Schweden, echt? Seems funny to think of Sweden as an aggressor nowadays.
A nice purchase this week from Abe Books, all five volumes of Treitschke‘s Deutsche Geschichte, all by the same publisher but with different dates (1879-1894) and slightly different bindings, for the not so princely sum of 30 Euros. I’m aware that the man had some curious ideas but I’d like to determine the extent of the curiousness for myself.
As an added bonus inside one of the volumes (why did I not note the volume and page!) was a poem about the Benedettistein monument in Bad Ems, erected in memory of the famous incident that precipitated the Franco-Prussian war and brought about the unification of Germany. So, for posterity…
Johann Kühnau, Lieutenant in the Landwehr, fell in the battle of Hagelsberg, bei Lübnitz, on the 27th August 1813, just one of many civilians who joined up to drive the French (and others) from their homeland. According to v. d. Marwitz (Nachlasse, Band. 2 S. 84):
So wie das rechts neben der Batterie vorrückende Bataillon Bornstedt angetreten war, wurde der Lieutenant Kühnau (Doctor der Philosophie und Lehrer am Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium zu Berlin) durch eine Kanonenkugel getödtet; es fielen auch schon mehrere Landwehrmänner.
I like the little obscure connections. Kühnau was a teacher at the Berlin Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium, where Otto von Bismarck, whose uncle also took part in the battle at Hagelsberg, was later educated. It was a small world. Perhaps both of them handled the book I now possess.
I have to admit to struggling a little with the second volume of Marwiz’s Nachlasse, so far it’s mostly a list of people I haven’t heard of riding around places I’ve never heard of, although there are interesting vignettes as usual (Massenbach you Arschloch I’m looking at you). The battle at Hagelsberg in 1813 however is quite interesting, and unsurprisingly has sent me off on another book search.
According to a footnote on page 75 Marwitz produced a small book about the battle in 1817: Beschreibung des Treffens bei Hagelsberg unwet Belzig, obviously without a copy of this book my life is miserable and incomplete.
So far I’ve found a Google Books scan for download and a protected version in Weimar. Unfortunately Abe Books don’t have an original copy so against my better judgement I bought one of the cheap (£6.44 including postage) indian print on demand copies, however as it uses the same misspelling (Hagilsberg statt Hagelsberg) as Google Books I’m guessing the quality will be as poor as the Google copy.
Also, it’s on the wishlist, if any of my thousands of readers ever see a copy, please tell me!
Today is the 260th anniversary of the Berliner Husarenstreich in 1757, when Austro-Hungarian forces briefly occupied Berlin whilst Frederick the Great was licking his wounds after the battle of Kolin (Kerle, wollt ihr ewig leben?).
It seems a little surreal that they were paid a ransom (gloves for the empress?) and then disappeared before the cavalry (excuse the pun) turned up. In our much more enlightened times they would have declared the Prussians to be irredeemably evil and demolished the city, as it was the Austrians suffered only 10 dead, the Prussians a few more.
In celebration I watched Husaren in Berlin, an amusing enough film but far from a documentary.
I couldn’t help but include this observation on page 421 of Marwitz’s Nachlasse, both for the careless lack (I doubt it was a problem at the time) of political correctness and the scathing opinion it implies of Europe’s monarchies:
Der einzige Monarch, der in dieser Zeit als König zu enden wußte, war Christoph der Neger-König auf St. Domingo. Er war ein gehaßter Tyrann. Wie er gerade krank war, brach einAufstand aus. Die Neger proclamirten die Freiheit und wollten die Felsenberg Sanssouci, wo er mit Wenigen war, stürmen. Er hatte 100,000 Centner Pulver darin und wollte sich mit Allen in die Luft sprengen. Daran verhindert, erschoß er sich und die Aufrührer triumphirten. Die Europäischen Könige aber gaben immer gleich nach und beschworen, was man nur von ihnen verlangte.
I wonder where he heard of these events on the other side of the world. Another Sanssouci palace in Haiti too…