Krabat is a character in Sorbian folklore, also dubbed the "Wendish Faust". First recorded in 1837, the character developed from an evil sorcerer into a folk hero and beneficial trickster in the course of the 19th century.
The historical nucleus of the folk tale is Johannes Schadowitz (1624–1704), a Croat (Crabat) cavalry commander, who was granted an estate in Groß Särchen (now part of Lohsa) near Hoyerswerda in 1691 by John George III, Elector of Saxony.
The folk tale is centered around the area of Lusatia, most notably the settlement of Čorny Chołmc, which today is a district of the city of Hoyerswerda, where Krabat is said to have learned his sorcerous powers.
The Krabat story has been adapted into several novels, notably:
- Mišter Krabat (Master Krabat) (1954) by Měrćin Nowak-Njechorński.
- Čorny młyn (The Black Mill) (1968) by Jurij Brězan, on which the film Die Schwarze Mühle was based.
- Krabat (1971) by Otfried Preußler, which inspired the Czech film Čarodějův učeň (1977) and the German film Krabat (2008). The Krabat album by German Goth band ASP is also inspired by this version of the legend.
- Joachim Leopold Haupt, Von einem bösen Herrn in Groß-Särchen (1837)
- Jurij Pilk, Adolf Anders, "Der wendische Faust", Sächsischer Erzähler. Illustrierte Beilage, Nr. 14 (1896), reprinted as "Die wendische Faust-Sage", Bunte Bilder aus dem Sachsenlande vol. 3 (1900), 191–201.
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