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The Other Witch: Ethnic Minorities and Witchcraft Accusations in the Grand Duchy f Lithuania (2018-2019)

Author: BYL, Vitali
Field of study: History

The paper discusses the features of witch‑hunts in the ethnically and religiously diverse society of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The sources demonstrate the involvement of some Christian (German, Russian) and non‑Christian (Jewish, Tatar) minority groups in witch accusations in different roles: as accusers, defendants or suspects. The specifics of their involvement originate from their social and economic roles as well as from their cultural traits. The article attempts to explore the reasons for the accusations, the variety of beliefs about witchcraft and strategies to counter it and also the way they reflected the relations between the mentioned aliens and the surrounding majority.

Keywords: Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Lithuania, Belarus, Lithuanian Jews, Lithuanian Tatars, German diaspora, Russians in Lithuania, cultural borders, ethnic minorities, witch trials, witchcraft

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