Six come across the world

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Sixes come all over the world is a fairy tale ( ATU 513A). It is in the children's and house tales of the Brothers Grimm from the second edition of 1819 at position 71 (KHM 71).


Since the war is over, a soldier is dismissed from service by the king with little allowance. On the way he meets a man one after the other who collects whole oaks for firewood and ties them together with another oak, a hunter who wants to shoot the eye of a fly for two miles, a man who drives seven windmills with the blow from one nostril, a runner who has to unbuckle a leg so as not to be too fast, and a man who can cause a frost with a magic hat. The soldier asks them to follow him: "When we (six) are together, we should probably come all over the world." They come to the royal court. The king, his daughter and the court are megalomaniac, unscrupulous and cruel - among other things, one tries to burn the six comrades in an iron cage. Thanks to their wonderful arts, the Sixes survive the adventure and finally win the king's entire treasure trove.

Background and reception

The demobilization of troops has always been a political and social problem (see e.g. Thirty Years War or Freicorps ). Six people travel all over the world , reality reverses like a fairytale, as the soldier, who was first exploited and then released into distress, and his comrades picked up on the road, hold the king, who was actually responsible for the misery, to account.

Even in more recent times, Sixes Coming has been understood by the whole world as a righteous revolt by the exploited, for example in the DEFA filming Sixes Coming through the World from 1972. Oscar winner Jiří Menzel plays the soldiers and thus the main role in this film adaptation .

On the occasion of the 2001 Jacob Grimm Prize, the writer Rolf Hochhuth named the Sixes as one of his favorite fairy tales because it was "optimistic".


Grimm's note noted from Zwehrn (probably by Dorothea Viehmann ), whereby the runner has a cannon on his leg to brake. Almost the same story from Paderborn (from the von Haxthausen family ) has the runner as above and a listener who hears the dead singing underground. A third story from the Schwalm areas (by Ferdinand Siebert and either influenced by or from the same source Das Pfänderspiel by Johann Gottlieb Schummel , 1777) describes only four journeymen: the runner fetches game, the blower blows people out of the villages or through the chimneys The strong bear the booty, the listener listens for riders who are pursuing. The runner fetches the medicinal herbs for the sick king's daughter on time and demands gold from the king as much as the strong man can carry. The king sends riders after, the listener hears them, the runner sees them, the wind player blows them away.

The Grimms still tell the folk book History of Pomeranian Fraulein Kunigunde, who after many strange incidents became a queen : marrow bone falls many trees, a bird would jump over church and harbor with loose legs, snipers without a blindfold clear the land of game, Feinohr hears grass and herbs grow (like Heimdallr , Snorra-Edda ), Blasius drives 50 windmills, Saufaus creates a pond, Wolverines thousands of loaves. Kunigunde, disguised as a man, makes a dragon drunk by Saufaus drinking its pond and filling it with wine. She wins treasures from the emperor by eating, drinking and running competitively, with Feinohr hearing the sleeping draft-deafened birds snore quickly and the sniper shoots him awake. Marksbein carries the treasures, Saufaus drinks a river out of the way, Blasius sinks the chasing boats. Kunigunde has the servants and a speaking horse from a magician. The queen forces her to do the duties out of spurned love and has her sentenced to death. Kunigunde turns out to be a woman, gets the king she loves, the queen dies of poison.

The Grimms also name story 39 from Chavis ' Cabinet des fées , where Felsenspalter, Saufaus, Scharfaug, Gradaus, Vogelschnell, Starücken, Wolkenhascher and Aufbläser occur; at Colshorn No. 105; Meier No. 8, No. 31; Müllenhoff Sinroth ; Wolf's German Fairy Tales No. 25; Münchhausen ; Thor's servant Thialfi ; Brant's meals in old Danish songs; Asbjörnsen No. 24; Pentamerone 5.8 and 1.5; Aulnoy No. 20.

From their own collection, the Brothers Grimm compare KHM 134 The Six Servants (see also KHM 22 The Riddle , KHM 64 The Golden Goose , KHM 114 The Clever Little Tailor , KHM 116 The Blue Light ).

With Basile , Lo gnorante is similar ( Pentameron 3.8), which also influenced Grimm's version. For the attempted burning of the six cf. Book of Daniel 3: 19-28. There is also a resemblance to the Greek Argonaut legend .

Film adaptations


  • In 2004, the composer and lyricist Roland Zoss set six to music all over the world in the Swiss dialect fairy tale series Liedermärli
  • Gordon Kampe (composition) and Dorothea Hartmann (libretto) set to music in 2015 Sechse Come Through the World for 2 actors, children's choir and orchestra.


  • Grimm, brothers. Children's and Household Tales. Last hand edition with the original notes by the Brothers Grimm. With an appendix of all fairy tales and certificates of origin, not published in all editions, published by Heinz Rölleke. Volume 3: Original Notes, Guarantees of Origin, Afterword. P. 132–135, 474. Revised and bibliographically supplemented edition, Stuttgart 1994. (Reclam-Verlag; ISBN 3-15-003193-1 )
  • Uther, Hans-Jörg: Handbook to the children's and house fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Berlin 2008. pp. 169-171. (de Gruyter; ISBN 978-3-11-019441-8 )

Web links

Wikisource: Six come all over the world  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Röhrich, Lutz: Fairy tale - myth - legend. In: Siegmund, Wolfdietrich (ed.): Ancient myth in our fairy tales. Kassel 1984. p. 14. (Publications of the European Fairy Tale Society Vol. 6; ISBN 3-87680-335-7 )
  2. Video documentation of the world premiere by the Gürzenich Orchestra on April 28, 2015. Accessed on November 25, 2015.