The last public execution in Vienna took place on this day in 1868. It is also likely the last such execution in the lands under the Habsburg crown. The person who was executed was 23-year-old Georg Ratkay, sentenced to death for the murder of Marie Henke, a carpenter’s wife. Ratkay was executed at the gallows in the southern part of Vienna, near Wienerberg.
After this, Emperor Francis Joseph forbade further public executions, so people condemned to death were from then on executed in prisons. This ended a long tradition of public executions as public spectacles, where public drunkenness and other incidents would occur.