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Friedrich Staps

Friedrich Staps German assassin

German assassin
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German assassin
A.K.A. Friedrich Staps
Was Merchant
From Austria
Type Business
Gender male
Birth 1792, Naumburg (Saale), Germany
Death 16 October 1809, Vienna, Austria (aged 17 years)
The details
Interrogatoire de Staps par Napoléon (Interrogation of Staps by Napoleon)

Friedrich Staps (also, Stapß; 14 March 1792 – 17 October 1809) was an attempted assassin of Napoleon during the negotiations at Schönbrunn.


He was a son of a pastor and became a merchant, working at Erfurt and Leipzig. As a strictly religious young man, he saw Napoleon's occupation as the sole reason for the misery of the German people, and thus became his opponent.

He set out to assassinate Napoleon, going first to Vienna, and, from there, on 13 October, to Schönbrunn, where Napoleon was to observe a military parade. One of Napoleon's aides, General Rapp, became suspicious of the young man approaching the emperor despite having previously been refused an audience, and had him arrested. A knife was found and Staps then admitted his plans to kill the emperor. Napoleon asked if Staps would thank him if he was pardoned, to which Staps replied: "I would kill you no less."

He was executed by firing squad on 17 October 1809. His last words were: “Liberty forever! Germany forever! Death to the tyrant!”


  • August Fournier: Napoleon I., eine Biographie. Drei Bände, 4. Aufl. Wien/Leipzig 1922; hier Bd. 2, S. 307.
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