The guillotine (/ˈɡɪlətiːn/ or /ˈɡiː.ətiːn/; ) is a device designed for carrying out executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended. The condemned person is secured at the bottom of the frame, with his or her neck held directly below the blade. The blade is then released, to fall swiftly and sever the head from the body. The device is best known for its use in France, in particular during the French Revolution, when it "became a part of popular culture, celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the Revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents." However, it continued to be used long after the Revolution and remained France's standard method of judicial execution until the abolition of capital punishment by President François Mitterrand in 1981. The last person guillotined in France was Hamida Djandoubi, on 10 September 1977.

The guillotine has also been employed in other countries. In Germany, it saw rapid and prolific use during the Third Reich and was used in the German Democratic Republic as late as 1966.

Read more about GuillotineFrench Revolution, Elsewhere, Living Heads

Other articles related to "guillotine":

Guillotine (magic Trick)
... The Guillotine is a magic trick where it appears that a blade of a guillotine passes through a person's neck without harming him/her ...
Bodyslam - Guillotine Drop
... the attacking wrestler lift the opponent in a standing guillotine choke and to drop the opponent lower spine first to the mat ... A variation involving a standing double underhook rather than the guillotine choke also exists ...
Charles Henri Sanson - Supporter of The Guillotine
... Revolution, Sanson was instrumental in the adoption of the guillotine as the standard form of execution ... When the guillotine's prototype was first tested on April 17, 1792, at Bicêtre Hospital in Paris, Sanson himself led the inspection ... April 25, 1792, Sanson inaugurated the era of the guillotine by executing the robber Nicolas Jacques Pelletier at the Place de Grève ...
The Widow Of Saint-Pierre - Plot
... The other, Neel Auguste (Emir Kusturica), is sentenced to death by the guillotine ... However the island is so small that it has neither a guillotine nor an executioner ... When the guillotine finally arrives on the island, none of the islanders wants to be the one to trip the lever on the guillotine, thereby executing Auguste ...
Guillotine - Living Heads
... From its first use, there has been debate as to whether the guillotine always provided a swift death as Guillotin had hoped ... As the guillotine was invented specifically to be humane, however, the issue was seriously considered ...

Famous quotes containing the word guillotine:

    There’s no such thing as life; or if there is,
    It is faster than the weather, faster than
    Any character. It is more than any scene:
    Of the guillotine or of any glamorous hanging.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)

    Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals [with] no cure except as a guillotine might be called a cure for dandruff.
    Clare Boothe Luce (1903–1987)