Germany

Werner von Siemens – Inventor and International Entrepreneur

Werner von Siemens – Inventor and International Entrepreneur

On December 13, 1816, German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens was born. He was the pioneer of the electro industry and brought about a great technological advancement with many of his important discoveries. Moreover, he was co-inventor of an electroplating process and alone developed an electric dynamo. He laid the first telegraph line and built the first electric railway in Germany and, with his brother Sir William Siemens, developed a widely…
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Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

On December 11, 1843, Robert Koch, the founder of modern bacteriology, was born. He is known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. As a result of his groundbreaking research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. “When the doctor walks behind the coffin of his patient, sometimes…
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The Prophet of Modern Archaeology – Joachim Winckelmann

The Prophet of Modern Archaeology – Joachim Winckelmann

On December 9, 1717, German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann was born. Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Joachim Winckelmann Background Joachim Winckelmann grew up in a poor family of a master shoemaker, but was highly supported by his blind school teacher, the Rector of the Stendal Latin School, Esaias…
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Roman History by Theodor Mommsen

Roman History by Theodor Mommsen

On November 30, 1817, German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician and archaeologist Theodor Mommsen was born. Mommsen was one of the greatest classicists of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research. Mommsen received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902 for being “the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of…
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August Ferdinand Möbius and the Beauty of Geometry

August Ferdinand Möbius and the Beauty of Geometry

On November 17, 1790, German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius was born. He is best known for his discovery of the Möbius strip, a non-orientable two-dimensional surface with only one side when embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space. August Ferdinand Möbius – Family Background and Education August Möbius’ father Johann Heinrich Möbius was a dance teacher in Schulpforta, near Naumburg on the Saale River in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. He died…
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The Meistersinger of Nuremberg – Hans Sachs

The Meistersinger of Nuremberg – Hans Sachs

On November 5, 1494, German Meistersinger (master singer), poet, playwright, and shoemaker Hans Sachs was born. His work is considered the most important testimony of the bourgeois imperial town culture of the 16th century. What is a Meistersinger? What makes Hans Sachs so special – although you might have never heart of him – is his profession as being a ‘Meistersinger’. Actually, he is also the only ‘Meistersinger’ whose fame lasted over the…
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Ninety-Five Theses that Changed the World

Ninety-Five Theses that Changed the World

On the eve of All Saint’s Day, October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted the ninety-five theses, which were part of his dissertation criticizing on practices within the Catholic Church regarding baptism and absolution, on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, according to university custom. This event is widely regarded as the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Repentence as Financial Transaction We already dedicated a blog post to Martin Luther,[5] the…
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The Legend of Klaus Störtebeker, Privateer

The Legend of Klaus Störtebeker, Privateer

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. Klaus Störtebeker Roots The exact roots of Klaus Störtebeker are unknown, but several…
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The Incredible Story of the Captain of Köpenick

The Incredible Story of the Captain of Köpenick

On October 16, 1906, German shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt, 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 of official prejudice, who was caught in…
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Rudolf Virchow – the Father of Modern Pathology

Rudolf Virchow – the Father of Modern Pathology

On October 13, 1821, German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist, writer, editor, and politician, Rudolf Virchow was born. He is best known for his advancement of public health. Furthermore, he is also referred as “the father of modern pathology” because his work helped to discredit humorism, bringing more science to medicine. He is also considered one of the founders of social medicine. “For if medicine is really to accomplish its great task,…
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