Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24, 1848

Today Freiburg commemorates the 165th anniversary of a skirmish between revolutionists and troops of the Grand Duchy of Baden at the Jägersbrunnen (Hunters' Fountain) close to Günterstal, a nearby village.  On Easter Sunday, April 24, 1848, one of the most famous encounters of the Baden Revolution took place between the feudal government and people fighting for a democratic republic. In 1848 revolutionary uprisings all over Germany made the princes tremble. The Baden Revolution was the longest, starting in Offenburg on September 12, 1847, with a paper: Thirteen demands of the people of Baden that called for democratic changes in government and ending in Fort Rastatt on Juli 23, 1849, with the fall of this last revolutionary refuge. Carl Schurz, well known in the States, escaped his imprisonment and shooting according to martial law through the sewer system at the last minute. You may want to read more about the Badische Revolution in German.

Already last Sunday afternoon about 300 people walked from Günterstal to the Freiburger Rathaus (town hall) and commemorated the skirmish, visiting three historical places on their way:

 The memorial stone at the site where the skirmish took place in 1848.

The Dortu-Mausoleum (read more) at the old Wiehre cemetery.

The site of the last barricade at the Schwabentor (Swabian gate).


Having left Günterstal, the 2013-revolutionists follow the historical trail
 and approach the memorial site.


Many heads with more or less gray hair constrain the view. The guy in front is rapping the Revolution. To his right you can see the by now mossy memorial stone. The gentleman holding the mike and the people in the back with their black-red-golden ribbons are the organizers of the memorial march. To the left the man with the tie is Freiburg's Social-Democrate MP Gernot Ehrler (you met in an earlier blog) who too said a few words about the historical implications of the aborted fight for freedom and democracy in 1848. The upcoming federal election in September oblige. According to Gernot Erler the word combination social and democracy was first used and its meaning explained in Der Festungs-Bote No 10 (Newspaper of Fort Rastatt) published July 18, 1849.

Some participants wore historical-looking outfits

and made a terrible noise firing blank cartridges.

We all sang revolutionary songs at the old Wiehre cemetery. 
Note the boy with his Brezel on the left.

He had followed the crowd on its long march to the Rathaus. 
Now, he is looking tired but clings to his Brezel.

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