Originating in Wismar, city of the German coast of the Mecklembourg, at the time flourishing port of the Hanse, it was then based on the island of Rügen, from where it prevailed on the the Baltic and the the North Sea for this period disturbed for the area.
Störtebeker comes from the expression Stürz den Becher (pours the goblet). Indeed, any new recruit was to empty, like the captain, a giant goblet (4 liters) filled with beer, in only one mouthful.
It is difficult to make the share between the legend and the history. It fought at the sides of the king of Sweden against the Denmark. One of its feats of arms would be to have succeeded in breaking the blockade of Stockholm.
In 1401, the Hanseatic city of Hamburg had launched to capture it a fleet carried out by Simon of Utrecht and which faced Störtebeker towards Heligoland. The legend says that it would have tried to negotiate its life in exchange of its treasure, an enough large gold chain to encircle all the town of Hamburg. Störtebeker and its 71 companions were finally comdamnés with died and were decapitated. It is known as that Störtebeker required of the mayor of Hamburg to leave the safe life to as many companions as it could once exceed his cut head. The mayor granted this request to him. Once decapitated, the body of Störtebeker - according to the legend - went in front of eleven of his/her companions before being stopped by the torturer. The eleven men were however carried out as well as the others. There is today a statue of Klaus Störtebeker to Hamburg.
Its currency was “Friendly of God and enemy of the world”.
AnecdotesThe island of Rügen presents each year a spectacle which puts in scene its legendary adventures.
Its name was also given to a Board game.
MediaA Telefilm French, " the beautiful one and the pirate " , was realized by Miguel Alexandre while being inspired very freely by the character of Klaus Störtebeker and was diffused for the first time on December 27th, 2006 on TF1.
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