|Goethe, Brocken im Mondlicht|
So it transpired that on this day in 1777 Goethe became the first person to climb the Brocken in winter. As he wrote in his diary: “d. 10. früh nach dem Torfhause in tiefem Schnee. 1 viertel nach 10 aufgebrochen von da auf den Brocken. Schnee eine Elle tief, der aber trug.” In his travel diary for Charlotte von Stein he wrote (in N. Boyle’s translation): “The goal of my longing has been reached, it hangs by many threads and many hang from it; you know how symbolical my existence is.” He interpreted his success as confirmation of his new existence in Weimar.
As Boyle writes, “the biblical tone and language that permeate G’s account of this day in his diary, and in his letters to Charlotte von Stein, show the religious significance that the ascent had acquired for him and had indeed always been intended to have.”
|Hexenexperiment auf dem Brocken, 1932|
|Georg Melchior Kraus, Hexenaltar|
The Goethezeitportal offers an account of all three of Goethe's Brocken ascents, with illustrations.