1899 April 1, HILSNER AFFAIR (Polna,Bohemia)
A young seamstress was found murdered in a forest, her throat cut. Leopold Hilsner, a 23 year old semi illiterate tramp, was seen near the site and accused of the murder despite the lack of incriminating evidence. It soon developed into a ritual murder accusation and Hislner was sentenced to death. Through the efforts of Tomas Masaryk (later the first President of Czechoslovakia) an appeal was made to the Supreme Court. Masaryk also published a pamphlet against ritual murder accusations. Hilsner was again sentenced to death but it was commuted to life imprisonment. He was pardoned by Karl (Charles)I of Austria on March 24, 1918.