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Execution of Hans Waldmann (Luzerner Schilling, 1515).

The Grossmünster with the 1937 equestrian monument to Hans Waldmann.

Hans Waldmann (1435 – 6 April 1489) was mayor of Zurich and Swiss military leader. The son of a peasant in Zug, he married well and became Squire of Dubelstein.

Waldmann lead the Confederates in the Burgundian Wars defeating Charles the Bold with an army estimated at 12,000 men. As mayor of Zurich and a representative of the oligarchs in the Confederacy, Waldmann sought to impose higher taxes on neighboring rural villages which, taken together with a disdain for his reputed aristocratic excesses, led to a peasant revolt.[1] 500 peasants from Knonau are said to have toppled Waldmann as mayor in 1489. Waldmann was beheaded on April 6, 1489 following accusations of financial corruption, foreign connections and sodomy.[2]

The equestrian monument in front of the Fraumünster (47°22′11″N 8°32′32″E / 47.3698°N 8.5421°E / 47.3698; 8.5421 (Waldmann monument)) was unveiled on 6 April 1937 by the Kämbel guild, aiming to rehabilitate Waldmann who they proposed had been the victim of a judicial murder. It was the subject of controversy for artistic reasons, deemed by conservative critics as being overly modern for the historical city center.

References[]

  1. Christopher Allmand, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. 7: c. 1415-c. 1500, p. 659
  2. Helmut Puff, Sodomy in Reformation Germany and Switzerland, 1400-1600 (The Chicago Series on Sexuality, History, and Society)

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