Karl Huss

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karl Huss , also Huss (born January 3, 1761 in Brüx , † December 19, 1836 at Königswart Castle ) was an executioner of the city of Eger, healer and collector . He was friends with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and after 1828 curator of the Princely Metternich collections at Königswart Castle.


Karl Huss, born as the son of the executioner of the city of Brüx Paul Huss, was a pupil of the high school of the order of the Piarists in Brüx. Prejudices because of his father's dishonest profession as an executioner forced Karl Huss to leave school. He only had the professional opportunity to become an executioner, but continued to seek knowledge through private lessons. At the age of 15 he carried out the first execution, at the age of 18 he went hiking and in the summer came to Eger in western Bohemia , where his uncle was an executioner. For the elderly he carried out three executions to the satisfaction of the city council and became the last executioner of the city of Eger, since after 1788 the death penalty was no longer carried out with the sword or on the gallows . Karl Huss, depicted in novels as the “last executioner of Eger”, became a figure of literature.

Recognition as a healer and collector

Supported by his own observations, Huss treated sick people and animals with recognized success as a healer, found access to middle-class families in the city of Eger and got to know Sophia Eberl, a daughter of the master baker Eberl. They got married and lived together in the executioner's house at the Mühltor below the castle of Eger, a coveted address for visitors to the city of Eger and spa guests in the nearby seaside resorts of Franzensbad , Marienbad and Karlsbad . In addition to visiting the collections of coins, weapons, swords , tools of all kinds, minerals and antiques that Huss created, his research on the history of the town and the folklore of the Egerland was also of interest . During his stays in Eger, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the Huss house six times and inspected the new additions to the collections.

Custodian at Königswart Castle

After the death of his wife Sophia, née Eberl, in 1824, Huss became lonely, and worried about what might happen to his collections after his death, he offered the holdings to the city council of Eger for sale without success. Through the mediation of a local researcher, the Magistrate and Criminal Police Officer Joseph Sebastian Grüner , Klemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich (1773-1859) took over the collections from the executioner's house in Eger. In a contract, Huss received a lifelong pension of 300 guilders, free living and heating and the position of custodian of the princely collections at Königswart Castle .

In May 1828, Huss brought his collections to Königswart Castle near Eger. When part of the coin collection with valuable individual items was stolen there, his stay was clouded by the unfounded suspicion that they had stolen them. It was only when the theft was cleared up that he was rehabilitated. Collectibles from the possession of the Huss at Königswart Castle in western Bohemia have been preserved in the Königswart Museum of History there to this day.

Written estate of Karl Huss

  • An autobiography written between 1797 and 1828.
  • A four-volume, illustrated chronicle of the city of Eger: "How it happened from the beginning of the city of Eger ...", 4 volumes, 1797, which Karl Huss illustrated with colored pictures of buildings, monuments, coats of arms and castles of the Eger families.
  • The essay "Vom Superstlauben", presented from his observations, was published in 1910 by Alois John , head of the city archive in Franzensbad, in the contributions to the folklore of the Egerland ( online ).