Andreas Hofer for us South Tyrolean is both folk hero, martyr and freedom fighter.
For who does not know who he was: in 1809, legend says, he has banished single-handedly Napoleons troops from Tyrol and made return freedom for a short period: A by then unknown feeling of belonging to our country, which is still alive even today.
But the historical character of Andreas Hofer is not the same as the legends want to tell us. Hofer was in fact a farmer, host, drover and father from Passeiertal Valley, as commandant of the Tyrolean groups he was quite honestly overstrained and his participation at the victory was only marginal.
But the legend was load by the cowardly betrayal through Franz Raffl and the execution of Hofer in the city of Mantova. There, so the legend says, Hofer told to the French soldiers after they shoot to him for the first time, but did not hit him: "Hey, French guys, you shoot so bad!"
What is reality, what is only legend? On the occasion of the 200th anniversary, institutions and cultural interested people want to get engaged more with the history and with the historical awareness. Andreas Hofer has doubtless created a sense of homeland. In his lifetime, for example, falls the vow of faithfulness to the sacred heart of Jesus Christ and to Tyrol. Even today, the South Tyrolean make big mountain fires every first weekend in June to renew the vow. Andreas Hofer and his comprehension of a united Tyrol is very actual: it is according to the imagination of a regional divided Europe.
If you would like to learn more about Andreas Hofer, you should visit the Andreas Hofer Museum in St. Leonhard in Passeier.