Partner Adalbert Cohrs

Queer Places:
Friedhof Kaldenkirchen, Am Friedhof 6B, 41334 Nettetal, Germany

Bernhard Victor Graf Uxkull-Gyllenband (September 8, 1899 – July 29, 1918) was a German poet. His brother Woldemar Graf Uxkull-Gyllenband had a same-sex affair with Percy Gothein to whom he dedicated his book on Greek sculpture taking a line from a verse that Bernhard Uxkull had written to his own same-sex lover: "We rarely had a rich day when love did not course though our blood."

Bernhard Uxkull-Gyllenband was the son of Woldemar Graf von Üxküll-Gyllenband and Lucy Therese von Wangenheim. His brother was Woldemar Graf Uxkull-Gyllenband. Other siblings are Eleanore Alexandra freiin von Wangenheim; Hans-Heinz von Wangenheim and Baroness Lucie von Wangenheim. He became a friend of Stefan George in 1907 through Ernst Morwitz, a judge in the Berlin High Court of Appeal.

Bernhard Graf von Uxkull Gyllenband and his lover Adalbert Cohrs killed themselves on July 28, 1918, in the failed attempt to desert to Holland. They had made the decision to flee to the neutral Netherlands. The young count was an officer cadet in the Prussian Field Artillery First Guards Regiment, Cohrs, son of a well-known Luther researcher, was a lieutenant.

In Berlin they had asked a soldier from Lobberich for an escape route across the border and had been referred to a Lobbericher known as a smuggler who would show them the way. The smuggler reported them to the local police and during the interrogation in the imperial barracks on Poststrasse in Kaldenkirchen, the two shot themselves in separate rooms. Count Uxkull was instantly dead; Lieutenant Cohrs died in the hospital a day later. They were buried in the Protestant cemetery in Kaldenkirchen, where a memorial stone is still commemorating them.

The pistol shots of July 28th were followed by hectic investigations that continued well into August. Count Uxkull, not yet 19 years old, a relative of the Hitler assassin Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg (Stauffenberg's mother was born Uxkull) and born at Schloss Wallwitz, Guben district, was considered a hopeful young poet in the George Freundeskreis, whose poems Stefan George published in the "Sheets for Art".

Bernhard Uxkull 1919/1920 / 1 | Johannes Theodor Thormaehlen Stiftung
Ludwig Thormaehlen

Not only the brothers Claus and Berthold von Stauffenberg were connected to George, but also Hugo von Hofmannsthal and many others, to whom he had a very unique fascination. But the poet was obviously particularly close to the young officer candidate Uxkull. Nothing could prove this more emphatically than the poem that Stefan George wrote in Königstein im Taunus in 1918 under the impression of the news of death from Kaldenkirchen and which was included in the Echtermeyer / von Wiese poetry collection, which was the poem anthology par excellence at countless high schools:

You slim and pure like a flame, you like the morning tender and light, you blooming rice of noble origin, you like a spring secret and simple
Accompany me on sunny mats, shiver me in the evening smoke, illuminate my path in the shade, you cool wind you hot breath
You are my wish and my thought, I breathe you with every breath, I sip you with every drink, I kiss you with every fragrance
You flowering rice of noble origin, you like a source secret and simple, you slim and pure like a flame, you like tomorrow tender and light.

Painter Ernst Heckel recalled the two in his Erfurt murals. Sculptor Ludwig Thormaehlen created a young man's head in 1920, depicting Bernhard Graf von Uxkull.

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