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Unesco World Heritage Site

Maulbronn Monastery

Porträt  von Georg Herwegh, Lithografie um 1855; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Robert Bothner
FROM SEMINARY STUDENT TO REVOLUTIONARY

Georg Herwegh

Political writer and poet, Georg Herwegh (1817–1875), grew up in lower middle class conditions as the son of a Stuttgart innkeeper. Even in his school days, he was described as defiant and participated in the Revolutions of 1848 in Baden as the leader of a group of volunteers, his "German Legion".

Wood model of the Maulbronn monastery complex. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Herwegh live at Maulbronn for four years.

WHAT CONNECTS HERWEGH TO MAULBRONN?

Georg Herwegh attended the Maulbronn seminary between 1831 and 1835. He subsequently switched to theology and law at the Tübinger Stift (Protestant theological institute). Just one year later, Herwegh was dismissed for violating the institute's rules.

HOW DID HE FINALLY BECOME A WRITER?

Herwegh's extensive literary knowledge made him a brilliant journalist and critic. After deserting his military service in Württemberg, he fled into exile in Switzerland. He experienced his literary breakthrough there in 1841, with his collection "Poems of a Living Man". The following year, he returned to Germany as a celebrated poet.

Rastatt outbreak of the Revolutions of 1848, wood engraving, late 19th century. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Herwegh was actively involved in the Baden Revolution.

WHERE WAS HERWEGH POLITICALLY INVOLVED?

Herwegh was revered as more than just a writer in the Revolutions of 1848. He led an armed legion of volunteers and, together with his wife, participated in the Baden Revolution. After it failed, he fled to Switzerland once again. In 1863, Ferdinand Lassalle named him representative of the General German Workers' Association. Herwegh's most famous poem, "Mann der Arbeit, aufgewacht!" (Workers awake!), set to music by Hanns Eisler, was part of the labor movement's repertoire.

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