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The ‘Trabbi’ – an Icon of the Fall of the Berlin Wall turns 60

The ‘Trabbi’ – an Icon of the Fall of the Berlin Wall turns 60

On November 7, 1957, the first Trabant left the factory of the former East German car manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau. Although it is often seen as symbolic of the defunct East Germany and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in general, it was a sought-after car in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the early 1950s, vehicle construction in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was…
Von Knobelsdorff and the Sanssouci Palace

Von Knobelsdorff and the Sanssouci Palace

  On February 17, 1699, Prussian painter and architect Hans Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff was born. Influenced as an architect by French Baroque Classicism and by Palladian architecture, with his interior design and the backing of king Frederick the Great, he created the basis for the Frederician Rococo style. Von Knobelsdorff is best known as architect of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam just outside Berlin for Frederick the Great. Actually, I…
refer at re:publica 2015

refer at re:publica 2015

Today, we have no daily post on the history of science and technology for you, because we are attending re:publica 2015. re:publica is an annual blogger conference in Berlin  where we proudly presented our latest project refer. With refer, bloggers can automatically scan and annotate their content, enrich them with additional information, and visualize them to improve the user’s experience while navigating the blog. From now on, bloggers can download…
Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu bauen!

Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu bauen!

Waving over the Berlin Wall, photo: wikipedia You might wonder, why we have a German headline today. But, this is an original quote, and also a very famous one about the Berlin Wall… On June 15, 1961, first Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party and German Democratic Republic State Council chairman Walter Ulbricht stated in an international press conference, “Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten!” (No one has…
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…
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…
Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Prussian City Scapes

Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Prussian City Scapes

On March 13, 1781, Prussian architect, city planner, and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel was born, who was one of the most prominent architects of Germany of the neoclassical and neogothic epoch. He shaped the city scapes of Berlin and Potsdam with his neoclassical buildings and palaces. Karl Friedrich Schinkel grew up in Berlin, showing early interests in drawing and music. Berlin’s most significant architect of these days was Friedrich Gilly,…
Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse (1910 – 1995) On December 18, 1995, German engineer and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse passed away. He is renowned to have constructed the very first functional program-controlled Turing-complete computer, the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. Konrad Zuse developed the ability to build various kinds of machines in his early high school years, and he began his engineering-career at Berlin’s Technical University, where he earned his degree…
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