Rescue of an Austrian Nazi: Medieval Incident Re-enacted

Dublin Core


Rescue of an Austrian Nazi: Medieval Incident Re-enacted


anthem, Austria, Blondel, capture, cell, chivalry, chivalric legend, confinement, deception, dupe, Dürnstein Castle, Eleanor of Aquitaine (c.1122-1204), escape, folklore, Franz Hofer (1902-1975), imprisonment, legend, Leopold V of Austria (1157-1194), medieval folklore, minstrel, Nazi, page, prison, ransom, Richard Coeur de Lion, Richard I (1157-1199), Richard the Lionheart, ruse, song, Third Crusade (1189-1192), troubadour, Tunsbruck gaol


In this report from Munich in 1933, an ‘amusing story’ about the escape of Nazi leader Franz Hofer from an Austrian prison is recounted for WA readers. Not long before his escape in August 1933, Hofer said, he heard one of the Austrian warders singing the Nazi anthem with the additional line “Bondage will only last a short time now”. This he correctly interpreted as a sign that he would soon be rescued. The article likens the incident to a legend concerning the imprisonment of Richard the Lionheart in the twelfth century. In 1192, Richard I of England was captured by Leopold V of Austria on his return from the Third Crusade. He was held for a significant ransom, which Richard’s mother - Eleanor of Aquitaine - raised. Richard was eventually released and returned to England in 1194. A popular chivalric legend emerged that a faithful troubadour named Blondel travelled from castle to castle after Richard was captured singing a song that would be recognisable only to him, in order to discover the place of Richard’s imprisonment.




National Library of Australia


The West Australian


9 October 1933, p. 9.


The West Australian


Digital Newspaper Article; PDF



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PDF; Digitised Newspaper Article