Monday, October 8, 2018

Struve in Staufen

Immediately some of my readers will think of Ulli Struve, Associate Director Academic Year in Freiburg (AYF) and the man trusted by students, but I will write about Gustav Struve, the spiritus rector of the Baden revolution in 1848/49.


Actually, Red Baron gave a talk about Struve and the first German Republic at the Museumsgesellschaft on September 24. The preparation of the presentation was quite time-consuming explaining why my blogging recently was light. Those of my readers who like to read German find the pdf file of my talk titled, ”Hoch lebe die deutsche Republik”, here.

Following the fail of Friedrich Hecker’s march to Karlsruhe where Gustav Struve at least made it to the gates of Freiburg, both men fled to Switzerland. While Hecker emigrated to the States being fed up by the German tepidness for revolutions his mate Gustav continued his revolutionary activities preparing for a German Republic.


On September 21, 1848, Struve crossed the Swiss border and proclaimed the first German Republic in Lörrach.

Struve and his men entering Lörrach.
Struve is proclaiming the first German Republic speaking from a window of the Lörrach townhall.
On September 23, having rallied about 8000 men he started his long march to Baden‘s capital Karlsruhe, but already on September 24, his putsch was stopped at Staufen where 800 grand-ducal troops armed with 4 cannons easily defeated the remaining 4000 ill-equipped revolutionaries.

The Staufen skirmish on September 24, 1848.

The Struve walk, an annual tradition in Staufen.
Dr. Jörg Martin, Staufen‘s urban historian, guided a small group on the trails of Struve and his putsch.

Dr. Martin showing Struve's picture
Walking down Staufen's picturesque main street.
On the hill in the back the ruins of the castle.
Grand-ducal soldiers fired their cannons in the direction of the insurgents who fled crossing the river Neumagen.

The fleeing revolutionaries as drawn by an eyewitness.
Staufeners cherish their memories of the revolution 1848/49. A cannonball in a wall ...

Walking through the Struve Passage.
The cannonball marked 1848 is on the left high above the window shutter.
... or a bullet in a book:

Stray bullet in a volume of the town archive
Well-known is the episode of the Kronenwirt (landlord of the crown inn). When soldiers came to his house to arrest him for his sympathizing with the insurgents he shouted, "Ich dulde es nicht, dass ich erschossen werde" (I will not tolerate being shot). His chutzpah impressed the soldiers such that they let him go.


We finished our walk at the municipal cemetery.

The Lindenwirt (landlord of the linden inn) was less lucky.
He was hit by a stray bullet and died.
Remembering those five innocent musicians
who were accidentally executed by firing squad.

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