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Useful Notes / Götz von Berlichingen

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The German Imperial Knight and Mercenary Götz of the Iron Hand.

Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen (c. 1480 – 23 July 1562), sometimes recorded Berlingen and also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German Imperial Knight (Reichsritter), and mercenary. He was born around 1480 at Berlichingen in Württemberg to a noble family and earned his reputation by fighting in a number of wars over an impressive 47 year career. At the age of 24 he lost his right hand to cannonfire and wore a metal prosthetic for the rest of his life, which became his calling card.

He is perhaps best remembered for the vulgar expression "Er kann mich im Arsche lecken!"note , attributed to him by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in a play based on his life (sort of). Götz's name is now used as a euphemism for the expression.


While some Berserk fans believe that he was the inspiration for the protagonist — who has the similar-sounding name of Guts, and is a mercenary who also has a mechanical hand — author Kentaro Miura claims that he never knew about Berlinchingen when he started work on his long-running manga, opting to pick the name "Guts" because it sounded like a German name.