The 'German Robin Hood'

Who was ‘Schinderhannes’?

‘Schinderhannes’ was the name adopted by Johannes Bückler, also sometimes known as ‘the German Robin Hood’. Bückler was an outlaw leader who operated in the Rhineland at the beginning of the 19th century. At the time, the Rhineland was under Napoleonic rule.

Although ‘Schinderhannes’ seems to have been a fairly brutal robber motivated largely by greed, he became a symbol of German resistance to the occupying French troops, and his men were hailed as heroes. After he and 19 other members of his gang were guillotined in 1803, his legend only grew.

In the 20th century he was the subject of a play by Carl Zuckmayer and several films which emphasised the more romantic elements of his story.  

Answered by: Nick Rennison

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