politics

Heinrich Heine – Famous Poetry with Radical Political Views

Heinrich Heine – Famous Poetry with Radical Political Views

On December 12, 1797, Heinrich Heine, one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century was born. Besides, he was also a renowned journalist, essayist, and literary critic. But, he is best known for his wonderful lyric poetry, while his radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. “Out of my own great woe I make my little songs.” — Heinrich Heine, Aus Meinen…
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The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

On November 30, 1667, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric Jonathan Swift was born. He is probably best remembered for his satire “Gulliver’s Travels” and is regarded as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, who originally published all of his works under pseudonyms. “Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” — Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, preface…
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H. G. Wells and the Shape of Things to Come

H. G. Wells and the Shape of Things to Come

For sure you have seen the classic movie ‘The Time Machine‘, where the Victorian epoch time traveller went to a future far, far away into the world, where the old struggle of good against evil continued. Then, you also might have heard about the story, where aliens from Mars started war against Earth, but finally are going to die because of Earth’s microbes. Or maybe also the story, when famous actor and…
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Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824). painted by Thomas Philipps, 1824 On January 22, 1788, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6. Baron Byron of Rochdale, commonly known simply as Lord Byron, English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement was born. I remember to have learned about Lord Byron back at school with his lengthy narrative poems like Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage or the shorter and much more beautiful poem “She Walks in…
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George Orwell’s Opposition to Totalitarism

George Orwell’s Opposition to Totalitarism

George Orwell (1903-1950) On January 21, 1950, British novelist and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, better known under his pen name George Orwell, passed away. The author of the famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and his works are well known for the awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism. For sure you will have heart of George Orwell. Even a computer scientist like myself living in his personal “ivory tower” cannot…
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Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

On January 18, 1698, French philosopher and political thinker Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally only referred to as Montesquieu, was baptized. He is best known for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is taken for granted in modern discussions of government and implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. “If I knew of something that could serve my nation but would ruin…
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J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

Title page with Émile Zola’s famous public letter ‘J’accuse…!’ On January 13, 1898, French novellist Émile Zola published an open letter in the newspaper L’Aurore entitled “J’accuse” (“I accuse”, or, in context, “I accuse you”). In the letter, Zola addressed the President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Alfred Dreyfus was…
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The Golden Bull and the Holy Roman Empire

The Golden Bull and the Holy Roman Empire

On December 25, 1356, the final chapters of the Golden Bull were decreed by the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg and Metz headed by the Emperor Charles IV. The Golden Bull fixed, for a period of more than four hundred years, important aspects of the constitutional structure of the Holy Roman Empire. It mainly regulated the modalities of election and the coronation of the Roman-German kings and emperors by the electors until the…
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How the Radio became a Mass Medium – The Volksempfänger VE301

How the Radio became a Mass Medium – The Volksempfänger VE301

On August 18, 1933, the original Volksempfänger VE 301 was presented at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The purpose of the Volksempfänger-program was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public. Nazi Propagandaminister Joseph Goebbels realized the great propaganda potential of this relatively new medium and thus considered widespread availability of receivers highly important. The first model, the Volksempfänger VE301 was developed by the company Dr. G. Seibt…
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The Case of the Chief of the General Staff Alfred Redl

The Case of the Chief of the General Staff Alfred Redl

On May 25, 1913, officer of the Imperial Austrian army Alfred Redl passed away. Redl, who rose to head the counter-intelligence efforts of Austria-Hungary, was one of the leading figures of pre-World War I espionage. His term in office was marked by innovation, and he used advanced technology, for the time, to ensnare foreign intelligence agents. But he was himself a paid spy for the Russians. Claims that Redl also worked for the…
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