The First German Empire, the Holy Empire of the Middle Ages , was not a nation-state in the modern sense of the word. Under the patronage of the Emperor and the German Reich people lived in the west and French Burgundy , in the south , the Italians and the East Slavic tribes or several sections of the people . They all felt secure in the kingdom and did agree in the fight against non-European powers like the Mongols or Turks. This peaceful coexistence in the light of a common ideal belonged entirely to the medieval idea of empire , and it is also the idea of a Europe of the future must be , once the specter of Americanism is gone.
During the period of decline of the Empire under the Habsburgs in the late Middle Ages and early modern period , ie about 14 to 17 Century , the Swiss Confederation developed in the southwest of Germany. Today it is still to some extent an empire in the small : In addition to a German-speaking majority , the Alemannic " kingdom people" , including French, Italian and Romansh-speaking sections of the people to her. All but live untouched in their own cultural spaces , there has been never a multicultural mixture. An alienation experienced Switzerland , like other European countries , only in recent decades due to immigration all other ethnic groups .
In the founding period and throughout the first centuries of its history, the Confederation was , however, a purely Germanic- German affair , both national standard and ideologically. By " non-material " we mean here the legal opinion , namely the attachment of Urschweizer to the traditional German law, unlike the Roman law introduced by the Habsburgs, and also the insistence on the rights granted or confirmed by the Hohenstaufen imperial immediacy of the three countries of Uri , Schwyz and Unterwalden. The freedom of the Confederation we have to thank a small group of leading men and women who acted decisively in the hour of need . Among them, the mythical figure of Tell Towering .
After the fall of the Hohenstaufen emperor began in the late 13th Century, the age of the Habsburgs. Under the Hohenstaufen , the Central Swiss farmers were pleased together with the landsässigen nobility of their traditional Alemannic Constitution and the ancient kingdom of freedom. They acknowledged God and the Emperor and otherwise no master . But now came the time of the territorial princes . The aristocracy was eager to to acquire all the lands where he had previously exercised the office of judge in the sense of the Roman concept of property as private property. The unassuming little country in the Alps had received since the opening of the Gotthard pass a high makes moderate and economic value , so that Habsburg with his bailiffs in every way tried to make these peasant peoples under its dominion . The Emperor could the Swiss no longer call for help because he was a Habsburg . So they had to take into their own hands their salvation.
The tradition in the 15th Century recorded in the so-called "White Paper" of Sarnen for the first time and processed by Schiller later a drama , reports the following about it:
The indecisive Landammann of Schwyz, Werner Stauffacher, made his high-minded wife Gertrud courage to finally do something against Habsburg oppression and to consult with your peers. In a secret meeting with the aged Walter Prince of Uri and the youthful firebrand Arnold of MELCHTAL from Unterwalden the rebellion was decided . Everyone should bring ten reliable friends from his country to a larger gathering. At night-time the men met on the Rütli , a quiet mountain meadow on the banks of Lake Lucerne. There they met their swords into the ground and swore with uplifted hands , in memory of their ethnic identity , the oath that made her oath - comrades :
We want to be a single band of brothers ,
In no need to separate us and danger.
We want to be free as our fathers were ,
Rather death than live in bondage.
We want to trust in the Most High God
And do not fear the power of the people . ( Schiller)
The Riitli collar should be kept secret until the day of the uprising . Shortly afterwards, let the bailiff Gessler raise a stake in Altdorf and it set a Pfauenhut . To humiliate the population , he ordered that everyone has to pitch himself as the lord of the land in front of the hat. Glowing with anger and shame the people followed the command. Only one did not care : The chamois hunter William Tell from Bourguillon in Schächental , the raised head with his young son , passed the crossbow on the shoulder , on the bar . But the guards stopped him and accused him at the bailiff . Gessler imposed the famous shooters an inhuman punishment : their own child to shoot an apple from his head. Tell took the horror to be shot - and met .
That was a shot! thereof
will you still talking in the spätsten times.
Telling you is from the shooter Tell
As long as the mountains stand on its ground . ( Schiller)
The cheers of the surrounding people never seemed to end , but Gessler sought after now knowing why Tell had still held a second arrow in readiness . He should quietly give an honest answer , that life was secured him. Tell saw the oppressors with a terrible look and replied :
With this second bolt I shot you,
If I had taken my dear child ;
And your - truly ! - I would have no lack . ( Schiller)
Since the perfidious bailiff let bind the Tell and bring to the ship , with which he wanted to go to his castle beyond the lake . But now an angry Föhnsturm rose and brought the crew in such distress , that there is no other way out was found to be as strong Tell at the helm . The deliberately steered the ship close to the shore and looked after his crossbow , she grabbed suddenly and jumped with tremendous force on a slab of rock , the ship with the foot in the roaring tides pushing back . Then he hurried over the mountains and waited for the tyrants in the narrow pass which led to the castle. The crew had escaped the storm narrowly and rode up by the ascent route . Since Tell stepped from behind a tree , aimed, and shot Gessler through the chest . "That was the tell basement ," gasped the dying man , while Tells voice thundered through the Hohle Gasse : " Do you know the shooters , seek no other ! "
Tell, the large individual had completed the first act of liberation . And now drew near and the day of dating Riitli Federal . The people stormed the strongholds of foreign masters , expelled the governors and threw fire into the towers . That day the Swiss freedom is still every year on the first August celebrated. Since all the bells are ringing , and on the mountains flames skyward the bonfire.
Say , Father, what the bells ring tonight ?
That never Proud of the Pacific ridiculed .
Say , Father, what is going to whoop the country ?
Because always a hero nor was the dragon.
Say , Father, what is blazing on the mountain in the wind ?
The sacred fire of liberty , my child. ( Meinrad Lienert )
Freedom of Urschweiz arose from the interaction of people power and individual power . Tell acted in accordance with the people's soul . Or was the people according to the Tell ? One would like to assume the latter . Anyway, enjoyed the Tell in Switzerland for a long time - and here and there today - almost religious reverence. And that is no accident . Connoisseur of Germanic mythology have called him for good reasons as a manifestation of the god Heimdall . And the historian Fritz Ernst writes about a far past time:
" One can very well speak of a Tell- religion. Every year a fair was in the Hohle Gasse read , spoken by the Tellsplatte to Compatriots in the landscaped boat a memorial sermon , held a procession of Bourguillon for stones in Schwyz. God and Tell went there anywhere into each other , as it announced the inscription on the sounding brass in Bourguillon : Pro dei gloria ac Guilelmi Tel gloria - to God's glory and William Tell . "
But not just for the Swiss , and for the rest of the Germans Tell was an object of veneration . The poet Klopstock said after his travels through Switzerland , he believed in Tell how to Hermann the Cherusker . Goethe, who spoke of the " love holy Switzerland " wanted to write a tell - epic, but then gave Schiller the material, the resulting created his great spectacle . The Swiss love this drama so that they have Schiller , " made formally to her compatriot " according to the testimony of Gottfried Keller .
So well can be described as the Tell , the Swiss national spirit . But if Switzerland is something like an empire in the small , the Tell is also an imperial guardian spirit , a spirit of freedom and justice and the self- life of nations protects - if necessary with the weapon in his hand. Governments , you experience the freedom and life of their own peoples feet were afraid to tell at all times, and they should learn it well into the future fear .
So said Johannes von Müller, the father of Swiss historiography :
Legitimate rulers are sacred.
Have nothing to fear that oppressor , is neither necessary nor good.
Johannes von Müller, the Swiss Confederation stories
Brothers Grimm , German Legends
Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell
Meinrad Lienert, Swiss legends and heroic tales (older editions , the new ones are corrupted )
Fritz Ernst , William Tell as a symbol of freedom in Europe
On 1.Aug . In 1991, the Confederation had its 700th Birthday. The Tellsage , the Rütlischwur and the freedom associated drama are undoubtedly on the history of our country , so they did not have to be reinvented. However, some historical additions are highlighted in the film that illustrate both the process as well as historical facts . In this sense, the screenplay by Michel Dickoff and Karl Hartl was written as a living document that time , based on contemporary reports and Schiller's drama.
1740 reported the Canton Obwalden and writer Hans Schriber first of the round offered in the Urschweiz stories from the past, from Wilhelm Tell, by a Gössler , by evil taskmasters , tortured subjects, and of secret meetings on the Rütli - underpinned by personal and place names. The report is later known as " The White Book of Sarnen " .
(Fig. 1 - " The White Book of Sarnen "
Aegidius Tschudi , the first Swiss historian , united in the 16th century, these
Sarner Chronicle described his period of 1200-1470 and the known documents are issued in the Federal Archives in Schwyz, for
to date authoritative Swiss history, the " Chronicon Helveticum "
(Fig. 2 - Chronicon Helveticum )
In the fall of 1797 visited Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to Switzerland for the third time , this time the original cantons . He reports Friedrich von Schiller letter of the elemental force of the mountains, the character of the people, their customs and traditions . In Goethe the plan of a Tell- epic, which he discussed at length with Schiller matures. But then his growing skepticism about the something to ' naive ' subject. Later, he leaves all the material on the Tell story - the white book of Sarnen and the Chronicon Helveticum - Schiller, who then in 1804 successfully realized the freedom drama.
( Figure 3 - Schiller W T edition with Tellbild )
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