Klopfpeitsche

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The klopfpeitsche is a German variant of the French martinet. Other names of this implement are siebenriemer, siebenstriemer or siebenschwanz (referring to seven strands).

It is a type of whip with a wooden handle (30 to 40 cm) and six or seven strands of leather of 40 to 60 cm length. The strands are soft and about .5 to 1 cm wide. So the klopfpeitsche differs from the martinet in that the number of strands is less and the strands are wider.

The klopfpeitsche was used for two purposes. First, to dust clothing (e.g. in the military, to dust uniforms). The second purpose was for the corporal punishment of children, much like the martinet in France. This use of the Klopfpeitsche was common mostly in rural areas of Germany (according to one source, particularly in Bavaria).

Whereas the cane and other implements were often delivered on the seat of the trousers, the klopfpeitsche was usually given on the bare bottom. Some people who experienced both report that the Klopfpeitsche was more feared than the cane because it was more painful, but the marks of the klopfpeitsche were shorter-lasting than those of the cane.

As with most leather implements, the strands were sometimes lubricated with grease to keep them supple.


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