1554 Reviews of Books cal, botanical, and medical—suggests that an examina- the effusive hagiographies of the 1820s and 1830s to the tion of these issues in the universities might add to school textbooks of the Wilhelmine empire and the cin- Johnson’s picture. Given the curricular reforms at the ematic portrayals of the Weimar and National Socialist new Lutheran institutions in the mid-sixteenth century, eras. Particularly interesting are the Schill monuments: it is likely that there would be found clear relationships in 1833, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, ’s most cele- between the expansion of the world and the Reforma- brated architect, designed a fine, austere memorial for tion, which Johnson says makes little difference over the city of , where eleven of Schill’s officers were the period of her study. shot on orders of the French authorities. Another ap- PETER DEAR peared four years later in , where a fur- Cornell University ther fourteen captured Schill’sche had been executed for desertion by the Westphalian government. There is SAM A. MUSTAFA. The Long Ride of Major von Schill: A a fascinating excursus on the fate of Schill’s head,

Journey through German History and Memory. Lanham, which, having been cut from his body and preserved in Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article/114/5/1554/19609 by guest on 01 October 2021 Md.: Rowman and Littlefield. 2008. Pp. xxv, 313. a barrel of wine-spirit, found its way to the University $49.95. of Leiden. Only in 1837 was it “returned” for solemn burial under the monument in Braunschweig. The On April 28, 1809, Major Ferdinand von Schill led his regiment out of Berlin with the intention of heading a head, when lifted from the barrel, was found to have patriotic insurrection against the French. His impro- been perfectly preserved, except for the eyeballs, which vised campaign, launched without official authoriza- had rotted. It had even managed to grow a short beard. tion, ended in abject failure. The Germans he encoun- As Schill processed from history into myth, he mor- tered on his “long ride” through Prussia, , phed from a Prussian into a German hero. The ethnic Dessau, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Swedish Pomera- complexities of the were air-brushed nia failed to rise up against the invader, and he and a away as the conflict was reimagined in conformity with large part of his force were eventually cornered in the later nineteenth and twentieth-century nationalism. By city of . There, on May 31, 1809, Schill was the same token, the reckless adventurer who deserted shot in the head and stabbed by Dutch and Danish his post without the king’s leave was transformed into troops fighting for . an icon of soldierly virtue. In 1889, Kaiser Wilhelm II Schill is now little more than a footnote to the history named the Fourth Regiment “von Schill” for of the Napoleonic wars, but, as Sam A. Mustafa dem- the fallen hero. The Infantry Division “Ferdinand von onstrates in this engrossing and meticulously re- Schill,” raised in mid-April 1945, was a last-minute ap- searched study, the “long ride” was a journey rich in peal to the idea of undying resistance. In Kolberg, the contemporary and retrospective meanings. This book is 1944 cinema epic with which Joseph Goebbels hoped to the first work in English to attempt a detailed recon- rally the Germans against their enemies, Schill appears struction of the Schill campaign and the myths and in a dark hussar’s pelisse, “his deliberately anachronis- memories that were subsequently woven around it. tic costume looking more like an SS uniform than the Mustafa has trawled through primary sources in eight uniform of a lieutenant of ” (p. 242). German archives, collating and cross-referencing the Mustafa is at pains to provide a vivid sense of the dispersed traces of Schill’s venture. Controversial ep- places in which his story unfolds, and many of the chap- isodes receive judicious and illuminating analysis. Mus- ters open with travel-guide exhortations to the reader: tafa is especially good on the question of whether Schill “walk out of the auditorium,” “step off the train in We- lured his men into compliance by (falsely) claiming that sel,” “drive south from ,” “cross the broad the king had authorized his campaign. Newspapers and grassy field in the centre of the campus,” and so on. The official correspondence are used to convey a vivid sense device tires a little with overuse, but Mustafa has an of the social and political setting. Mustafa recalculates important point to make about the way in which par- the numbers of Schill’s followers at various stages of the campaign to show that recruitments en route were ticular places compress the past into dissonant layers of somewhat more robust than has generally been al- meaning. A poignant example is the Schill monument lowed. The portrait of Schill that emerges is more sub- in Braunschweig, which is today entangled with the tle and textured than anything that can be found in the memory of the Schillstrasse Concentration Camp, existing literature. whose barbed-wire perimeter was only twenty meters More than half of the book is concerned with Schill’s away. Amid the plaques commemorating those who suf- successive reincarnations in German memory. The fered and died in the camp is the tomb of an early nine- mythmaking began during the campaign itself, for Schill teenth-century patriot whose cult is now almost extinct. was an accomplished (if not especially successful) pro- Schill’s “long ride” through history and memory are al- pagandist. During the War of Liberation that broke out most over, and that, Mustafa suggests in this intelligent in 1813, his memory resonated among the black-clad and suggestive book, may be no bad thing. patriot volunteers of the Lu¨tzow Riflemen, whose CHRISTOPHER CLARK leader, Adolf Lu¨tzow, was a former Schill follower. St. Catharine’s College, There followed a long chain of literary treatments, from University of Cambridge