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Death Sentence after the "Russian Truncheon Insurgency"
by Herbert Weber, translated by Wikisource
The original title is 'Todesurteil nach "Knüppelrussen-Aufstand"'. It appears under

Death Sentence after the "Russian Truncheon Insurgency"
Wald Innkeeper Johann C. C. Devaranne[1] was shot as one of the leaders 190 years ago on July 26, 1813

By Herbert Weber

Devaranne was initially able to flee as the so-called “Russian Truncheon Insurgency“ collapsed in Elberfeld on January 30, 1813. He was viewed as a leader of the rebellion and was sought under arrest warrant:

I have offered a reward of 100 Francs to those who spot Dufrandt (Devaranne) , insofar as this results in his arrest. . . Count von Spee.“

Devaranne made the mistake of returning to his residence, though only for one night. He wanted to resume his escape the next day. A housemaid put an end to the escape by turning him in. Devaranne was immediately taken into custody.

A war tribunal condemned the 29 year old father of five minor children to death. Devaranne sought to save his life by denying having been one of the leaders. The sentence was carried out 90[2] years ago on July 26, 1813.

Napoleon was in urgent need of new troops following the catastrophic 1812 Russian expedition. A conscription decree was issued at the beginning of January 1813. The Grand Duchy of Berg (it belonged to France since 1806) had to provide 2500 men.

Draft resistance broke out in Solingen and the rest of the bergisch region on January 23.

Officials were driven out of the Weeg Inn, a draft registration center at the time. The draft resistors tore posters from public buildings. Officials threatened prospective draftees with incarceration and forcible induction of troops until all militarily eligible men were accounted for.

The insurgency continued and expanded. The revolutionaries marched from Wald through Solingen to Elberfeld and met with more draftees from other bergische locations. They demanded release of draft registration lists and weapons from officials in the marketplace.

Following initial quiet, renewed violence erupted on January 30. Mounted troopers and police dispersed the rebels and made some arrests. French troops later intervened.

Prelude to the Wars of Liberation

The so-called “Russian Truncheon Insurgency“ was, so to speak, the prelude to the wars of liberation here in the bergisch region.

Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III published his appeal “To My People” on March 17, 1813. French domination in Germany collapsed following the battle of the nations near Leipzig in the autumn of that year.

General Count Lemarrois appeared in Düsseldorf after the defeat of the insurgency. First he censured the officials who, in his view, were responsible and issued instructions for the severe punishment of those under arrest.

He randomly selected about a dozen young people from a list presented to him. These were to be brought before a military tribunal and tried without further ado.

They were condemned to death and shot within eight days. The final number rose to 17.

Wald Innkeeper Devaranne was among them. A street in Wald is named in his memory.

07.07.03 © Solinger Tageblatt

1^  See the Wikipedia article Devaranne, J. C. C.

2^  vor 90 Jahren -– “90 years ago”. This almost certainly a mistake. It should have been “190 years ago” based on the article’s publication date.

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