by SCI Master Steinologist John McGregor

This article is one portion of a larger article entitled "Schlaraffenland Steins and the Schlaraffia Society". The "chapters" in that article are:
  • Hans Sachs and the Meistersingers
  • Schlaraffenland, or "The Glutton's Paradise", a poem by Hans Sachs
  • Schlaraffenland Steins
  • The Schlaraffia Society
  • Schlaraffia Chapter Steins
  • Rubbing a Salamander
  • Paragraph 11 and the Schweningerkur

There is a link at the bottom of this article to the next chapter, or, to read

"Schlaraffenland Steins and the Schlaraffia Society"

in its entirety, click on the title of the article.

The lid seen below is the one David Harr installed on the LB&C stein discussed above, which also has a "Paragraph 11" thumblift (seen below right). To refresh everyone's memory as to the meaning of Paragraph 11 is the following quote, again from "100 Years of Brewing":
"The beer code, or Bier-Comment of the Senior University, Heidelberg, as it is officially known, has passed through several revisions and editions since 1829. In common with other university beer codes, however, the Heidelberg laws begin with paragraph 11. Paragraphs 1 to 10 are left blank, being presumably the ten commandments of the Old Testament. The eleventh paragraph, or commandment of Heidelberg University reads: Es wird fortgesoffen, or, freely translated, "Keep on drinking."

Die Schweningerkur

On the lid, which I feel is at least as appropriate, if not more so than the original, we see a robust gentleman with his bowl of dumplings, and on the table in front of him, more dumplings, a roast chicken, a loaf of bread, his 1.0 liter beer stein and a jug, on the floor beside him, for refills. All in all, a great lid and thumblift for a stein representing the Glutton's Paradise. However, over the man's head is a sign, seen below, that reads "Schweningerkur" and this was also a mystery.

I inquired on the SCI web site to see if anyone was familiar with the word and I received one reply that, while it was a good guess, unfortunately turned out to be incorrect. That same day, I received an e-mail from Walt Vogdes to let me know that he had tried the Internet, and got a couple of hits on the word, but hadn't attempted to determine the word's meaning. So, I tried the Internet myself and got three hits. The first hit was for a book appropriately titled "Die Schweningerkur" and the other two were extracts from German publications that contained the word. The book had been written by one Oskar Mass and published in Berlin by Steinitz & Fischer in 1886. The second hit concerned a group of friends, one of whom was a former drunk and was now on the wagon after taking the Schweningerkur. The third was about a person who was traveling in the Middle East, was over weight, and wished they had had time to take the Schweningerkur before making the trip. Evidently the cure addressed both eating and drinking disorders. Was the Schweningerkur one of those fad cures that were very popular during the latter part of the 19th century, not unlike today's many fad diets? Possibly it was, because about six weeks after my inquiry, I received a second reply. Apparently the Schweningerkur was devised by one Dr. Ernst Schweninger (1850-1924) who in 1882, became the personal physician of Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck had both eating and drinking problems and Dr. Schweninger devised a plan of exercise and proper diet for him that helped him loose weight and keep it off. Bismarck declared that "Without him I would have died." After that, Dr. Schweninger became a "Celebrity Doctor" and in addition to Bismarck he became the personal physician to Alfred Krupp and Cosima Wagner. The "Schweningerkur" sign on this lid, may have been a reminder to the owner not to over indulge, or they might have to take the Schweningerkur.

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