Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Revolutionary Year 1848

The news of the February revolution in Paris drove the citizens in the southern and middle-German states and in Berlin to outrage. In our own homeland, the peasants also rose up against the founders. The princes could no longer rely on their officials and soldiers. The storm of the revolution also moved the population in Frankenberg and the surrounding area. The enmity of the population correspondingly discharged their resentment and their unwillingness against the authorities, however, almost without blood.

In Viermünden, the linen weavers Seibel and Wollmer, "who may well have been in touch with the weavers in Wuppertal," were the leaders. With the call: "Raus!" Drumming them at the doors and windows of the peasants, gathering all around them from the Oberdorf, and demonstrating in front of the estate building. When the estate was not visible, the smokehouse was ransacked and the distillery was visited. There followed a funny night in the business of Friedrich BaUefeld (Henrichs). Seibel was still struggling with some, and was beaten. It was the only blood that flowed.

The great revolutionary events are also reflected in various records and descriptions from Röddenau and Frankenberg. A Röddenauer citizen reports: "In 1848 there was a year of riot. On Hümichel's wall, a single man from the Lehmekütte (Engels) gave a speech for freedom and justice and talked to the citizen-master."

In the national calendar for the circle Frankenberg 1949 "Frankenberg pictures from the revolutionary year 1848" are recorded. I quote: "Shortly after the March of Berlin, the elevation also began in our country town, which at the time belonged to 3,000 inhabitants. The inhabitants of the entire state of Kurhessen, Franconia's demeanor split (A small part of which sought the radical revolution (Volksverein), which in the course of time gained more and more adherents at the expense of the moderate ones Direction.

The Bürgerverein was allowed to hold its meetings in the town hall. The radical party initially held their own under the open sky, on the bleach. Both the Marburg professors such as Hildebrand (moderate) and Bayrhoffer (radical), but also people from Frankenberg and its surroundings, spoke of both.

Radical direction was, for example, Johannes Meiser from the Meiserhof (Röddenau). He stepped up again on the pale as a speaker. Another local speaker was Heinrich Wetter. He first belonged to the Bürgerverein, but later joined the Volksverein. Two of the popular assemblies that were convened at the time are two. The first took place at the end of March. To her, people from the surrounding area had appeared, among them a student of theology called Scriba from Rengershausen. This young man, as the chronicler says, had "dropped unpleasant remarks, for it was only to be talked about, according to which the jesters of liberation itched"

He was thrown down the steps of the town hall. In the second meeting, which took place a little later, the above-mentioned Heinrich Wetter spoke. He urged to persevere in opposition to the authorities and told of the uprisings in Baden under the leadership of Hecker and Struwe. From the middle of the audience were various wishes loud. A shepherd demanded, for example, the abolition of the dog companions, another citizen of the salt tax.

Not just after such meetings, there were parades through the city, but almost every evening young boys were singing and singing through the streets. The main thrust was at that time the song: "The republic, we will, that you know of all, be blessed be the Hecker and the Stru-u-we." Disobedient citizens and officials were badly involved in such occasions by cycling and "cat music." Window shards were thrown in and garden fences demolished. The city police were powerless against this activity. The civil service could not go through. This group had formed at the beginning of the revolution to maintain the peace and order and protect the property. It consisted of veteran soldiers in the citizenship. Their armament was bad. Only about half of the rifles were usable, the other half of the rifles could no longer be used for shooting, as the chronicler says.

A third rally took place at the end of March. Many people from Frankenberg and the surrounding area gathered in front of the town hall and arranged themselves for one train. After the march of the Franconian town chapel, the streets of the town were drawn to the bleach. Then the peasant Johannes Meiser (from Roeddenau) spoke of political freedom and the way in which they could be conquered. He asked each of them to get a rifle. If he can not find such a thing, one should sharpen forks and scythes. "Hurry," he continued, "it will soon be over!" When the speaker demanded "most disgusting" things, wrote the chronicler Schwaner, the priest Becker from Frankenau dropped a word which did not suit the Republicans. Unfortunately the Chronicle does not share the wording. Immediately he was surrounded by a large heap, which pushed him. Then they seized him, and dragged him toward the river to drown him. It was only through the energetic intervention of the leaders that the priest could be freed from his misery ...

On a so-called "Forestry Day", held quarterly once, all those who were indicated by the foresters for wild and forest favors (wood theft) were tried. In the month of March 1848 there was once again a day of repentance, and about 150 peasants had come to receive the just punishment for their transgressions. Long before the beginning of the term, they had gathered at the Klosterhof (Landratsamt). Every man carried a stick with him. The liquor bottle kept pace. At the appointed time, the upper room and the foresters were gathered in a high-spirited atmosphere. The forester from Somplar was late and reached the building when the peasants were already in the corridors. He was greeted with great joy and torn to the ground. Then it rained on the poor foresters and footsteps. Finally, he managed to escape into a room. He blew several head wounds.

At the same time a peasant from Röddenau entered the room where the foresters were gathered. He wanted to attack the forester's eagle from groves. Immediately, the prison warder and courtmaker intercepted Zermühl, threw back the intruder, and locked the room. Zermühl was a "strong, fearless man," writes the chronicler Heidel. The gendarmerie, which had now appeared, could not be master of the situation. To their reinforcement, the alarmed burghers approached and threw the peasants out of the court house after a long pause.

The unrest reached the climax on March 31, 1848. On that day, the revolutionaries were so bad that four officials of Elector Frankenberg had to turn their backs to save their lives. Now the government in Marburg was forced to intervene. She sent a mobile column to Frankenberg, which was to restore order there. Set up at Marburg by Schönstadt at Marburg, the column arrived at Frankenberg on April 1 and restored the peace.

There were still other acts of violence and acts of vengeance in this turbulent year of revolution. As I learned from the tales of older citizens of the Röddenau, Johannes Meiser played the leading role at this time as a ringleader.

Title Heimatbuch Röddenau: d. 1200jährige Geschichte 
Author Heinrich Kessler
Publisher H. Kessler, 1983
Pages 248-249

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