"Don't worry. We will be certain to kill you. I guarantee you that. It may take a little time, but you will die. There is nothing to worry about on that score. We are in no hurry. Here we are in the vast wilderness, where there is nothing as far as the eye can see. Only time. All the time we need. And I have many things I wish to tell you. Now, as to the procedure of skinning: Every band has at least one specialist—one professional, as it were, who knows everything about cutting off the skin, a man of miraculous skill. His skinning is a work of art. He does it in the twinkling of an eye, with such speed and dexterity you would think that the creature being skinned alive never noticed what was happening. But of course not to notice such a thing would be out of the question. The one being skinned alive experiences terrible pain. And it takes an incredibly long time for death to come. Massive hemorrhaging is what does it finally, but that takes time."
—The Russian officer, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
"A naked man has few secrets; a flayed man has none."
—Lord Roose Bolton, A Song of Ice and Fire
A criminal, having raped a seventy-year-old woman, was flayed alive with burning tongs. With mine own eyes I saw the thick smoke produced by his living flesh that had been subjected to the tongs. He was executed by Master Nicolas, executioner of Berne, who had come expressly for the event. The prisoner was a strong and vigorous man. On the bridge over the Rhine, just nearby, they tore out his breast; then he was led to the scaffold. By now, he was extremely feeble and blood was gushing from his hands. He could no longer remain standing, he fell down continually. Finally, he was decapitated. They drove a stake through his body, and then his corpse was thrown into a ditch. I myself was witness to his torture, my father holding me by the hand.
—Diary of Felix Platter