Who Was Priest Fleischmann?

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Priest Fleischmann was believed to be one of the six demons who possessed Anneliese Michel. The exorcism of these demons was the basis of the fictional movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”

Valentin Fleischmann was a Frankish Catholic priest who lived in the 16th century. Fleischmann’s priesthood lasted from around 1572 to 1575. He had been defrocked and excommunicated from the Catholic church due to his drunken behavior. Fleischmann was accused of assault and murder. According to the priests who performed the exorcism of Anneliese Michele, a young German woman, Fleischmann was the sixth demon discovered to be inhabiting Anneliese’s body. Because Anneliese was a Catholic living in Germany, she may have learned about Valentin Fleischmann during her studies as the Franks were Germanic and Fleischmann lived in Ettlebin, Bavaria. This information may have influenced the supposed presence of Fleischmann in demonic form.

During the exorcism, a total of six demons were reported to be in possession of Anneliese’s body. The other five, aside from Fleischmann, included Lucifer, Roman Emperor Nero, Adolf Hitler, Cain and Judas Escariot. There has been speculation that Valentin Fleischmann represented the corruption of the priesthood and of the Catholic church. Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt performed nearly 70 exorcisms on Anneliese prior to her death in 1976. Anneliese’s parents, Josef and Anna Michel, were charged with negligent homicide. Renz and Alt were also charged. Anneliese died of malnutrition and dehydration, weighing just 68 pounds when she died.