war/crime

The Legend of Klaus Störtebeker, Privateer

The Legend of Klaus Störtebeker, Privateer

Possible reconstruction of Störtebeker’s headImage: Sebastian Sonntag On October 20, 1401, Klaus Störtebeker, representative of a companionship of privateers known as the Victual Brothers, was executed by order of the senate of Hamburg. His life has become legend and he often is compared to other historic freedom fighters such as Che Guevara or Robin Hood, because he fought the rich in the name of the poor. The exact roots of Klaus Störtebeker…
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The Captain of Köpenick

The Captain of Köpenick

Wilhelm Voight leaving prison in Berlin Tegel On October 16, 1906, German shoemaker Wilhelm Voight, just released from prison for forgery, purchased parts of used captain’s uniforms. In this masquerade of a Prussian military officer he arrested the mayor and the treasurer of Köpenick for suspicion of crooked bookkeeping and confiscated the municipal funds. In Germany Voigt is not seen as a criminal, but rather as a folk hero and a victim…
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The Fate of Western Civilization at Stake on the Catalaunian Plains

The Fate of Western Civilization at Stake on the Catalaunian Plains

The Huns at the Battle of Chalons by Alphonse de Neuville (1836–85) On September 20, 450 AD, the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains also referred to as the Battle of Chalons took place. A coalition led by the Roman general Flavius Aëtius and the Visigothic king Theodoric I against the Huns and their allies commanded by their leader Attila faced each other in a decisive battle that should decide the fate of Europe…
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Allessandro Cagliostro – Imposter and Adventurer

Allessandro Cagliostro – Imposter and Adventurer

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro(1743 – 1795) On August 26, 1795, Italian physician, occultist and adventurer Giuseppe Balsamo aka Count Alessandro di Cagliostro passed away. The history and stories around Cagliostro are shrouded in rumour, propaganda, and mysticism. Some effort was expended to ascertain his true identity when he was arrested because of possible participation in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace. Despite the fact that Giuseppe Balsamo had to deal with a…
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The Last Victim of the Spanish Inquisition

The Last Victim of the Spanish Inquisition

Torture Chamber during the Spanish Inquisition(1805 – 1859) On July 26, 1826, Cayetano Ripoll, a schoolmaster in Valencia, Spain, teaching deist principles should become the last victim executed by the Spanish inquisition. Ripoll has the dubious honor of being the last of the many people known to have been executed under sentence from a Church authority for having committed the act of heresy. For almost 350 years the Spanish inquisition tried to…
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Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds

Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds

The Trinity explosion, 16 ms after detonation, on July 16, 1945. On July 16, 1945, the first detonation of a nuclear device with the code name Tritiny takes place in the Jornada del Muerto desert in New Mexico. Although nuclear chain reactions had been hypothesized already in 1933 and the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (Chicago Pile-1) had taken place in December 1942, the date of the Trinity test is usually…
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Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler On June 18, 1815, a battle was fought near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, which should be Napoleon’s last. An Imperial French army under the command of Emperor Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. The defeat at Waterloo ended…
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The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

Glienicke Bridge Image: Tabea Tietz On June 11, 1985, the biggest agent swap known in history occurred at the Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam. The Glienicke Bridge became very famous during the Cold War, not only for its beauty, but for its function as an agent swapping location for the eastern and western governments. The bridge itself was built in the 17th century in order to guarantee the nobility a connection to Potsdam’s…
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