Memorial to victims of mass murderer Wagner in Muehlacker/Muehlhausen

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on December 25th, 2005 at the cemetery in Muehlhausen/Enz, a part of the city of Muehlacker between Stuttgart and Pforzheim. They are of a memorial to a tragedy from September of 1913 when Ernst Wagner, a teacher from Degerloch (now part of Stuttgart) went on a rampage here after killing his wife and four children at home. Here in Muehlhausen, shot nine people, injured several others, and set several buildings on fire before he could be stopped. The murders later inspired Hermann Hesse to write a short novel about the incident. Wagner himself survived and died in a psychiatric clinic in 1938.

On one of the walls at the local cemetery, there are ten tablets.
The largest reads, Burial Place
fort the nine loyal members of this community who were shot on the 5th of September 1913 by the murderer and arson Wagner from Degerloch and were buried together at 2 in the afternoon on 7 September.
Funeral text: Psalm 90:1-3
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

It is interesting that the memorial actually mentions the murderer by name.

There is a separate smaller tablet for each of the nine victims. They list the name, birthdate, birth location and, for the men, the occupation of each.
Here's a close-up of one of the nine stones. The old-fashioned sounding "dahier" is used to note that she was born "here" in town.

Detailed background information on the Wagner incident has been collected in:
Neuzner, Bernd; Brandstätter, Horst: Wagner. Lehrer, Dichter, Massenmörder. Samt Hermann Hesses Novelle Klein und Wagner. Eichborn Verlag: Frankfurt am Main, 1990.

I would like to thank Matthias Scheible of Lomersheim for showing me the site and pointing out examples of how relatives of the victims are still very much a part of the local community.

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Contact / Impressum:
Mark R. Hatlie (ViSdM)
Im Feuerhägle 1
D-72072 Tübingen

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