Kurt Christoph von Schwerin

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Count von Schwerin, Royal Prussian Field Marshal , Portrait of Bescheky, around 1745 ( Molsdorf Castle )
Kurt Christoph von Schwerin, anonymous print

Count (since 1740) Kurt Christoph von Schwerin , also Curt Christoph von Schwerin (born October 26, 1684 in Löwitz bei Anklam ; † May 6, 1757 near Prague ) was a Prussian field marshal from 1740. He was one of the most important generals of Frederick II. He fell in the battle of Prague .


His parents were Ulrich von Schwerin (1648–1697) and Anna Lucretia von Ramin (1653–1745).

Born in Pomerania , he first entered the regiment of his uncle, Lieutenant General Dettlof von Schwerin , as an ensign , and the company of his brother, Lieutenant Colonel Bernd Detlof von Schwerin . This regiment was transferred to the Netherlands in 1701 at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession . He served in the battles of Schellenberg and Höchstädt . In 1703 he was promoted to lieutenant, in 1705 to captain and chief of a company and in 1707 to lieutenant colonel in the army of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm von Mecklenburg-Schwerin . He had combat missions in the battles of Ramillies , Malplaquet and, with the Swedish commander Magnus Stenbock , near Gadebusch . In 1708 he was promoted to colonel . In 1711 he was sent on a secret mission to King Karl XII. from Sweden to Bender , where he stayed for a year.

In 1713 he got together with King Karl XII. in captivity in Bender. On September 3, 1718, he was promoted to major general by Duke Friedrich Wilhelm von Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He faced the invasion of the Hanoverian Army in the Great Northern War on March 6, 1719 near Walsmühlen in Mecklenburg in a brilliant battle. After the battle, the Duke promoted him to lieutenant general on March 8th.

After part of Schwerin's property had fallen to Prussia, he entered the service of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1720. He was his envoy in 1721 in the Electorate of Saxony and in 1722 in the Kingdom of Poland . In 1722 or 1723 he became the owner of the Schwendy foot regiment (1806: No. 24), which later belonged to the elite of the Prussian army . Schwerin was an educated and humane gentleman and, as a commander, was a conscious counterpart to the old Dessauer and his relentless drill.

In 1724, Count von Schwerin tried in vain to prevent the Thorner blood court against Protestants on behalf of Prussia . In 1730, as major general , he was a member of the court martial that had to judge Hans Hermann von Katte and the Crown Prince because of their attempted escape. In the same year he became governor of Peitz . The cheerful officer, devoted to the arts and sciences, was an exception in the army of the soldier king, but the latter promoted him to lieutenant general in 1731 and gave him his special confidence in advising on all military matters.

Colored lithograph of Schwerinsburg Palace (from Alexander Duncker's The rural residences, castles and residences of knightly landowners in the Prussian monarchy , 1857–1883)

From 1720 to 1733 he had a mansion-like mansion built in Cummerow near Ducherow . King Friedrich Wilhelm I had the place renamed Schwerinsburg after a visit to the manor house in 1733 ; the mansion was now called Schwerinsburg Castle .

In 1733 Schwerin was used as the commanding general to enforce the execution of the Reich in Mecklenburg. On March 8, 1736 he was awarded the Black Eagle Order . In 1739 he was promoted to general of the infantry . Frederick II appointed him General Field Marshal on June 30, 1740 and one month later elevated him to the rank of count . In the First Silesian War he won the Battle of Mollwitz on April 10, 1741 , after Friedrich II had left the battlefield on his advice.

Historical representation of Schwerins on horseback, 19th century

After this war he was the fortress commander of Brieg and Neisse . In the Second Silesian War he commanded the army coming from Glatz and played a major role in the victory and capture of Prague on September 16, 1744.

Schwerin died in the Battle of Prague at the beginning of the Seven Years' War . He led the first left wing attack on the Austrians on Homole Mountain . When his own regiment was pushed back by heavy enemy musket and artillery fire and got into disarray, Schwerin blew up and snatched the flag of the 2nd Battalion from the hand of Staff Captain von Rohr in order to bring his regiment to the shouting “Come on, my children to pull it forward again. Fatally injured by several bullets, he fell from his horse.


Bettkober monument in the hall of the DHM
Monument on Zietenplatz in Berlin-Mitte
  • A sandstone statue created by the Berlin sculptor Heinrich Bettkober for the Schwerinsburg estate and palace ; It is now on loan from the family in the entrance hall of the German Historical Museum in Berlin .
  • Frederick the Great erected a marble statue in Roman costume on Berlin's Wilhelmplatz . It was designed by François Gaspard Adam and executed by his nephew Sigisbert Michel Adam (1728-1811) and installed in 1769. In 1862 August Kiß replaced it with a new version cast in bronze in contemporary costume. Stored after 1945, it found its place in 2009 when the Zietenplatz was rebuilt near the original location. The statue of Adams was removed around 1860 due to the risk of weathering, first moved to the royal warehouse on Klosterstrasse, then to the cadet institution in Neue Friedrichstrasse, moved to the new cadet institution in Lichterfelde in 1882, and was placed on a new base in the small staircase in 1904 of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum, placed in the museum basement around 1944, restored in 1986 and finally returned in 1987 to the small stairwell (domed hall) of what is now the Bodemuseum .
  • A memorial stone commemorated him on the Štěrboholy battlefield near Prague. This monument was removed after World War II.
  • There is another memorial stone on his grave in the Sarnower district of Wusseken. (see Wusseken Church )
  • The bust in the Hall of Fame of the Berlin Zeughaus was made by the sculptor Prof. Julius Moser (lost).
  • Schwerin's assistant bust in monument group 28 on Siegesallee , made by the sculptor Joseph Uphues , is located in the Spandau Citadel .
  • Prince Heinrich of Prussia dedicated a plaque to him on the front of his Rheinsberg obelisk .
  • Schwerin's death in the Battle of Prague was immortalized in the ballad General Schwerin by Georg Wilhelm Heinrich Häring .


He was married twice. His first wife was Freiin Ulrike Eleonore von Krassow (* May 2, 1693, † June 30, 1754), daughter of Ernst Detlof von Krassow . The couple married on July 15, 1708 and had the following children:

  • Hans Dettlof (born April 26, 1711 - † April 7, 1715)
  • Sophie Charlotte (born November 19, 1712 - † April 8, 1715)
  • Carl Leopold (February 27, 1715 - February 27, 1716)

His second wife was Philippine Sophie Louise von Wakenitz (born March 19, 1696, † February 14, 1778). The marriage took place on October 20, 1754, shortly after the death of Kurt Christoph's first wife, which legitimized the couple's two premarital children:

  • Karolina Magdalena Wesenberg (1717–1780) ⚭ 1735 Johann Christoph von Calbo († 1776) - whose son was Friedrich Bogislaw von Calbo, major in the berries regiment
  • Christine Charlotte (* around 1721; † July 6, 1789) ⚭ Christoph Adam von Stedingk (1715–1791), Prussian major and parents of the Swedish Field Marshal Curt von Stedingk


  • Dettlof Graf von Schwerin: Field Marshal Schwerin - A picture of life from Prussia's great times. Berlin 1928.
  • Joachim Engelmann / Günter Dorn: Friedrich the Great and his generals . Nebel, Uttingen 2001, ISBN 3-89555-002-7 .
  • Louis Gollmert (Ed.): General history of the family von Schwerin , Gronau, Berlin 1878
  • Karl Friedrich Pauli : The life of great heroes of the present war , Francken, Halle 1759
  • Oskar Schwebel: The Lords and Counts of Schwerin. Pages from Prussian history , Abenheim, Berlin 1885
  • Karl August Varnhagen von Ense : Biographical Monuments , Brockhaus, Leipzig
    • Vol. 6 - General Hans Karl von Winterfeldt. Field Marshal Graf von Schwerin , 1873
  • Karl August Varnhagen von Ense : Life of Field Marshal Count von Schwerin , Berlin 1841 ( full text ).
  • Johann Gottlieb Töllner : A Christian and a hero, or some special news from the famous royal prussian. Field Marshal General, Counts of Schwerin , Kleyb, Frankfurt / Oder 1758
  • Bernhard von PotenSchwerin, Kurd Christoph Graf v. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 33, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1891, pp. 421-425.
  • Jörg Kuhn: The monuments of Prussian generals from Wilhelmplatz, introduction and catalog. In: On the restoration of the general monuments by Johann Gottfried Schadow and other sculptors on Zietenplatz. Schadow Gesellschaft Berlin eV (Ed.), Berlin 2008, pp. 11-24, ISBN 978-3-9812650-0-2
  • Patrik Líbal: Šterboholský "Schinkelův Šverín" (260th výročí bitvy u Šterbohol a pomníky Kurta Christopha von Schwerina). “Schinkels Schwerin” in Šterboholy (260th anniversary of the Battle of Šterboholy and the monument to Kurt Christoph von Schwerin). Časopis Společnosti starožitností, ročník 125, 4/2017, Praha: Společnost přátel starožitností, zs, pp. 193-204. ISSN 1803-1382.

Web links

Commons : Kurt Christoph von Schwerin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Digital archive for family history
  2. Peter Bloch et al: Ethos and Pathos. The Berlin School of Sculpture 1786–1914. Contributions with short biographies of Berlin sculptors. Gebr. Mann, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-7861-1598-2 , p. 33; Jörg Kuhn: The monuments of Prussian generals from Wilhelmplatz, introduction and catalog, in: For the restoration of the general monuments by Johann Gottfried Schadow and other sculptors on Zietenplatz, published by the Schadow Gesellschaft Berlin eV, Berlin 2008, pp. 11-24, esp P. 12
  3. The family v. Karstedt on Kaltenhof from 1540 to the beginning of the 19th century (PDF; 122 kB)
  4. Svenska adelns ättar-taflor / Afdelning 4. Skytte af Duderhoff - Östner, jemte tillägg, rättelser och slutord / p. 133 Stedingk family