Andreas Mihavecz

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Andreas Mihavecz is an Austrian from Bregenz who holds the record of surviving the longest without any food or liquids. His ordeal is documented in the Guinness World Records.

Bregenz Place in Vorarlberg, Austria

Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria. The city is on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, between Switzerland in the west and Germany in the northwest.

<i>Guinness World Records</i> reference book containing a list of world records, for both human and natural records

Guinness World Records, known from its inception from 1955 until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records and in previous United States editions as The Guinness Book of World Records, is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, the book was co-founded by brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London in August 1954.

On 1 April 1979, the then 18-year-old bricklayer's apprentice [1] was put into custody in a holding cell for being a passenger in a crashed car and completely forgotten about by the three policemen responsible for him. Each of them thought that the two others had already freed Mihavecz. They also ignored the pleas of his worried mother, who was concerned for what might have happened to her son. [2]

As his cell lay in the basement, nobody could hear his screams. He eventually lost 24 kg (53 pounds) of weight. [2] [3] 18 days later on 19 April, an officer who had unrelated business in the basement opened his cell after noticing the stench that was emanating from it. [4] Mihavecz needed several weeks to regain his health. [2]

In the criminal trial that followed, the three policemen accused each other. In the end, they were fined an amount equivalent to 2000 EUR as there was no evidence of criminal neglect or who was the main culprit. [2] Two years later however, a civil court awarded Mihavecz 250,000 Austrian schillings (~19,000 EUR) in compensation. [5]

Euro European currency

The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, and counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019. The euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents.

Austrian schilling former currency of Austria until 2002

The schilling was the currency of Austria from 1925 to 1938 and from 1945 to 1999, and the circulating currency until 2002. The euro was introduced at a fixed parity of €1 = 13.7603 schilling to replace it. The schilling was divided into 100 groschen.

At common law, damages are a remedy in the form of a monetary award to be paid to a claimant as compensation for loss or injury. To warrant the award, the claimant must usually show that a breach of duty has caused foreseeable loss. To be recognised at law, the loss must involve damage to property, or mental or physical injury; pure economic loss is rarely recognised for the award of damages.

Mihavecz's case was later erroneously included in the first edition of a German book on urban legends, as the updated form of a medieval German folk tale of the forgotten peasant in the debtors' prison. [1] [3]

Debtors prison prison for people who are unable to pay debt

A debtors' prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. Through the mid 19th century, debtors' prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt in places like Western Europe. Destitute persons who were unable to pay a court-ordered judgment would be incarcerated in these prisons until they had worked off their debt via labor or secured outside funds to pay the balance. The product of their labor went towards both the costs of their incarceration and their accrued debt. Increasing access and lenience throughout the history of bankruptcy law have made prison terms for unaggravated indigence illegal over most of the world.

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  1. 1 2 "Baby mit Ketchup", Der Spiegel, 19 March 1990.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Beamte vergaßen Häftling in der Zelle: Verurteilt". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). 6 November 1979. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  3. 1 2 Brednich, Rolf Wilhelm (2007), Die Spinne in der Yucca-Palme: Sagenhafte Geschichten von heute (4th ed.), C. H. Beck, pp. 65f, ISBN   978-3-406-57037-7 .
  4. "So litt der vergessene Häftling", Arbeiter-Zeitung, 20 April 1979.
  5. "Entschädigung für den "vergessenen" Häftling". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). 5 September 1981. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2010.