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CAUCASUS: Aslan der Abrek. Ein Lebensbild aus den Kaukasischen Gebirgen. Von einem Deutschrussen.


[Aslan the Abrek. A Story from the Caucasian Mountains. By a German-Russian]


This rare book is the first European, non-Russian, story on a Caucasian abrek (a North Caucasian Christian soldier) and was published in German language in Jeglava, today in Latvia. 

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This is the first recorded story, printed in Europe outside Russia, on an abrek, a North Caucasian rebel soldier, fighting against Russians. 

Abrek is a North Caucasian term for a soldier fighting against the Russian invasions in 16th-19th centuries. It originates from the Bible meaning in Hebrew “to kneel” or “prostrate in front of the God”. In 20th Century abreks were fighting against the Russian opression.

In Chechen or Ingush the word abrek has the meaning as “avenger”, in Cherkess or Karachai the word has the meaning as “brave man“, but in Russian it has a derogatory meaning as “bandit”

The book, which was published in Jeglava, today a city in Latvia, was printed in Leipzig and passed the censorship on March 27, 1859, in Riga.

Only two examples are known in the libraries worldwide (Berlin State Library, OCLC: 251359367, and the British Library (with wrongly transcribed title Aolan der Abrek, OCLC: 560105724)


References: Allgemeine Zeitung München: 1861, 12, p. 5851; Bibliographisches Jahrbuch für den deutschen Buch-, Kunst- und Landkarten-Handel, Leipzig 1860, p. 42; Rebecca Ruth Gould, Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus, 2016, p. 252.

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