Sand, Karl Ludwig

BORN 5 Oct 1795, Wunsiedel, Bayern - DIED 20 May 1820, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg: Heidelberger Tor
CAUSE OF DEATH executed by beheading
GRAVE LOCATION Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg: Hauptfriedhof, Röntgenstrasse (Abteilung I.5 (Grab 83))

Son of the judge of Wunsiedel, Gottfried Christoph Sand (1753-1823). He studied theology in Tübingen and became a member of the Burschenschaft (student movement) "Teutonia". In 1815 he was a member of the Germany army that fought Napoleon, but he didn't see action himself because the Battle of Waterloo ended the war.

In 1816 he continued his studies in Erlangen where he founded a Burschenschaft himself. In 1817 he moved on to Jena, where he joined the local Burschenschaft. Soon he visited Goethe to ask if the Burschenschaft was allowed to use the old ballhaus for gymnastics, but without success.

In 1818 he met F.L. Jahn in Berlin. He became famous for killing the poet and dramatist August von Kotzebue in his house in Mannheim on 23 Mar 1819 because he considered Kotzebue to be an opponent of academical and national freedom. His deed eventually led to the Carlsbad Decrees in which the student movements were suppressed in Germany.

Immediately after stabbing Kotzebue he realized that Kotzebue's young son had witnessed the murder from the next room. This confused him and he attempted suicide by stabbing himself twice. He lost consciousness but he was arrested and he survived. He was treated better than the other prisoners in Mannheim because of his wounds. After imprisonment for over a year he was sentenced to death on 5 May 1820 and executed on the same day.

By the time of his execution he had become a symbol of freedom and unity and afterwards he was idealized and pieces of his scaffold were collected. He was buried at the Protestant Cemetery in Mannheim. When this was cleared in 1865 his remains were transferred to a honourary grave at the Hauptfriedhof in Mannheim. Alexandre Dumas père wrote a story about the assassination ("Karl Ludwig Sand").

Related persons
• was pupil to Fries, Jakob Friedrich
• visited Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• is the murderer of Kotzebue, August von
• was a friend of Menzel, Wolfgang


The grave of Carl Ludwig Sand at the Hauptfriedhof, Mannheim.
Picture by Androom (27 feb 2000)


Karl Ludwig Sand – Wikipedia

Sandberg, Herbert

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 25 Apr 2022