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The Freedom Fighter Johann Josef Batlogg (1751-1800)

by Theresa König last modified 2007-01-09 21:17

The mayor, judge and freedom fighter, Johann Josef Batlogg was born in Vandans on October 11th, 1751.  After he married Josefa Bitschnau he moved to St. Anton in the Gasthaus Adler.  We remember Batlogg as a defender of his country.  The monument in Schruns, the street that is named after him and the play written by Grete Gulbranssons which was produced in Schruns in 1932 are all witness to one of the most important figures of Montafon history.

The French Revolution brought changes to Europe in 1789.  Various coalitions got together and declared war on France.  From around 1794 these wars were noticeable in Vorarlberg as well, with the Austrian draft of soldiers, export embargoes and by not allowing people to leave the country for their seasonal jobs which were necessary for their survival.  In 1798 the French occupied Switzerland and moved forward towards the border to Vorarlberg.  In 1799 the French tried to take Vorarlberg a number of times but they were defeated.  The successful defence of Vorarlberg in March 1799 in Margarethenkapf in Feldkirch is well known amongst the people here.  Johann Josef Batlogg, being mayor, was in charge of defending Vorarlberg in the passes of the Montafon from the French who were trying to get in by way of Graubünden, Switzerland,.  There was only one battle that took place there and that was on March 24th, 1799 at Schlappiner Joch.  The enemy, who were much stronger in number than the Vorarlbergers were pushed back.  One year later, though, the French managed to occupy Vorarlberg.

The murder of Captain Indermauer who was trying to flee from the French in August 1796 and which took place in St. Peter’s Cloister in Bludenz was blamed on Mayor Batlogg who, it was said, endorsed it.  It is assumed though, that the accusations were started by Johann Ignaz Vonier, Batlogg’s adversary who wanted to take his position.  In December 1796, Batlogg was arrested and taken to jail in Innsbruck.  It wasn’t until 1798 that he was set free again and rehabilitated.  

Johann Josef Batlogg died on October 25th, 1800 at the age of 49.  His time in jail as well as the war against France took their toll on his health, and the hero from Montafon finally succumbed to a lung ailment.  100 years later the artist Jakob Bertle from Schruns suggested erecting a monument in honour of Batlogg.  The idea was generally accepted and in the winter of 1906 / 07 it was erected.  There was a contest to see who would actually make the monument in which the stone mason Feuerstein, the architect, Hanns Kornberger, and Jakob Bertle himself took part.  In the end Bertle’s design made from natural stone and a relief in Carrara marble won the most votes.  


P02-3 Freedomfighter Johann Josef Batlogg.mp3

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