tower.