Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

Synopsis

One night in 1476 in the small southern German town of Niklashausen, an illiterate shepherd and street musician by the name of Hans Behem had a vision of the Virgin Mary. This work sets the pieces of the story into their cultural, religious, and political context. It explores important questions about the period and about historical memory.

Excerpt

Hans Behem’s sheep were settled down for the night. Across the meadow Hans could see the black silhouetted Kills of the Tauter Valley against an overcast sky faintly aglow from a full moon. Small, lumpy bundles that were his sheep huddled in groups of eight or ten in brown dirt patches where they had nosed through the snow to find meager shoots or grass. Hans was a young man, perhaps in his early twenties although he probably could not have given his exact age. He was a peasant, a serf, a common herdsman over sheep belonging to other peasants and lords from the village of Niklashausen in the Tauber Valley of south-central Germany.

It was Saturday evening during Lent in 1476. Perhaps early April. the winter had been especially hard and . . .

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