COLOGNE, Germany, July 1 (UPI) -- The Cologne City Council in Germany pardoned and rehabilitated the names of 38 "witches" who were executed in the 1600s, officials said.
Council members voted unanimously Thursday to pardon the witches, The Local.de reported.
The move was not a judicial act, as German authorities today do not have the power to overturn rulings made under the Holy Roman Empire, but was intended to restore the names of those who were accused of and put to death for being witches.
Cologne is the 14th city in Germany to try to distance itself from the witch trials. Historians believe about 25,000 women and men were sentenced to death in Germany in the past for allegedly practicing witchcraft.