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No 613 Steinbach Nutcracker The Shoemaker

The Shoemaker-The shoemaker was most certainly a handcraftsman just like the tailor and the baker. Today however; most shoes come out of a factory although every now and again, you need to go to a shoemaker for repairs.

 The most famous shoemaker in Germany was Hans Sachs (1494—1576) from Nurnberg. He described himself as a shoemaker and also as a poet. In accordance with the codes of his guild, he underwent an apprenticeship and journeyman period and made connections throughout the land with singing schools everywhere. In 1517 he became a master of his craft. As such he espoused the Protestant reforms and this is why Nurnberg remains to this day a Protestant enclave in the midst of the Catholic state of Bavaria. 

Hans Sachs was famous for his “Meisterlieder” or Master-Songs. And if you ever want to see and hear something really special in Germany at the opera, then you must attend a performance of the splendid Wagnerian musical composition, Die Meistersinger or The Master-Singers. It is in essence a tribute to the art of the master-craftsman and does great honor to my own ancestral family tree of master-craftsmen. In a key portion of the opera, Hans Sachs admonishes his listeners as follows: 

Not to your forefathers however dear, Not to your weapons, sword or spear; But to the fact that you poets be And Masters yet! — True cause for glee! No finer form of adulation Your finest fortune — your high station!”


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