Vitalienbrüder (also: Vitalier ; Latin: fratres Vitalienses ) is the name of a group of seafarers who influenced trade in the North and Baltic Seas in the 14th century . They wanted 1389 to 1394 first as a blockade runner ensure the food supply of Stockholm during the siege by Danish troops and were subsequently as a privateer on the seas go, u. a. on behalf of kingdoms and Hanseatic cities . They are therefore also referred to as "privateers" or pirates .
The best-known leaders of the first generation were Arnd Stuke , Henning Mandüvel and Nikolaus Milies , later Klaus Störtebeker , Gödeke Michels , Hennig Wichmann , Klaus Scheld and Magister Wigbold are named.
The origin of the expression Vitalienbrüder has not been finally clarified, but probably comes from central French , in which at the beginning of the Hundred Years War those troops that supplied the army were called vitailleurs (see also: Viktualien = food ). Cordsen points out the possibility that vitailleurs , which has been adopted as a foreign word by various European languages from non-classical Latin, could have been largely equated with looters due to the rabid appropriation of food by food suppliers .
For a long time the name was directly associated with the supply of Stockholm by blockade breakers during the siege from 1389 to 1392. However, this connection is probably incorrect, as the name appeared in the combing invoices of the city of Hamburg even before the siege of the Swedish city. Furthermore, pirate ships are said to have been used as blockade breakers to supply Calais as early as 1347 ; they were described as vitaillers in a letter from the captain of Calais to the king of France . The term was used even before the supply of Stockholm.
The word brothers as part of the name probably alludes to the self-determination of the seafarers who (in contrast to mercenaries ) did not receive wages and food from their employer, but drove at their own risk and expense.
It is also unclear whether it is an own or an external name. In 1392, several captains ( capitanei ) of the fratres victualium were named in an exchange of letters by the Livonian order master . 1396 the name is documented in Danish ( fitalgaebrøthernae ).
From 1398 the name Likedeeler ( Low German for “equal share”, which refers to the division of the prizes stolen) has been handed down, here the focus is on the social organization of the brotherhood , which differs considerably from the strictly hierarchical medieval society with its esteemed feudal system and, in addition to the authority of the captains, also set up team councils. Thus the common sailor was guaranteed a certain amount of say that feudal society lacked. In addition, the name Likedeeler implies loyalty and mutual support, which should have had a positive effect on the internal cohesion of the pirate union. The self-chosen slogan “God's friends and enemies of all the world” should be understood in a similar sense.
Origin and organization
The Vitalien Brothers, who were hired by different territorial powers, especially in the early phase of their emergence, received neither wages nor food, unlike mercenaries . They were dependent on self-sufficiency and drove for their own account instead of a regular wage .
Initially, their ruling class was recruited from impoverished Mecklenburg noble families . An agricultural crisis that had lasted since the beginning of the 14th century caused many men from the lower nobility, threatened by poverty, to seek their happiness beyond legality, on land and at sea. The impoverishment that began should be compensated for with targeted raids. However, even at the end of their time, members of the nobility were not uncommon. For example, two sons of the Vogts von Arensburg , Wilhelm Varensbeke, are named for the year 1427 .
Arnd Stuke , Henning Mandüvel and Nikolaus Milies have been handed down as captains of the "first generation" of the Vitalienbrüder ; names such as Gödeke Michels , Klaus Störtebeker , Hennig Wichmann , Klaus Scheld or Magister Wigbold are only mentioned later . This "second generation" was probably no longer recruited from the Mecklenburg aristocratic families, but achieved their leadership position through skill and daring.
Much less is known about the teams themselves, but it is worth considering that the 14th century was a time of massive upheaval. The so-called Little Ice Age began , which resulted in massive crop failures, and between 1347 and 1353, historians estimate that around a third of the total European population died of the plague . Just a decade later, the Second Marcellus Flood , also known as the “Grote Mandränke”, washed more than thirty parishes into the sea on the German North Sea coast alone and killed an estimated 100,000 people. As a result of these catastrophes , which overshadowed everything that had gone before, famine and sometimes anarchic conditions broke out. A whole worldview was shaken. For the first time in European history, the lower strata of the population allowed themselves to a greater extent to doubt the prevailing, supposedly God-given power relations and to take their fate into their own hands. Uprisings, for example in Braunschweig in 1374 ( large shift ) or ten years later in Lübeck ( bone-hewn uprising ), conveyed ideas that went well with the pirates ' alleged values of freedom , equality and justice . There are few contemporary sources on the men themselves. The chronicles, which 150 years later deal with the vitality brothers, already contain the first elements of the glorification, at the end of which the legend of the "Störtebeker saga" stands. Pirates operating individually are also likely to have been counted among the Vitaliens. The participation in the Danish-Mecklenburg conflict appeared to be profitable with the issuing of letters of war and thus the legitimation of their craft.
Presumably the pirates of the North and Baltic Seas organized themselves in a kind of brotherhood from 1390 onwards ; there is no other explanation for the sudden appearance of the name fratres vitalienses , vitality brothers, from that very year. The founding of brotherhoods increased rapidly from the end of the 14th century; for example, the brotherhood of England drivers was founded in Hamburg in 1350. Brotherhoods like this may have served the pirates as a role model in the formation of their "umbrella organization". There has never been a closed brotherhood in the sense of a tight organization: At times, vitality brothers fought against each other as allies of different parties.
The legal status of this brotherhood is not always easy to determine, the boundaries between piracy , piracy or piracy are becoming blurred: Vitality brothers were repeatedly provided with letters of piracy from different rulers and thus objectively differed from common pirates. The Hanseatic League , for example, did not accept this legitimation through letters of collapse, for them it was all about pirates. Belonging to the fratres Vitalienses was mostly enough to pronounce a death sentence.
Still, the brotherhood is developing rapidly. In 1392 the General Procurators of the Teutonic Order estimated the total number of the Vitalienbrüder at around 1,500. At the height of their power, at the time of the rule of Gotland , the size of the brotherhood can be estimated at around 2,000 men.
Despite their size and importance for politics and trade, the Vitalienbrüder never pursued territorial-political interests in the narrower sense, on the contrary: They were always dependent on being linked to a territorial power.
The Frankfurt historian Gregor Rohmann has been working on a reassessment of the history of the “Vitalienbrüder” since 2018. He had earlier criticized the portrayal of Klaus Störtebeker in previous research. It is questionable whether the term Vitalienbrüder actually denotes a group formation of maritime fighters or rather an activity, the business-like execution of military and violent orders at sea. Rohmann also suspects that the term was used primarily by the diplomats of the Hanseatic cities and the neighboring princes as an enemy.
The vitality brothers in the Baltic Sea
Waldemar IV. "Atterdag", King of Denmark, conquered Scania , Öland , Bornholm and finally Gotland in 1361 and 1362 . As a result, at the following Hanseatic Congress in Cologne in 1367, the founding of the Cologne Confederation was decided with the aim of fighting Denmark and the allied Norway . The trade privileges seen as threatened should be preserved.
The Confederation succeeded in defeating the Danish king: on May 24, 1370 the Peace of Stralsund was signed, which confirmed the trading privileges of the Hanseatic League and also gave it control of the four Danish castles in the Sund, Skanör , Falsterbo , Helsingborg and Malmö for 15 years , agreed. Winning this trial of strength was a triumphant success for the Hanseatic League.
Waldemar IV died on October 24, 1375. His daughter Margarete (wife of the Norwegian King Håkon VI ) now put her son Olaf IV in the line of succession against Albrecht IV , who was actually entitled to inherit , son of her older sister Ingeborg, the wife of the Mecklenburg native Duke Heinrich III. , by. A year later, on May 3, 1376, Olaf was crowned king against the will of the Mecklenburgers and Emperor Charles IV. The Hanseatic League, which had been given a say in the occupation of the Danish throne after the peace negotiations, accepted the decision with goodwill and confirmed him in office.
Mecklenburg now pursued a "policy of pinpricks" and started a pirate war against Denmark, in which Albrecht II equipped pirate ships with letters of piracy for the first time. Presumably Mecklenburg nobles took over the leadership of these ships. In the years that followed, both sides made use of pirates, especially to disturb merchants.
From time to time individual cities or city groups of the Hanseatic League maintained so-called peace ships in order to protect the sea routes from raids in order to protect their interests . The first disagreements arose with the Hanseatic cities of Rostock and Wismar , which circumvented the Hanseatic League's ban on buying or selling stolen goods, but acting in the interests of their sovereign Albrecht II. The merchants themselves protected themselves in convoys : "In the face of pirate threats, the seafarers of a city or entire city groups joined together to form fleets."
After Albrecht II died on February 18, 1379, his son Albrecht III closed. , King of Sweden, signed a peace treaty with Denmark in August of that year, since his brother Heinrich III. when the new Duke of Mecklenburg had begun armistice negotiations with Denmark and a fight against the Danes thus seemed little promising. Albert IV, Heinrich's son, also renounced the Danish crown on the advice of his father.
As Håkon VI. When Margarete died in 1380, she came into conflict with the Hanseatic League over the trade privileges that had to be confirmed. They also used the pirates to disrupt the ship trade. The goal was no longer Mecklenburg, but the common Hanseatic merchant. In 1381 the regent then switched to a more Hanse-friendly course and even mediated a temporary peace agreement between the League of Towns and the pirates: Margarete appeared to be the mediating power between her robber nobles and the Hansa.
However, the Hanseatic League could not sustainably master its problem with mere contracts, and so it repeatedly prepared peace ships. Margarete also actively supported the Hanseatic League in the fight against the pirates, because she had to find the best possible position for the negotiations with regard to the four Sundschlösser, which had to be returned to Danish hands according to the agreements of the Stralsund Peace that year. The handover was successful: the withdrawal of the locks was notarized on May 11, 1385, and in return it confirmed the trading privileges of the Hanseatic League in Denmark:
“ Vormer tho wat tiden se des van uns begerende sin, dat wy en vornyen de confirmacien, de wy en geven raise up ere privileges and verriheit in our ryke tho denemarken, the leading school wy en not wegeren. Ok schal desse bref not hinderlik wesen al eren other breven eder vriheiden, de se edder erer jenich hebben van us and our vorolderen in the rike tho denemarken, men of the school se bridges and de schullen by erer vullen makes bliven. "
The Hanseatic League even tried, tired of equipping and arguing over the financing of the peace ships, to hire a private person to fight the pirates. Under the leadership of Stralsund's mayor Wulf Wulflam , who had previously been entrusted with the administration of the four Sundschlösser, an armed expedition started against the pirates:
“ He [ought] to pay all the costs he incurs for the ships and the people. And for this the cities [gave] him 5000 Sundisch marks . […] Wulflam could keep what he took from the pirates, unless the pirates had stolen it from a merchant. "
In the period that followed, both Denmark and Mecklenburg began to distance themselves from the Vitalienbrothers. From September 28, 1386 the Hanseatic League even signed an official peace treaty with envoys of the pirates; this should last until 1390.
Olaf IV died on August 3, 1387; Margaret now officially became ruler of Denmark. She immediately entered into negotiations with the Swedish nobility, who openly paid homage to her in 1388, i.e. recognized her as the ruler of the empire and swore her allegiance.
Albrecht III, the legitimate king, went to Mecklenburg in the meantime to raise allies and finances. In December he returned to Sweden with an army, where he suffered a devastating defeat near Falköping on February 24 of the following year 1389 and was taken prisoner with his son Erich. In a short time, Margarete, who had also been Norway's ruler for life since the death of her husband Håkon in February, brought all of Sweden under her control - with the exception of Stockholm , which continued to swear allegiance to Albrecht and also withstood a military conquest. As a result, the city was besieged and supplied from the sea by the Vitalienbrothers from 1389 to 1392.
Pirates in the Baltic Sea
From 1390 the Mecklenburgers pursued a double war tactic : on the one hand, direct attacks (a war tax was levied on this; however, the campaign led by Duke Johann von Stargard, an uncle of Albrecht III, ended unsuccessfully), on the other hand, a pirate war against Danish ships, which turned into a rapid one Revival of piracy in the Baltic Sea. Letters of piracy were issued to
“ [...] hordes of aristocratic robbers, to whom the land grab seemed more dangerous and less profitable. The multitudes of solidified, fleeting debtors and evildoers from town and country, plus poor devils, traveling people and wandering journeymen flocked together. Mecklenburg nobles and townspeople became leaders, the ports of the country provided the ships, letters of war against the three kingdoms of the north were issued [...]. "
In 1391 the ports of Rostock and Wismar opened to anyone who wanted to damage the kingdom of Denmark. In addition, Rostock and Wismar allowed the Vitalienser to offer the goods that were acquired in the future by way of privateers for sale on the markets of these cities.
In this dispute, the Hanseatic League initially tried to maintain neutrality in order not to endanger trade relations during and, above all, after the end of the conflict: Attacks against the Vitalienbrüder, who provided the Mecklenburgers with letters of credit, would have been seen as partisanship for Denmark and would have Expansion of the privateer war to include Hanseatic ships.
From 1392 the situation in the Baltic Sea came to a head. The Vitalienbrüder endangered the entire Baltic Sea trade . Merchants organized themselves in convoys again. Up to and including 1394, merchant shipping on the Baltic Sea almost completely came to a standstill:
"In 1393 [ruled] [...] the brave Brothers of Vitality [...], which is why all shipping in Lübeck was suspended [...] ,"
which meant high profit losses, especially for the Wendish city. There was a lack of important goods (salt, herring, grain, etc.). Margarete was also affected by the dormant shipping traffic, as she lacked customs income, which was considerable at the end of the 14th century. The Hanseatic League asked them to enter into negotiations with Mecklenburg.
The raid on mountains
“ In the same year, […], the Rostock and Wismar Vitalienbrüder went to Norway and beat the merchant in Bergen; they took many jewels in gold and silver, and precious clothes, household items, and also fish. They then drove with the great treasure to Rostock, without being held back, and sold it to the citizens; that was welcome; The other part of the robbery they drove to Wismar and sold it there: the citizens of both cities gave little thought to whether the goods had been taken legally or illegally. "
The conflict of interest in which the cities of Rostock and Wismar stood is particularly evident: If they opposed the Vitalienbrüder with the Hanseatic League and closed their ports, they turned against their sovereign, Albrecht von Mecklenburg, as it were. He was primarily responsible for the attack on the Norwegian city, because all the leaders of the operation were Mecklenburg princes:
“ The Germans had 900 riflemen; the leader's name was Enis, a German, a relative of Albrecht; another was called 'Maekingborg', also a relative of Albrecht. "
It is very likely that “Maekingborg” was the Duke of Stargard, Johann II , and “Enis” was Johann IV. Von Schwerin . The highest Mecklenburg nobles were involved as ringleaders in the attack on Bergen .
The peace of Skanör and Falsterbo
On September 29, 1393, the peace negotiations began in Skanör and Falsterbo , but the meeting brought no result, and the status of Albrecht III. as well as Stockholm's remained unclear. In the following winter the Vitalienbrüder, on behalf of the Mecklenburgers, repeatedly supplied the besieged and hunger threatened Stockholm with food, eight large ships were used: "The hope of conquering Stockholm, Margrethe had to give up now." It prevailed in spite of the Rapprochement between Denmark and Mecklenburg continues at war.
From Stockholm the captain Albrecht von Pecatel conquered Gotland for Mecklenburg with the help of the Vitalienbrüder in 1394. The island served the Likedeelern as a base of operations for the next few years. In the same year Klaus Störtebeker and Gödeke Michels were named for the first time in an English lawsuit as captains of the Vitalienbrüder.
With the advent of Michel and Störtebeker began a new development in the organization of the Vitalienbrüder: On the one hand, their captains no longer seemed to be primarily recruited from the Mecklenburg noble families, on the other hand, the pirates began to act autonomously. Although they still used the ports of the Mecklenburg cities, they formed more and more of a community that acted under their own direction.
After the peace agreement between Skanör and Falsterbo on May 20, 1395, in which the Hanseatic League, Teutonic Order, Denmark and Mecklenburg sealed the end of hostilities, the cities of Rostock and Wismar were forbidden to accept Brothers Vitality. This split the group into many small and very small groups, as they now had neither land of their own nor the support of a territorial power. In the period that followed, the individual groups operated sporadically in the North and Baltic Seas as well as off Russia . The first contacts with the East Frisian chiefs on the North Sea came about here, because some Vitalien brothers preferred to look for other places of activity, cleared the Baltic Sea and nested themselves in the Frisian coastal landscapes, where they were involved in internal feuds, which only rarely rested , and in the Dutch-Frisian war that was just beginning, all parties were very welcome as helpers.
Dominion over the Baltic Sea and displacement
Even after the peace agreement, the conflict between Denmark and Mecklenburg continued to smolder, as the Mecklenburg side found it difficult to come to terms with the loss of control over Sweden. Gotland was not completely returned to Margarete, here in 1395 Albrecht von Pecatel, who held the city of Visby for the Mecklenburgers , and the Danish captain Sven Sture , who controlled the rest of the island, faced each other.
Those groups of the Vitalienbrüder, who now used Gotland more and more as a base of operations, were hired by both captains and consequently accepted to be involved in skirmishes among themselves.
In the summer of 1396, Erich , Duke of Mecklenburg, the son of King Albrecht III, landed with troops on Gotland and in the spring of 1397 defeated Sven Sture, who consequently had to take a feudal oath to Erich. In the same year the union of the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden was sealed under the reign of Queen Margaret with the Kalmar Union . This had achieved its ambitious goal - the unification of all of Scandinavia under the Danish scepter. The Mecklenburg hopes of regaining the Swedish crown were finally dashed.
When Duke Erich died on Gotland on July 26, 1397, he left his fortifications to the island's residents. Gotland became a colony of pirates. Erich's widow, Margarete von Pommern-Wolgast, handed over the command of the island to Sven Sture.
The situation now finally got out of control for Mecklenburg. The pirates under Sture's leadership completely seized the island and started a pirate war against every merchant who traveled the Baltic Sea. Konrad von Jungingen described that every pirate driver was granted free residence in the country and on the castles of Gotland, Landeskrone and Sleyt for half of his booty, which had to be paid to the Duchess and Sven Sture. It came to "chaotic conditions" and "a wave of uncontrollable, total piracy."
Towards the end of the year Margarete von Denmark wanted to enter into negotiations with Margarete von Pommern-Wolgast , because the situation on the Baltic Sea was becoming increasingly delicate. Now the Teutonic Order came under pressure, because the Vitalienbrüder also posed a threat to its Livonian possessions and the Prussian cities. In addition, in the eyes of the order leadership, Margarete's power threatened to get out of hand, especially after the founding of the Kalmar Union. Grand Master Konrad von Jungingen decided to intervene in the military: On March 21, 1398, a fleet of orders with 84 ships, 4,000 armed men and 400 horses reached Gotland. Negotiations broke out between Johann von Pfirt (as commander-in-chief of the company), Duke Johann von Mecklenburg and Sven Sture. The handover of the island to the order by Johann von Mecklenburg was sealed on April 5th:
“ We, Johan, by the grace of God, duke czu Mekelborg, greve czu Swerin, Rostogk and czu Stargarde der Landerre, confess our heirs with our rights, and in desem kegin-valued brieve […] our statute Wisbue, harbor, unde lant czu Gotlant sal open stone unde an open slos sein deme homeistere of the German order, deme gann orden unde den seine czu alle irem orloge czu ewier czit […]. "
Three robbery locks were razed to undermine the infrastructure for future pirate operations. Mecklenburg had lost Gotland to the order, the Vitalien Brothers, who ruled the Baltic Sea from 1395 to 1398, were subsequently expelled: “The Luebian and Prussian fleets vigorously hunted pirates, so that the Baltic Sea was completely cleared in 1400. "
The vitality brothers in the North Sea
Ostfriesland , which stretches west from the Ems to the Weser in the east and borders the North Sea in the north , offered an ideal refuge for the Vitalien brothers fleeing the Baltic Sea in several ways: On the one hand, there were numerous hiding spots here, favored by the confusing one Topography of the landscape, which was criss-crossed by rivers, dykes and moorland: “Inlets criss-cross the land, small islands and bays mark the coastline.” The tides, the tidal creeks , the lows , the complicated current conditions, the possible landing sites and hiding spots make it clear that precisely this stretch of coast offered itself as a retreat for knowledgeable pirates. On the other hand, the political constitution of East Frisia ensured the best conditions for the Likedeelers, who had been robbed of their base of operations.
The East Frisian chiefs
East Friesland was not subject to any singular rule, rather it was split up into communities and territories of different sizes, over which so-called "hovetlinge" , i.e. chiefs , ruled. These were in feuds with one another in ever-changing coalitions, disloyalty and rapid party changes of individual chiefs kept coming to light.
Since feudal rule was just as unknown to the East Frisians as taxes, the leaders had to organize the financing of their disputes in some other way: the chiefs earned a large part of their livelihood through piracy and in this way gained the necessary funds to wage war.
As early as the 12th and 13th centuries, the " free Frisians ", as they called themselves, organized themselves in regional communities similar to that of a cooperative, in which in principle every member had equal rights. This fundamental equality applied to all owners of farmsteads and associated land in their respective villages and parishes. The public offices of judges or " redjeven " were determined by annual elections. But de facto some “nobiles” stood out from this “universitas” : In particular, the members of the large and rich families occupied the public offices. Status symbols of the nobiles were stone houses from the 13th century (as the forerunners of the later chieftain's castles) and small mercenary armies. In the late 13th century and up to the middle of the 14th century, a large number of crises (famine, storm surges, insufficient market for goods, epidemics) led to a loss of public order, the power of the nobiles solidified and the East Frisian chieftainship began to take shape : The chiefs quickly learned not to derive their authority from the will of the communities, but to understand and defend it as dynastic property.
The largest chief families around 1400 included the tom Brok family from Brokmerland , the Abdenas from Emden and the Folkmar Allena family, who dominated the Osterhusen . The chief of the Rüstringer Frisians and Edo Wiemken the Elder , who was responsible for Bant and Wangerland, also held a special position . He stood out as the host of the Vitalienbrüder, which is why the first punitive expedition of the Hanseatic League was directed against him: on July 4, 1398, he had to assure Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg that he would deprive the Vitalienbrothers of his protection and expel them from his area . The further correspondence between the hovetlingen and the Hanseatic League shows that such promises meant little .
The already complicated situation was made even more difficult by the expansion plans of Albrecht of Bavaria , who was also Count of Holland and from there exerted pressure on the chiefs in an easterly direction. All in all, the confusion of East Friesland's territorial policy cannot be overestimated.
Cooperation between chiefs and vitality brothers
Both sides benefited from the cooperation: The Vitalien Brothers brought war experience and flexibility with them, but above all, their deployment was extremely cheap in contrast to ordinary mercenaries, as they stole booty for their own account and did not ask for wages or food. The chiefs, on the other hand, offered a safe haven from persecution and a market for stolen goods - both of which are fundamental requirements for building a new base of operations.
A skirmish between Hamburgers and Vitalienbrothers is documented as early as 1390, and even in the following years chiefs occasionally worked with pirates. There was a significant increase in activities after the above-mentioned expulsion of the Vitality Brothers from Gotland by the Teutonic Order in 1398.
During the pirate voyages on the North Sea and the Weser, even Hanseatic and Dutch ships were not spared from raids, so that the Vitalienbrüder once again became an urgent problem for the Hanseatic League, this time especially for the cities of Hamburg and Bremen.
For example, the Bruges Hansekontor described an incident on May 4, 1398 that had occurred on the North Sea:
" [...] so raise de vitalienbruderes, dye Wyczold van dem Broke in Vresland uphold unde huset kort vorleden eyn schif genomen in Norway, [...] de sulven vitalienbruderes zeghelden uyt Norweghen vorby dat Zwen in de Hovede, unde so nemen se wol 14 off 15 schepe […]. Vor zo nemen ze up de zulven tiid eyn schip, dat uyt Enghelande qwam unde wolde int Zwen seghelen, inne dat koplude van unsen right grot well vorloren hebben an golde unde an wande, unde de sulven koplude hebben ze with en gevoret in Vreslande [ ...]. "
The Vitalienbrüder also gave one of these merchants, Egghert Schoeff, the order to align that they were “Godes vrende unde al der werlt vyande, sunder der von Hamborch ande van Bremen, want se dar komen unde aff unde to varen, wanner dat ze wolden . ” Thereupon the Flemish cities of Ghent , Bruges and Ypres wrote a letter less than three weeks later calling on the Hanseatic cities to take vigorous action against the Vitalienbrüder and to forbid Hamburg and Bremen from buying the stolen goods. The two cities tried to free themselves from the allegations of collaboration and, as a result, displayed particularly energetic behavior.
It became clear that with the expulsion of the Vitalienbrüder from the Baltic Sea, the problem of the Hanseatic League was not solved, it had merely shifted to a new location: In June 1398, as already briefly indicated above, the Hanseatic League's first major operation took place the pirates in the Jade Bay area . Even during 1399, Lübeck ships operated under the command of Councilor Henning von Rentelen off the East Frisian coast.
On February 2, 1400, at a small Hanseatic League in Lübeck, it was decided to send eleven armed cogs with 950 men to the North Sea. Keno II. Tom Brok reacted immediately by apologizing in a letter dated 25 February to the Hanseatic cities for the accommodation of the Vitalienbrüder and promising their immediate release. Since the released Vitalienbrüder immediately found employment with Keno's opponents Hisko von Emden and Edo Wiemken as well as with the Count of Oldenburg, Keno tom Brok and his allies, above all Folkmar Allena , Enno Haytatisna and Haro Aldesna , subsequently hired pirates again. An "armament spiral" had formed, it was hardly possible for the individual chief to do without the help of the Vitalienbrüder because he could not possibly compensate for the military potential of the pirates with his own house power, which was available to his opponents.
Lübeck pressed for action: On April 22nd, the agreed Hanse fleet set sail from Hamburg with a course for East Friesland. On May 5th, she met vital brothers hosted by Folkmar Allena on the Osterems and defeated them. 80 pirates were killed, 34 were captured and later executed.
The Hanseatic League emphasized their request by having the town and castle of Emden transferred to Hisko on May 6th. This laid the basis for further operations; From here, further castles and fortresses were conquered. This intransigence made the company a complete success for the Hanseatic League. On May 23, all the chiefs and communities of East Frisia confirmed that they would never accept Brothers vitality again. Some of the pirates then left East Friesland and looked for new allies: A letter from two ship captains to Hamburg on May 6 states that two captains, Gödeke Michael and Wigbold, had sailed to Norway with 200 defenders. Duke Albrecht of Holland also took in 114 Brothers of Vitality on August 15, including a "Johan Stortebeker" among eight captains. Equipped with Dutch letters of piracy, the Vitalienbrüder operated in the North Sea.
The end of the vitality brothers
The Hanseatic League did not achieve its real goal: it could neither pacify East Frisia permanently nor solve the pirate problem sustainably. Again these had escaped them, albeit this time at a higher rate of blood, and the leadership was even complete.
But now Hamburg pursued them directly and resolutely and provided at least that part of the pirates who had moved to Heligoland . The exact date and background of this expedition are not known, but it can be assumed that it was carried out between August 15th and November 11th of the year 1400. The operation was under the direction of two Hamburg councilors, Hermann Lange and Nikolaus Schoke, as confirmed by the Hamburg combing invoices from the following year 1401: For the trip of Messrs Hermann Lange and Nikolaus Schoken to Heligoland last year against the Vitalien Brothers: a total of 57 pounds . The Rufus Chronicle :
“ In deme sulven jare de Engelandesvarer van der Stad Hamborch uppe der zee myt den zeeroveren, de syk vitalyenbroder nomeden, unde proclaim the seghe Any se. Se slughen erer beth den 40 doet by Hilghelande ande vinghen erer by 70th de brought se myt syk to Hamborch, unde leten en alle de hovede afslan; (...) desser vitalien hovetlude weren ghenomet Wichman and Clawes Stortebeker. (Translation after Seebald: In the same year (1402) the England drivers of the city of Hamburg fought at sea with the pirates, who called themselves Vitalienbrüder, and won a victory over them. At Helgoland they killed up to 40 of them and took 70 prisoners took them with them to Hamburg and had them all beheaded (...) The captains of these vitality brothers were Wichmann and Klaus Störtebeker. ) "
The England voyagers , as Lange and Schoke are referred to in the contemporary source, formed the backbone of the fight against piracy in the North Sea for good reason, since the British trade suffered most from this unbearable evil that had degenerated into the last quarter of the century.
In 1401 Hamburg took action against Störtebeker's old companion Gödeke Michels. Again the date is confirmed by combing invoices : "For the trip of Messrs Nicolaus Schoke and Hindrik Jenevelt over the Weser against the Vitalienbrüder 230 pounds and 14 shillings." Three ships were equipped and Michels and his crew were provided:
" (...) dar na not langhe quemen de sulven Enghelandesvarer uppe eynen other horns of zeeroveren unde slughen syk myt en (...) unde vynghen erer by 80 unde vorden se myt syk to Hamborch; it has been unthought (...). desser hovetmanne weren gheheten Godeke Michels ande Wygbold, a master of the seven arts. (Translation according to Seebald: Not long afterwards the same British travelers met another band of pirates and fought with them. And yet God gave the capable heroes the victory, because they murdered many of them, caught about 80 and brought them with them to Hamburg she beheaded (...) Her captains were Godeke Michels and Wigbold, a master of the seven arts. "
With the execution of Michels, the most important leader of the Vitalienbrüder had been rendered harmless. Here is another turning point in the history of the Likedeelers. Even if pirates continued to bring ships of the Hanseatic League in the following years, the term "Vitalienbruder" had already become a synonym for the pirate itself and therefore continued to appear in the sources of the following years, these ventures are no longer related to to put the turmoil of the Danish succession or the East Frisian chiefs: Piracy, both in the North Sea and in the Baltic Sea, existed before and after the events described here. However, there is no longer any causal continuity to the story of the Vitalienbrüder, who came on the scene in 1391 and represented an immense threat to merchant shipping up to and including 1401. In 1427 Oesel was attacked twice. With a second looting of Bergen during the Danish-Hanseatic War in 1429, one last outstanding operation by the pirates has been handed down, but a definitive end in its history is the great punitive expedition of Hamburg against Sibet Lubbenson, Edo Wiemken's grandson: Simon van Utrecht , who had already participated in the overcoming of Gödeke Michels, set out for Emden in 1433 with 21 ships and conquered the city.
In 1435, the City Council of Hamburg decided to establish regional rule over the conquered Emden, as the obviously most stable guarantee against a resurgence of piracy favored by chiefs and dragged the Sibetsburg (in the area of today's Wilhelmshaven ), the former residence of Edo, won after tough battles Wiemkens.
After 1435 the testimonies of the Vitalienbrüder disappeared in history, their end was reached. For the Hanseatic League, however, this did not mean the solution to their “pirate problem”. Capturing , piracy and piracy continued to exist - they survived the Hanseatic League.
Vitalienbrüder and Hanseatic League - economic aspects
Piracy and its fight as a cost factor
The actual dimensions of the damage that the piracy of the Vitalienbrüder inflicted on the Hanseatic League are difficult to determine today. Too often contemporary sources only document “great damage” or “a lot of hardship” through the influence of the vitality brothers.
The loss of ships alone was the first big item in this calculation: the value of a cog can be estimated at several hundred pounds, in Luebian currency over 1,000 marks . Cases have been handed down in which merchants were able to buy back their previously stolen ships, and sometimes even the cargo, from the Likedeelers. Another source of income for the pirates was ransom demands for captured and kidnapped merchants.
Not only the actual piracy, i.e. the active capturing of merchants, had a negative effect on the Hanseatic economy: The fact that long stretches of the North and Baltic Seas were temporarily not navigable also caused immense damage to the Hanseatic merchant and for price increases up to ten times the previous value of the goods:
“ [The Vitalienbrüder] unfortunately threatened the whole sea and all merchants, whether friends or foes, so that the Schonenfahrt was probably three years down. That is why the herring was very expensive in those years [from 1392]. "
But the resistance, for example with the help of peace ships, meant high costs for the Hanseatic cities. In order to finance such military interventions, the cities levied pound money , a kind of special tax on goods traded in the Hanseatic ports. The first decision to raise such pound money is recorded for the year 1377. For the following year alone, costs of over £ 10,000 have been documented for the peace ships from Lübeck and Stralsund. However, the pound tariff was only accepted, if at all, in times of acute threat from the Vitalienbrothers or before major operations.
Time and again, individual cities refused to raise pound tariffs or even stayed completely out of financing the war fleets. First and foremost, the conflict of interest between the cities of Rostock and Wismar should be pointed out once again, which stood out in this regard: a decisive advocacy of the Hanseatic League would have seen its sovereign, Albrecht von Mecklenburg, as treason. Therefore, both cities exercised restraint whenever it came to fighting the pirating allies of their ruler. The Hanseatic League, however, took the difficult territorial situation into consideration and refrained from severe penalties against the two cities.
Differences of opinion are also documented again and again between Bremen and Hamburg as well as Lübeck and the Prussian cities or the leadership of the Teutonic Order. These repeatedly led to violent disputes within the Hanseatic League and finally to the search for new ways of fighting the pirates: Reference should be made here to the transfer of the task to the private man Wulf Wulflam , described in more detail above .
However, this does not cover all of the costs of fighting pirates: For example, questions of logistics (costs for broadcasting, payments and contracts with non-Hanseatic rulers, compensation payments, costs for delivery ships, etc.) have not yet been taken into account. The reconstruction of such widely ramified editions turns out to be extremely complicated.
Stolen goods and outlets
Another point of controversy within the Hanseatic League was the practice of individual cities to provide the Vitality Brothers with a market for their stolen goods in their ports. First of all, the accusation against Hamburg and Bremen should be mentioned, which arose after the attack on the Danzig merchant Egghert Schoeff in 1398: After the Vitalien brothers let him know that they were “God's friends and enemies of all the world, with the exception of the cities of Hamburg and Bremen ” , since they could sell their goods there at any time, both cities were confronted with considerable suspicion. In fact, Hamburg and Bremen, as well as the individual markets in East Friesland or Groningen, were ideally suited for selling looted property. Again and again these are documented as contact points for pirate ships. But there were also sales markets inland for the Vitaliens, especially the cities of Münster and Osnabrück .
Legal aspects of piracy around 1400
As serovere , Pirate, was who attacked their own initiative, ie without state authorization, and for its own account other ships in predatory intent. In this case, state authorization meant being in possession of a letter of credit . In relation to the Vitalienbrüder, this implied the recognition of the pirates as allies of the Duke of Mecklenburg. The arrest of enemy ships was thus legitimized by martial law. Consequently, by definition, the Vitaliens were no longer pirates or pirates .
In historical reality, however, these boundaries became blurred: On the one hand, the Vitalienbrüder did not adhere to the statutes of the letters of piracy and boarded ships that were not directly involved in the Danish-Mecklenburg war. On the other hand, the Hanseatic cities rarely accepted the status of piracy or simply ignored it: For them, the Vitaliens were mere pirates who had to be fought as hard as possible.
According to today's feeling, the penalty for piracy was correspondingly harsh: beheading by the sword. According to medieval legal norms, however, this execution was considered the only honorable one. It was usually reserved for aristocratic delinquents. All the punishments common in Hamburg are shown in an illustration of the Hamburg city law from 1479: the closing of the legs in a stick, wheels, hanging, standing in pillory, pounding and finally beheading.
The fact that Hamburg, as an unyielding adversary of the Vitalienbrüder, did not deviate from this method of enforcement, can be interpreted as a final concession to those actually legitimized by martial law. In addition, the criminal law held the Vitalienbrüdern in favor of the criterion of openness : a secret attack, for example the theft of 16 shillings or more, was punished with hanging.
As a rule, the heads of those executed were put on stakes on Hamburg's Grasbrook and set up along the Elbe . This was intended to create a deterrent potential and to issue a warning to all ships calling at the city: Hamburg had declared war on the Vitalien brothers.
The ships of the Vitalienbrüder
Ship types: cog and holk
Vitalienbrüder and Hanse used the same ships for their respective ventures. According to research, it cannot be confirmed that the pirates used faster ships: their greater speed can be attributed to the lower cargo. The two most important and largest types of ships for seafaring were the cog and the holk .
Due to its flat keel, the cog could not cross against the wind, otherwise the lateral drift would be too great. This sometimes led to long waiting times, which the merchants had to pay dearly for the seafarers because of the wages they had to pay.
For the later deployed Holk , less drift was expected due to its deeper keel. However, he shared the decisive disadvantage in terms of navigability with the cog: Both had only a single, huge square sail of around 200 m², which required a large team to operate, especially in strong winds.
Both ships had in common that they were built particularly high-sided. For the pirates, this meant that they also needed high-sided ships to be able to board the merchants.
The higher number of crew ensured that the Likedeelers were superior to the common merchant. A crew of one skipper and ten men have been handed down for a ship that is comparable in size to the Bremen Hansekogge. In addition there were so-called young servants. so cabin boys who, however, were not counted as part of the crew. Later, specialized seamen were also employed, for example ship carpenters or sailmakers. Merchants or clerks were also part of the crew on merchant ships. The crews of pirates were probably twice as big as those of the merchant ships, in order to have the decisive advantage in boarding battles: On average there were probably 30 to 40 men.
This created a kind of "armament spiral", because the superiority of the Vitalienbrüder in terms of crew strength meant that the Hanseatic League resorted to even larger crews on its peace ships. A Hamburg cog with 20 sailors and 60 warriors on board is confirmed for the year 1368. Later warships with up to 100 men were used. It can be clearly seen that it was not the type of ship that was decisive for the success of a naval battle, but the equipment of the respective ship with regard to crew and armament.
The ships were extensively equipped with crossbows for military operations . For this purpose, fixed guns were attached to the front and aft fort of the Koggen and Holke as well as in mast baskets. The use of firearms has also been handed down, but the projectiles fired with them lacked the necessary twist to ensure a stable trajectory. The much more accurate crossbows were effectively used before the start of the boarding battle in order to incapacitate as many opponents as possible in the run-up to the actual battle. In the boarding battle itself, swords and axes were used in addition to daggers and clubs.
Heavy ship guns set up in the battery deck were not used until 1493, when lockable gun ports began to prevail. So they did not play a decisive role at the time of the Vitalienbrüder. Permanently mounted throwing machines, so-called Bliden , on the other hand, could also cover greater distances between the ships.
Other types of ships
In addition to cogs and holks, smaller ships were also used, which were put to the side to support the large sailors. Above all, the single- masted cog should be mentioned here, which was superior to the cog in terms of maneuverability due to its maneuverability and higher speed. The ships with a shallow draft were used especially for operations in shallow waters or for landings. On the other hand, they were not suitable for boarding combat because of their low side walls, which is why they were often equipped with crossbows to drive ships to be captured onto the cogs and holks of the Vitalienser. Schniggen was able to transport up to 55 armed men to war missions.
The social reception of the phenomenon of “vitality brothers” has undergone a radical change: While their name still meant disaster and danger to medieval contemporaries, over time there has been a positive reinterpretation of their motifs up to idealistic transfiguration. Of course, the first thing to refer to is the legend of Störtebeker, who has become a symbol of resistance, daring, self-determination and adventure. The myth lives on in an unmanageable amount of historical and adventure novels, comics, films, songs and, last but not least, at the annual "Störtebeker Festival" on the island of Rügen .
The Vitalienbrüder step back behind Klaus Störtebeker , as well as historically more important leaders of the federal government like Gödeke Michels or Magister Wigbold . Here a clear dividing line must be drawn between historical research on the one hand and traditional tradition on the other: If Störtebeker was, as long as one follows contemporary sources, only one of many captains of the Vitalienser, the legend makes him the leader and representative.
A similar shift can also be observed on the side of the pirate hunters: In the course of time, Simon von Utrecht ousted the actual leaders of the England drivers, Hermann Lange, Nikolaus Schoke and Hinrik Jenefeld.
The transfiguration and reinterpretation of real events began with the chroniclers of the Middle Ages, influenced by the sagas and legends of the population. This tradition continued: in 1701, the composer Reinhard Keizer performed an opera on the theme of the Störtebeker myth for the first time in Hamburg; in 1783, a play called Claus Storzenbecher is documented at the Hamburg City Theater . Another opera, two plays, five poetic and nine prose works were created in the 18th century.
The trend continued from 1900: up to and including 1945, four ballads, a radio play, ten plays and 18 novels and stories about Störtebeker and the Vitalienbrüder have been handed down. The National Socialists also exploited the Störtebeker myth. He was woven into the propaganda of Hitler Germany as a "Nordic rebel" with the right to "plunder the neighboring peoples".
Even under a Marxist interpretation, which wanted to correct the National Socialist reception, the myth in Willi Bredel's novel Die Vitalienbrüder seems to work: The Hanseatic patrician families were stylized as a ruling class, which the proletarian hero Störtebeker opposed with his socialist-minded Likedeelern. Here, too, Störtebeker's reading was implicitly further constructed as a “Robin Hood of the seas”. This continued in the planning of a theater production by the SED Central Committee from 1959 under the title Klaus Störtebeker . Henning quotes the play's epilogue as follows:
"Störtebeker - Göstemichel - / Wigbold, wat liggt attached - / Socialism ahead - / The workers / gentlemen in their own house."
This performance laid the foundation for today's “Störtebeker Festival” on the island of Rügen.
The “beheading” of the Hamburg Simon van Utrecht memorial on the Kersten Miles Bridge in 1985 must also be viewed in a political context . The destroyed statue was provided with political graffiti . They called for gangs to be formed, confirmed that piracy had a great future, or threatened “We'll all get pepper sacks!” In reference to the contemporary swear word for the wealthy Hanseatic merchants. The action was closely related to Simons van Utrecht's involvement in the arrest and beheading of Gödeke Michel: “Not all heads roll until after 500 years!”
The Vitalienbrothers and their prominent leader live on in the myth. However, these legends should not be confused with historical facts. They are not witnesses to history itself, but rather to its historical reception and the needs of the individual people at their respective time: The legends of the pirate's voyage and the Vitalienser become a projection surface for vanishing points from everyday life and as a result have very little in common with the historical model . This takes a back seat and makes room for the desire for freedom and adventure.
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- Similar forms of organization are handed down from the pirates of the Caribbean Sea three centuries later.
- Both from Mecklenburg and Denmark , later also Holland and the various chiefs of East Frisia
- See Jörgen Bracker: Klaus Störtebeker - Just one of them. The story of the vitality brothers. Revised and abridged version, in: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 57.
- Theodor Schiemann : Die Vitalienbrüder and their meaning for Lievland , Hamburg / Mitau 1886, p. 18.
- Cf. Brigitta Eimer: Gotland under the Teutonic Order and the Commandery Sweden to Arsta. Universitätsverlag Wagner (Ed.), 1966, p. 125 u. 333
- See Mecklenburgische Jahrbücher: Volumes 68–69, 1903, p. 57.
- cf. Matthias Puhle: The Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 71 ff.
- Cf. Reimar Kock, in: Chronik des Franziskaner Lesemeister Detmar based on the original and with additions from other chronicles. Edited by FH Grautoff, Part I, Hamburg 1829, p. 497.
- Cf. Petra Bauersfeld: The social significance of the Vitalienbrüder: A social and cultural-historical consideration of the pirates around Klaus Störtebeker. In: Uwe Danker (ed.): Democratic history. Schleswig-Holsteinischer Geschichtsverlag, o. O. 1998, p. 22.
- Gerda Henkel Foundation: The Störtebeker Myth. Retrieved December 17, 2018 .
- See Hansisches Urkundenbuch, Vol. IV, No. 343–345, pp. 141–145.
- Phillipe Dollinger: The Hanseatic League. Stuttgart 1998, p. 101.
- Hanserecesse I 3, No. 81, p. 70: “ […] de consensu et voluntate tocius communitatis regni Dacie illustrem Olavum filium sereni principis domini Haquini regis Norway in lively Danorum concorditer elegisse […]. "
- See Hansisches Urkundenbuch, Vol. IV, No. 551, p. 226.
- Dieter Zimmerling: Störtebeker & Co. The heyday of the pirates in the North and Baltic Seas. Hamburg 2000, p. 53.
- Cf. Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 20.
- The Hanseatic League as a whole had neither peace ships nor war people. Karl Pagel, Braunschweig 1965.
- From the contemporary "Vredenschepe". These are by no means (as the name suggests) peace ships in the literal sense, but cogs upgraded to warships, whose task it was to pacify the Baltic Sea, that is, to free it from pirates.
- Ernst Daenell: The heyday of the German Hanseatic League: Hanseatic history from the second half of the XIV. To the last quarter of the XV. Century. Vol. 1, 3rd edition. Berlin 2001, p. 110.
- Cf. Dieter Zimmerling: Störtebeker & Co. The heyday of pirates in the North and Baltic Seas. Hamburg 2000, p. 57.
- Ernst Daenell: The heyday of the German Hanseatic League: Hanseatic history from the second half of the XIV. To the last quarter of the XV. Century. Vol. 1, 3rd edition. Berlin 2001, p. 111.
- Hanserecesse I 2, No. 308, p. 366.
- Hanserecesse I 2, No. 300, p. 353: “And all harm van schepen, van koste, van luden and van vengnisse schalhe sulven allene utstan. […] And hir vore scholen eme de stede geven 5000 mark Sundisch. [...] Vortmer wat vromen he nympt van seeroveren, de schal sin wesen, yd en were, dat de seerover dem koepmanne dat ghenomen hadden, dat scholde men deme koepmanne wedder gheven [...]. "
- Detmar Chronicle. In: Chronicle of the Franciscan reading master Detmar based on the original and with additions from other chronicles. Ed. By FH Grautoff, Part I, Hamburg 1829, p. 351: “In demesulven iare toch hertoge iohan van mekelenborch, here to stargarde, over in Sweden to deme holme, sinen vedderen konink alberte van sweden to troste unde to helpe; "
- Ernst Daenell: The heyday of the German Hanseatic League: Hanseatic history from the second half of the XIV. To the last quarter of the XV. Century. Vol. 1, 3rd edition. Berlin 2001, p. 119.
- cit. according to Matthias Puhle: The Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 38.
- Jörgen Bracker: Störtebeker - Just one of them. The story of the vitality brothers. In: Ralf Wiechmann, Günter Bräuer, Klaus Püschel (eds.): Klaus Störtebeker. A myth is deciphered. Munich 2003, p. 22.
- Reimar Kock, in: Chronicle of the Franziskaner Reading Master Detmar based on the original and with additions from other chronicles. Edited by FH Grautoff, I. Teil, Hamburg 1829, p. 495. Original text: “Anno 1493 […] [hedden] de vramen Victallien Brodere de Sehe inne […], unde everybody harm deden, derhalven tho Lubeck alle Segelatie Stille lagh [...]. "
- Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 66.
- Detmar Chronicle quoted. according to Matthias Puhle: The Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 52f.
- The Icelandic Flatøannaler , quoted in. after Puhle, p. 53. In the rest of the historical literature, the management of the company is attributed to Bartolomeus Voet, z. B. Vitalians . In: Theodor Westrin, Ruben Gustafsson Berg, Eugen Fahlstedt (eds.): Nordisk familjebok konversationslexikon och realencyklopedi . 2nd Edition. tape 32 : Werth – Väderkvarn . Nordisk familjeboks förlag, Stockholm 1921, Sp. 861 (Swedish, runeberg.org ).
- Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 54.
- Ernst Daenell: The heyday of the German Hanseatic League: Hanseatic history from the second half of the XIV. To the last quarter of the XV. Century. Volume 1, 3rd edition. Berlin 2001, p. 127.
- Voyages in eight Volumes, Vol. I, ed. by Richard Hakluyt, London and New York 1907, pp. 146–157: “Item, in the yeere of our Lord 1394. one Goddekin Mighel, Clays Scheld, Storbiker and various others of Wismer and Rostok […] tooke out of a ship of Elbing [...]. " (p. 152), the following is a list of eleven incidents that are explicitly charged to Michels and Störtebeker, as each of the entries with the corresponding year and the introduction " the forenamed Godekins and Stertebeker " begins. However, the number of unreported cases will be much higher.
- Ernst Daenell: The heyday of the German Hanseatic League: Hanseatic history from the second half of the XIV. To the last quarter of the XV. Century. Vol. 1, 3rd edition. Berlin 2001, p. 131 f.
- This shows that (at least at this point in time, that is, after their dispersion), a homogeneous or cohesive group cannot be assumed.
- Cf. Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 93 and Jörgen Bracker: Klaus Störtebeker - Just one of them. The story of the vitality brothers. In: Ralf Wiechmann: Klaus Störtebeker: a myth is deciphered. Paderborn u. a. 2003, pp. 9–59, here: p. 24 as well as Hanserecesse I 4 No. 438, § 4, p. 416: "Dornoch czo was Swen Schur, who held the land of Godtlandt, and krygete with the stad Wisbu several cziet, alze the king Albrecht synen czon, duke Eryk, with synem wybe of Mekilburg czu ships obir sante with veyl knights and servants, dy stad czu Wisbu c to save, as the same duke duke voste long krygete with Swen Schur, bas alzo long, bas ym Swan Schur that lands Gotlandt and all dy slosse inantwertte, and waited domethe des konigis Albrechts man. "
- Fritz Teichmann: The position and politics of the Hanseatic seaside towns towards the Vitalienbrüdern in the Nordic throne confusion 1389-1400. Berlin 1931, p. 7.
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 438, § 5, p. 416: “[…] and lis kundegen in all lands by the toe the vytalgenbrudern, do rouben welde umme dy helped syner frouwen, the duke, and ym, the sulde have off the slossen czu Gotlandt, alzo Landeskrone and Sleyt. "
- Jörgen Bracker: Störtebeker - Just one of them. The story of the vitality brothers. In: Ralf Wiechmann, Günter Bräuer, Klaus Püschel (eds.): Klaus Störtebeker. A myth is deciphered. Munich 2003, p. 25.
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 427, p. 407: "[...] dat erer like to have been with erer vedderken, hertogh Erikes wyf van Mekelborgh [...]."
- Hancerecesse I 4, no. 438, § 9, p. 416: "Des zo wa the high master czu rathe with synen bitigern and with synen steten, the her dys meynte c to disturb, and lys us want to 84 ship, cleyne and gros, […] And saczte dorin 4000 man czu harnisch, and gave yn methe in dy schiff 400 pherd […]. [D] o our homeister dy ship lis ussegeln, bas zu Gotlandt [...]. "
- Hancerecesse I 4, No. 437, p. 414.
- Phillipe Dollinger: The Hanseatic League. Stuttgart 1998, p. 114.
- Antje Sander: Hiding places, storage areas and markets. Notes on the topography of the Jade Bay around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Hrsg.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 169.
- Heinrich Schmidt: The eastern Friesland around 1400. Territorial-political structures and movements. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 95.
- Dieter Zimmerling: Störtebeker & Co. The heyday of the pirates in the North and Baltic Seas. Hamburg 2000, p. 223f.
- Heinrich Schmidt: The eastern Friesland around 1400. Territorial-political structures and movements. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 86.
- Heinrich Schmidt: The eastern Friesland around 1400. Territorial-political structures and movements. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 87.
- Hartmut Roder: Klaus Störtebeker - Chief of the Vitalienbrüder. In: ders. (Ed.): Pirates - Lords of the Seven Seas. Bremen 2000, p. 41.
- Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 111.
- For example, in 1395 after the Treaty of Skanör and Falsterbo (see above), in 1396 a group of Vitalienbrüder sought admission to Count Konrad von Mecklenburg, but was turned away and finally found refuge with Widzel tom Brok, cf. Hanserecesse I 4, No. 359, p. 346: “[…] de zerovere legheren wolden to Oldenborg, […] that they were not cherished […] Dar boven heft [Wytzolde] se to sik genomen, unde he is de those de se untholt. "
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 453, p. 431f.
- Hanserecesse I 4, p. 432.
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 457, p. 434.
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 570, § 5, p. 522.
- Document book of the city of Lübeck, Dept. I, Vol. 4, No. 692, p. 788: “[…] [I] k Keno […] confess unde betughe openbar in desem brefe, […] dat ick wil unde schal van my laten alle vitallienbroder, old unde jung, de ick bette desser tyd hebbe, vnde de ick had suffered from mynen sloten unde in mynen ghebheden, so dat ze van my unde de minen scholet uttheen to lande unde not to watere van hours an [ ...]. "
- Hanserecesse I 4, no. 589, p. 534f .: "[...] Keene heft de vitalienbrudere van sych gelaten, [...] etlike høvetlinge in Vreesland, alze Ede Wummekens unde de van Emede de vitalgenbroder wedder to be genomen hebben, unde de greve van Oldenborch […]. “ With Edo Wiemken and Hisko von Emden, by the way, those chiefs who had solemnly vowed not two years before never to team up with the pirates again!
- Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 106.
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 591, pp. 538-546.
- May 9: Larrelt Castle, May 12: Loquard Castle (razed on June 14), between May 16 and 23: Tower of Marienfeld (razed at the beginning of June), Wittmund Castle, Groothusen Castle (razed June 14) .
- Document book of the city of Lübeck, Dept. I, Vol. 4, No. 699, p. 793: “Witlik sy allen den ghenen, de whose bref see edder hear read, dat wy houetlinge vnde menheyt des ghantsen landes to Ostvreslande, also dat evidenced is twysschen the Emese vnde the Wesere, vp dat wy schullen vnde sake number to ewyghen tyden Vytalienbrodere edder other rouere […] husede ofte heghedein vnsen landen ofte ghebede. "
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 658, p. 593.
- Hanserecesse I 4, No. 605, p. 552: "Aelbrecht etc doen cond allen luden, dat wii een voerwaerde gedadingt ends with [...] Johan Stortebeker [...] van hore gemeenre vitaelgebroedere [...]."
- For the detailed derivation of this period cf. Puhle, p. 130.
- "Ad reysam dominorum Hermanni Langhen et Nicolai Schoken, in Hilghelande, de anno preterito contra Vitalienses: summa 57 ℔." Karl Koppmann: Kammereirechnungen der Stadt Hamburg, Vol. II, 1401-1470. Hamburg 1873, p. 2 books.google .
- Rufus Chronicle, in: The chronicles of the German cities from the 14th to the 16th century. Vol. 28. Ed. Historical Commission of the Royal Academie der Wissenschaften, Leipzig 1902, p. 25.
- Translation from Middle Low German, in: Christian Seebald: Libretti vom "Mittelalter": Discoveries of history in (north) German and European opera around 1700. Walter de Gruyter Verlag, 2009, p. 298, footnote 698 ( online in Google - book search)
- Jörgen Bracker: Klaus Störtebeker - Just one of them. The story of the vitality brothers. Revised and abridged version, in: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 70.
- Combing accounts of the city of Hamburg, vol. II, p. 2: "Ad reysam dominorum Nicolai Schoken et Hinrici Ienevelt, super Weseram contra Vitalienses 230 £ 14 ß."
- Rufus Chronicle, p. 26.
- Translation from Middle Low German according to Christian Seebald: Libretti from the "Middle Ages": Discoveries of History in (North) German and European Opera around 1700. Walter de Gruyter Verlag, 2009.
- Jörgen Bracker: Klaus Störtebeker - Just one of them. The story of the vitality brothers. Revised and abridged version, in: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 68.
- Cf. Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 143: 1402 attack by a citizen of Kampen, 1405 piracy off Emden, 1408: Vitalienbrüder loot five Hansa ships etc.
- Heinrich Schmidt: The eastern Friesland around 1400. Territorial-political structures and movements. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 85–109, here: p. 108.
- See Rudolf Holbach: Hanse und Seeraub. Economic aspects. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 134.
- Detmar Chronicle. P. 395f.
- See Rudolf Holbach: Hanse und Seeraub. Economic aspects. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 131–151, here: p. 135.
- See Rudolf Holbach: Hanse und Seeraub. Economic aspects. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 131–151, here: p. 149.
- Rudolf Holbach: Hanseatic League and piracy. Economic aspects. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 149.
- Ulrich Aldermann: Late medieval piracy as a criminal offense and its punishment. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht: Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, p. 24.
- For example the merchants of the Hanseatic League, to whom at most a “structural” participation can be assumed, since they supplied both sides with goods.
- Ulrich Aldermann: Late medieval piracy as a criminal offense and its punishment. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 23–36, here: p. 33.
- See Ralf Wiechmann, Eilin Einfeldt, Klaus Püschel : "... men scholde en ere hovede afhowen and negele se uppe den stok." The pirate skulls from Grasbrook. In: Jörgen Bracker (Hrsg.): God's friend - all the world's enemy: from piracy and convoy travel; Störtebeker and the consequences. Museum of Hamburg History 2001, p. 55.
- Ulrich Aldermann: Late medieval piracy as a criminal offense and its punishment. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 23–36, here: p. 34.
- See Detlev Ellmers: The ships of the Hanseatic League and the pirates around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 153–168, here: p. 155.
- It was not until after 1450, decades after the end of the Vitalienbrüder, that square sails were attached to three masts, thus gaining significantly better control over the stalk.
- See Walter Vogel: History of the German Sea Shipping. Vol. 1. Berlin 1915, p. 452.
- See Detlev Ellmers: The ships of the Hanseatic League and the pirates around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 153–168, here: p. 163.
- Detlev Ellmers: The ships of the Hanseatic League and the pirates around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Hrsg.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 153–168, here: p. 163.
- See Detlev Ellmers: The ships of the Hanseatic League and the pirates around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 153–168, here: p. 158.
- See Detlev Ellmers: The ships of the Hanseatic League and the pirates around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Ed.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 153–168, here: p. 159.
- Detlev Ellmers: The ships of the Hanseatic League and the pirates around 1400. In: Wilfried Ehbrecht (Hrsg.): Störtebeker - 600 years after his death. Trier 2005, pp. 153–168, here: p. 164.
- See Klaus J. Henning: Störtebeker lives! Aspects of a legend. In: Jörgen Bracker (Hrsg.): God's friend - all the world's enemy: from piracy and convoy travel; Störtebeker and the consequences. Museum for Hamburg History, [Hamburg] 2001, p. 87.
- cf. Klaus J. Henning: Störtebeker lives! Aspects of a legend. In: Jörgen Bracker (Hrsg.): God's friend - all the world's enemy: from piracy and convoy travel; Störtebeker and the consequences. Museum for Hamburg History, [Hamburg] 2001, pp. 80–97, here: p. 91.
- Willi Bredel: Die Vitalienbrüder: a Störtebeker novel . Hinstorff, Rostock 1996.
- Klaus J. Henning: Störtebeker is alive! Aspects of a legend. In: Jörgen Bracker (Hrsg.): God's friend - all the world's enemy: from piracy and convoy travel; Störtebeker and the consequences. Museum for Hamburg History, [Hamburg] 2001, pp. 80–97, here: p. 95.
- Cf. Matthias Puhle: Die Vitalienbrüder: Klaus Störtebeker and the pirates of the Hanseatic era. 2nd Edition. Frankfurt am Main 1994, p. 176f.
- On Störtebeker as a prime example for the romanticization of the Likedeelers in the present cf. Karin Lubowski: hero or scoundrel . In: Hamburger Abendblatt. October 21, 2006. The NDR documentary mentioned therein, The True Treasure of Störtebeker by Arne Lorenz, also deals with the history and current reception of the Vitalienbrüder.