The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

"The case of young German girl Anneliese Michel, who died in 1976 after series of exorcisms, was the inspiration for the movie ""The Exorcism of Emily Rose"" by Scott Derrickson, viewed by more than 30 million people. Fresh flowers still lie on Anneliese's tomb. Many Germans and international visitors pray at the grave, convinced that possessed girl was a saint. Anneliese Michel's death provoked one of the most famous lawsuits in post-war Germany - the so-called ""exorcists' trial"". Sentence was passed on 1st April 1978 - the two exorcists and girl's parents were sentenced to a half-years inprisonment. In the court's opinion the repeated exorcisms and omission of medical assistance were the reasons for her death. The court stated that Anneliese was not possessed but mentally sick. Three years earlier, in Autumn 1975, when the decision to perform the exorcism was made, the condition of Anneliese was such that she often ate nothing for periods over a week, ran through the house completely undressed screaming and cursing, was able to jump extraordinary heights, beat and bit her family members, spoke with six different male voices and had unnatural strength for a person of her size. The exorcism lasted nine months untill July 1st 1976. Since Anneliese's death new facts connected with the tragedy have appeared. Scientific and medical research has revealed that it appears that it was neither illness nor exorcism that brought about Anneliese's death. New light, revealed by girl's diaries, show her as strongly believing young Christian, ready to suffer and sacrifice for the others' sake. Now, the first time for 32 years, the viewer is led through the whole story as explained through first-hand witnesses: one of the exorcists, Anneliese's mother, her sister and closests friend. The program also contains original sound recordings made during the exorcism. "

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