Der Wehrwolf

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Der Wehrwolf
Der Wehrwolf - Hermann Löns (1910).jpg
First edition, 1910
Author Hermann Löns
Original title Der Wehrwolf
Translator Robert Kvinnesland
Country Germany
Language German
Subject Harm Wulf
Genre novel
Publication date

Der Wehrwolf (English: Werewolf; a portmanteau combining the words for "defence" and "wolf" to Wehrwolf in the German language - c.f. Werwolf, "werewolf", usually translated into English as Warwolf) is a novel by journalist Hermann Löns, first published in 1910.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The Thirty Years' War is at its height and the peasantry suffers under countless marauders, which roam the lands. The main protagonist Harm Wulf, a peasant, already lost his family in the first years of war and becomes the defending Wulf (wehrender Wulf) by defending a hill fort and its surrounding carr, where some local peasants hide from the pillaging hordes. Harm Wulf gathers more and more allies until 121 men are in the Alliance of the Wehrwolf. When peace is finally restored Harm Wulf is an old and grim man.


Although already published in 1910, Der Wehrwolf became a bestseller three decades later in Nazi Germany. It was widely used for the purposes of Nazi propaganda because its content could be interpreted as nationalistic fervor. Near the end of the Second World War, young Luftwaffenhelfers and children in the Hitler Youth were constrained to read the novel to promote guerrilla warfare against the Allies (to act like a We(h)rwolf[2]). Because of this, the book was indexed for a short time after the war.


  1. ^ Hermann Löns, Robert Kvinnesland (Translation) (2006). The Warwolf: A Peasant Chronicle of the Thirty Years War. Goodreads. Westholme Publishing. ISBN 1594160260. Retrieved 18 January 2015. The first English translation of one of Germany's enduring works of historical fiction, originally published in 1910. 
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony (2002). The Fall of Berlin 1945. Penguin. p. 173. ISBN 0-14-200280-1.