Das Kind Von Schwaben. Konradin Der Junge

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Written probably in the late 1940s, this novel (never before published) can be read as a sequel to Der Falkenschrei (Vol. 4). In the introduction, the editor summarizes literary versions of the Konradin legend and analyses the text to reveal the underlying themes and betrayal that governed the fate of this grandson of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Friedrich II. The struggle between successive Popes and Princes for the Kingdom of Sicily in the 13th and 14th centuries, Konradin’s wish to fulfill his grandfather’s plans, and the cruelty needed to secure power are all assessed. A psychological portrait is also built up of a young hero and almost Messiah-figure whose execution was seen as a martyrdom and sign of anti-Germanic forces eager for control over Southern Europe and the Church. This historical novel includes a series of episodes alternating between the would-be Emperor’s friends and the papal court. Dialogues and narrative sequences, formal speeches and dramatic events provide a rich texture that catches an essentially medieval atmosphere in which questions about the authority of the Empire and of the Church are raised.

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