Karl of Mecklenburg (1785–1837)

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Karl of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]

Karl Friedrich August, Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz], pseud .: C. Weisshaupt , JE Mand (born November 30, 1785 in Hanover , † September 21, 1837 in Berlin ) was a Prussian infantry general , 1827 President of the Prussian Council of State and writers.


Prince Karl
Monument in Neustrelitz

Karl was the son of Duke Karl II and his second wife Charlotte von Hessen-Darmstadt , who died as a result of his birth. As a prince from the house of Strelitz of the Mecklenburg dynasty, he carried the title "Duke".

He joined the Prussian Army on January 1, 1799 as a staff captain . From 1800 until her flight from Napoleon in 1806, Karl was a constant companion of his sister Luise , Queen of Prussia. After she died in 1810, Karl briefly managed the theater in Neustrelitz as director .

Karl participated in the Wars of Liberation in 1813 as a member of Blücher's staff . He fought in the Battle of the Katzbach in August 1813 and was able to keep superior enemy forces in check into the night. Later he secured the communication routes between the Russian and Prussian units. When superior French troops attacked again, he placed himself at the head of his brigade and was able to repel the attacks. For his bravery in the Battle of Wartenburg he was awarded the order Pour le Mérite with oak leaves on October 9, 1813 . Karl had also been a Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle since July 20, 1810 . For his actions in the battle of Goldberg-Niederau he was also awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on August 31, 1813 . He was also able to distinguish himself at Möckern in the Battle of Nations near Leipzig . Then on October 16, 1813, Karl and many of his officers were wounded and his brigade suffered massive losses.

On October 21, 1813, Karl was promoted to chief of the 1st Infantry Regiment and shortly afterwards on December 8, 1813, to lieutenant general. He then acted as such from September 20, 1814 as head of the Guard Brigade. This was followed on December 2, 1816, by his appointment as the commanding general of the Prussian Guards and Grenadier Corps , a position he held until his death. From 1817 he was a member of the newly founded Prussian State Council, whose president he became on December 9, 1827. In the meantime he had been promoted to General of the Infantry on June 18, 1825.

From 1814, Karl staged and organized numerous court and family celebrations as well as theater performances. He staged Goethe'sFaust ” on May 24, 1819 and was one of the organizers of the “The Magic of the White Rose” festival on July 13, 1829, which was held in Potsdam-Sanssouci on the occasion of the birthday of Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna . Various pieces and literary texts written by him are still preserved today.

He died after a serious illness and found his final resting place on September 24, 1837 in the Princely Crypt in Mirow .


The following anecdote has been passed down from his childhood: Since his sisters already lived in Darmstadt with their grandmother Maria Luise Albertine von Leiningen-Dagsburg-Falkenburg , the two-year-old Karl was often alone in the Old Palace. To attract attention, he put a box with his father's cast-iron medals on the window ledge, climbed onto the ledge himself from a chair, and threw heavy medals from the first floor down on Leinestrasse. That was enough for a complaint because passers-by felt threatened. The father now decided to bring Karl and his brother Georg to Darmstadt as well.

A mocking verse that goes back to the Prussian State Councilor Friedrich August von Staegemann still reminds of the Duke today: "As a prince, as a general, as President of the State Council Schofel, unsurpassable but always as Mephistofel". (Duke Charles had in a production of Goethe's " Faust " in the setting of Prince Anton Radziwill the Mephistopheles played.)


  • History and statute of the knighthood of roses. without location [Berlin], without year [1827], ( digitized version ).
  • Memories of Berlin. without location [Berlin], without year [around 1830], ( digitized version ).
  • We German officers: Excerpt from a letter from the immortalized General of the Infantry Duke Karl zu Mecklenburg. Decker, Berlin 1893.
  • Pieces:
    • [Pseudonym] C. Weisshaupt: Die Isolirten: Conversations piece in four acts. (printed as a manuscript), Berlin 1837.
    • [Pseudonym] JE Mand: Demoiselle Bock. Bloch, Berlin, without a year.
    • [Pseudonym] JE Mand: The riddle. Bloch, Berlin, without a year.

The Berlin theater writer Carl Goldschmidt (1792–1857) also used the pseudonym "JE MAND"; other pieces published under this name can usually be assigned to him.


(Source: Grand Ducal Mecklenburg-Strelitz State Calendar 1824 )


Memorial culture

In memory of the deceased Duke, the 6th East Prussian Infantry Regiment No. 43 was named Infantry Regiment "Duke Karl von Mecklenburg-Strelitz" (6th East Prussian) No. 43 on January 27, 1889 .

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the wars of liberation, Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm II had a portrait bust of the Duke put up on March 31, 1863 . The marble bust was modeled by the sculptor Albert Wolff in 1838 under the guidance of the respected sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch . A copy of the portrait bust has stood on the former Paradeplatz, today's Friedrich-Wilhelm-Buttel-Platz , since 1999 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Christian Zweng: The knights of the order Pour le Mérite 1740-1918. Biblio, Osnabrück 1998, ISBN 978-3-7648-2503-4 , p. 16 (E 6).
  2. Gustaf Lehmann: The knights of the order pour le mérite. Volume 2 (1812-1913). ES Mittler und Sohn, Berlin 1913, p. 136 f ( digitized version ).
  3. CL von Stern-Gwiazdowski: The battle near Goldberg-Niederau on August 23, 1813. ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1864, p. 41 ff.
  4. Gerhard Wahnrau: Berlin, city of theater. Volume 1. Henschelverlag, Berlin 1957, p. 333.
  5. Army Ordinance Sheet of January 27, 1889. In: Military weekly paper. No. 9 of January 30, 1889, seventy-fourth year, ES Mittler und Sohn, Berlin, p. 3 f.
  6. ^ D. Zander: Material for regional studies of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Verlag der Barnewitzschen Hofbuchhandlung, Neustrelitz 1889, p. 34 f.
  7. ^ Friedrich Eggers, Karl Eggers: Christian Daniel Rauch. Third volume. Carl Duncker Verlag, Berlin 1886, p. 61.
  8. Helmut Borth: Herzoghaus Mecklenburg-Strelitz: of crowned heads, blue-blooded cuckoo children and the Mirow princely crypt. Steffen Verlag, Friedland 2015, ISBN 978-3-942477-06-2 , pp. 118–123.