Robber or Robin Hood?

End of the 18th century, farmers in the Hunsrück groaned under the lash of the nobility and the Napoleonic occupation. But one man defended himself: the robber „Schinderhannes“. He was also named as the “Robin Hood from the Hunsrück” – probably mainly through the romantic film from 1958 with the german actors Curd Jürgens and Maria Schell as his girlfriend “Julchen”.

The film was shot then with great interest in the surrounding villages and the idyllic Moselle town of Bernkastel-Kues.


Today, the life story of the skinner apprentice (german: „Schinder“) Johannes Bückler is seen less transfigured, as it were, after all at least 211 crimes detected. Together with 19 members of his gang he was beheaded publicly in Mainz after a betrayal from within the company in 1803. Until then, he lived with his companions in the ruins Schmidtburg – incidentally, a great destination for a hike.


The legend began during his lifetime, as several biographies about the robber were told shortly after his arrest. Many stories also justified in the public this reputation as a “Robin Hood” of the Hunsrück. The most famous literary representation was offered by Carl Zuckmayer in his literary work “Schinderhannes” from 1927.

But even if we now know that it is mostly a romantic tale: the myth of the noble robber chief still lives in the minds until today.