the Saale Pirate (1742-1798)
According to legend, in the mid 1700's the Saale pirate Robert Rostbrätl was active in the Upper Saale Valley. Well loved amongst the people of the area, he took from the rich and gave to the poor, not unlike Robin Hood did in England.
The rulers of the area were quite upset with the regular attacks of the pirate and his mates to steal their gold and jewels. Unfortunately, as Thüringen is a mainly land-based area of Germany, they had no means to pursue the pirate who seemed to have the only ship in the area, fashioned by himself (…as the legend claims from an over-sized bathtub).
As the local constables were try to pursue the Saale pirate on foot or by horse, he was always able to escape by water.
He distributed the stolen wealth amongst the villagers and towns people around the area by means great feasts where rich foods were prepared for the people on a giant roast.
Many claim that the Thüringer Bratwurst was invented during one of the Saale Pirate's many roasts for the local people. And of course, it is no accident that the most famous Thüringen delicacy was named after the pirate, the Thüringer Rostbrätl.
Take that, Lord Sandwich.
The legend of the Saale Pirate lives on in the hearts and minds (and stomachs) of the people of the Upper Saale Valley.
The Fighting Song of the Saale Pirate
was preserved throughout the ages:
I am the Saale Pirate, my name, it is Rostbrätl
and if you don't hand your money over,
you you'll very well re-gretel
And if you try to catch me,
early in the morn'
before you even wake up
this Pirate here is gone.