Home news Hamburg legend: "Störtebeker was a captain and merchant, not an outlaw"

Hamburg legend: "Störtebeker was a captain and merchant, not an outlaw"

At the execution
by Klaus Störtebeker on October 20, 1401 played
incredible scenes. The pirate and leader of the infamous
Vitalienbrüder defied the Hamburg Mayor from the promise, those
to spare his followers, on whom he still behaves after his beheading
could pass by. Eleven comrades he should have passed headless – so it wants
at least the legend. Scientifically there is no evidence for it, not
once the execution itself can be proven. What is it about the
Störtebeker stories, knows the historian Gregor Rohmann, who deals with
Pirates in the late Middle Ages knows.

TIME ONLINE: "Störtebeker was
not a pirate, but had a debt collection company ": So headed past
week the Bild-Zeitung and appealed to you, Mr. Rohmann. If you look at that
Task area look at: Does that make such a big difference?

Gregor Rohmann: Yes, that does
even a fundamental difference. A pirate acts in his own material
Interest, he takes something away from other people and is not on the
Side of the law. A debt collection entrepreneur, on the other hand, is a businessman who
working in a legal framework and not doing anything criminal, even if
if somebody in practice also acts violently.

Gregor Rohmann has a doctorate in history and teaches at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.
© private

TIME ONLINE: How do you have to
introduce debt collection company Störtebeker?

Rohmann: Störtebeker was captain
and merchant – and very good at business. I would use it by the way
scientifically correct not to call debt collection entrepreneurs, but rather
as a provider of violence, but to his activities to a wide audience
describe it, it already does. Störtebeker had several at times
Merchant ships and thus transported goods. He also worked as a
Task fighter and once he is mentioned in connection with smuggling. He
fights for third parties, but he usually sticks to the rules of the game. violence
was not fundamentally illegitimate in the world of the late Middle Ages. Limited
It was more likely through mutual deterrence and social control.
Störtebeker was a man of his time, no Outlaw, In Gdansk, where he lived,
he was a well-to-do citizen and probably went in good company
on and off among the merchants at the Artushof.

TIME ONLINE: Störtebeker lived
in Danzig? We thought now more about Hamburg.

Rohmann: According to the legend
became the pirate Klaus Störtebeker Beheaded in Hamburg in 1401, historical evidence
can not do that. But there is a Johann Störtebeker at this time
from Gdansk, which was already quite prominent at the time. It is assumed that
the legend relies on him. However, he was not in Hamburg
executed, but lived in any case still 1413, so more than ten years
later.

TIME ONLINE: Did Johann Störtebeker have anything to do with Hamburg at all?

Rohmann: Probably already. The
Count von Holland had a feud with the city of Hamburg around 1400 and hired 14 captains
with their crews as fighters. Among them was Johann Störtebeker,
This can be proven by a service contract, but nothing more. By the way, Gödeke Michels, the other well-known pirate, is actually in 1401 in
Hamburg executed. It could be the same feud, probably
He was also on behalf of the Count of Holland on the road.

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