Return to home1821 Apr 20,
Franz K. Achard (67), German physicist, chemist, died.
1821 Oct 13, Rudolf Virchow,
German politician and anthropologist (cell pathology), was born.
1821 Nov 10, Andreas J Romberg
(54), German violinist and composer (Der Rabe), died.
1821 Karl von Drais
(1785-1851), German forest official and inventor, invented the
earliest typewriter with a keyboard.
1821 Thomas Johann Seebeck
(1770-1831), Estonia-born German physicist, discovered that applying
a temperature difference across two adjoined metals would give rise
to a small voltage. This came to be called the Seebeck effect.
(Econ, 9/6/08, TQ p.6)
1822 Jan 2, Rudolph J.E.
Clausius (d.1888), German physicist (thermodynamics), was born.
1822 Jan 6, Heinrich Schliemann
(d.1890), German businessman and amateur archeologist, was born. He
began excavating Troy in 1870 following a visit to Hissarlik in
1822 Feb 22, Adolf Kuszmaul,
German physician (stomach pump, Kuszmaul disease), was born.
1922 Jun 24, Germany's Jewish
foreign minister was assassinated by the right-wing terrorist group
Organisation Consul. Walter Rathenau (b.1867) was the foreign
secretary of Germany’s Weimar Republic and one of the country’s most
1822 Jun 25, Ernst Theodor
Amadeus (ETA) Hoffmann (46), German writer, judge, composer, died.
1822 Aug 25, F. William
Herschel (85), German astronomer (discovered Uranus), died.
1822 Gebruder Heubach (Heubach
Brothers) began a porcelain manufacturing operation in Lichte,
Thuringia, Germany. The firm became known for manufacturing doll
heads and in 2005 was still in operation as Lichte Porcelain.
(SFC, 10/5/05, p.G3)
1823 Apr 4, Karl Wilhelm
Siemens, inventor (laid undersea cables), was born.
1823 Oct 5, Carl Maria von
Weber visited Beethoven.
1823 Dec 7, Leopold Kronecker,
German mathematician (Tensor of Kronecker), was born.
1823 Johann Adam Benckiser
(1782-1851) founded a business in Pforzheim, Germany specializing in
industrial and consumer goods industrial chemicals. Five years
later, Karl Ludwig Reimann (1804-1872) joined Joh. A. Benckiser
GmbH. Reimann married Benckiser’s daughter and eventually, inherited
the company. By 1858, Reimann had relocated Benckiser to
Ludwigshafen, Germany. Ludwig Reimann’s grandson, Albert Reimann (c.
1880-1954) eventually took over the company and was later joined by
his son, Albert Jr. (1898-1984) in 1925.
1823 Johann Anton Ramboux,
German artist, created "Merenda in the Farnesi Gardens in Rome" in
pen and brown ink over pencil.
(WSJ, 7/16/98, p.A16)
1823-1900 F. Max Mueller, German philologist: "To
think is to speak low. To speak is to think aloud."
1824 Feb 9, Anna Katharina
Emmerick (b.1774), a sickly, virtually illiterate German nun, died.
Her gory visions of Jesus' last hours of suffering before his
crucifixion drew pilgrims to her bedside in the years before her
death. In 2004 she was beatified by Pope John Paul VI.
1824 Mar 26, 1st performance of
Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis."
1824 May 7, The Ninth Symphony
by Beethoven had its premiere. The "Ode to Joy" lyric was originally
written by Friedrich von Schiller as the "Ode to Freedom."
(LGC, 1970, p.98)(WSJ, 12/10/01, p.A16)
1825 Beethoven composed his
String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor.
1826 Jun 4, Karl Maria FE von
Weber (39), German composer (Oberon), died.
1826 Heinrich Schwabe, German
amateur astronomer, began a systematic program of observing the Sun
from his home in Dessau. He kept careful records of sunspots over 17
years and in 1843 noted an 11-year cycle in their frequency.
(SSFC, 5/27/01, Par p.17)(Econ, 6/28/03, p.77)
1827 Mar 26, Ludwig von
Beethoven (56), German composer, died in Vienna. He had been deaf
for the later part of his life, but said on his death bead "I shall
hear in heaven." It was later determined that he suffered from lead
poisoning. In 1995 Tia DeNora authored "Beethoven and the
Construction of Genius." In 2000 Russell Martin authored
"Beethoven’s Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a
Scientific Mystery Solved." In 2014 Jan Swafford authored
“Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph."
(WSJ, 5/29/96, p.A5)(AP, 3/256/97)(HN,
3/26/99)(SFC, 10/18/00, p.A2)(WSJ, 1/17/02, p.A12)(Econ, 9/20/14,
1827 August Marschner wrote his
opera "Der Vampyr."
(WSJ, 1/21/98, p.A16)
1827 The Hanseatic city of
Bremen, faced with the silting of its Weser River, bought land for
Bremerhaven from the king of Hanover in order to maintain a link to
(Econ, 5/21/11, p.60)
1828 May 22, Albrecht von
Grafe, German eye surgeon, founder of modern ophthalmology, was
1828 Jun 14, German Grand Duke
Karl August (b.1757), the sovereign Duke of Saxe-Weimar and of
Saxe-Eisenach, died. He is noted for the intellectual brilliance of
1828 Nov 19, Franz Schubert
(b.1797), Austrian composer, died of syphilis in Vienna. In this he
composed his song cycle "Schwanengesang." His work included the
C-Major Symphony, string quartets, 3 piano sonatas, and the C-Major
String Quartet. Otto Erich Deutsch catalogued his work [hence the
"D" numbers] and wrote a documentary biography. In 1997 Brian
Newbould wrote "Schubert: The Music and the Man."
(SFEC, 2/2/97, DB. p.32)(WSJ, 4/16/97,
p.A16)(WSJ, 5/13/97, p.A21)
1828 Dec 23, Mathilde
Wesendonk, German writer, poet (Tagebuchblatter), was born.
1829 Jan 19, Johann von
Goethe's "Faust, Part 1," premiered.
1830 Jan 7, Albert Bierstadt,
painter (US landscapes), was born in Germany.
1830 Jan 8, Hans von Bulow,
pianist, virtuoso conductor, was born in Dresden.
1830 The Altes Museum was
designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the center of Berlin.
(WSJ, 7/29/98, p.A13)
1831 Mar 4, Georg Michael
Telemann (82), composer, died.
1831 Jun 28, Joseph Joachim,
violinist (Hungarian Concerto), was born in Kittsee, Germany.
1832 Feb 22, Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe (b.1749), poet, (Faust, Egmont) died in Weimar, Germany.
Goethe had served as minister of mines under Bismarck. He completed
"Faust" just before his death: "When Ideas fail, words come in
handy." In 1988 Kenneth Weisinger authored "The Classical Facade: A
Non-Classical Reading of Goethe's Criticism." In 2006 John Armstrong
authored “Love, Life, Goethe: How to Be Happy in an Imperfect
(SFEC, 4/26/98, Z1 p.8)(SFC, 8/7/03, p.A19)(SFC,
12/14/04, p.B1)(WSJ, 1/13/07, p.P10)
1832 Mar 11, Franz Melde,
German physicist (Melde test), was born.
1832 Apr 15, Wilhelm Busch,
German artist, was born. He created the precursor to the cartoon
1832 May 14, Felix
Mendelssohn's "Hebrides," premiered.
1832 Jul 5, The German
government began curtailing freedom of the press after German
Democrats advocated a revolt against Austrian rule.
1833 May 7, Composer Johannes
Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany, and died on Apr 3, 1897. His
works number through Opus 122 and included: the "Hungarian Dances,"
the "Haydn Variations," the "Violin Concerto in D Major," "Lullaby"
and compositions for the pianoforte, organ, chamber music,
orchestral compositions, numerous songs, small and large choral
works. A biography of his life and work was written by Karl
Geiringer in 1934 titled: "Brahms: His Life and Work." In 1997 Jan
Swafford published the biography: "Johannes Brahms." In 1998 Styra
Avins published "Johannes Brahms: Life and Letters."
(BLW, Geiringer, 1963 ed.)(AP, 5/7/97)(WSJ,
12/3/97, p.A20)(WSJ, 5/4/98, p.A20)(HN, 5/7/99)
1833 Oct, The first Oktoberfest
was held in Munich.
(SFEC, 8/15/99, p.T3
1833 Dec 12, Matthias Hohner
(d.1902), German manufacturer (harmonica), was born.
1834-1896 Heinrich von Treitschke, German
historian. Treitschke coined the word and concept of
"lebensraum"-German for "living space"-which was later embraced by
Hitler in his drive for domination of Europe. Von Treitschke
believed Prussia should be a world power and should seize whatever
land it needed. German geographer Karl Haushofer took the idea
to justify Germany’s need for more territory for a growing
population, and that notion was subsequently taken up by Hitler and
the Nazis. Haushofer became one of Hitler’s closest advisers
and his theories, known as "Weltpolitik" were among the cornerstones
of Nazi expansion.
(WUD, 1994, p.1509)(HNQ, 4/9/99)
1833-1905 Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen, German
geographer and geologist. He coined the expression "Silk Road" to
describe the ancient trade routes between China and the West.
(AM, 7/00, p.72)
1834-1919 Ernst Haeckel, German biologist,
morphologist and philosopher. He coined the terms ecology and
phylogeny and proposed the theory that "ontogeny recapitulates
(WUD, 1994, p.635)(NH, 12/98, p.4,56)
1835 Jul 1, German printer Carl
Bertelsmann (1791-1850) founded Bertelsmann Verlag in Gutersloh, as
a publisher and printer of religious books. In 2004 it was Europe’s
largest media company.
(Econ, 3/6/04, p.61)(Econ, 10/17/09,
1835 Oct 31, J.F.W. Adolf
Ritter von Baeyer, German chemist (Nobel 1905), was born.
1835 Dec 7, The Adler, a steam
engine built in Newcastle by British father and son George and
Robert Stephenson, began running between Nuremberg and Furth,
marking the birth of the German railway system.
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.77)
1835 Karl Baedeker (1801-1859),
German publisher, published "Travel on the Rhine." It was later
widely considered as the 1st modern guidebook.
(SSFC, 12/1/02, p.C3)
1838 Jan 6, Max Bruch, composer
Scottish Fantasy), was born in Cologne, Germany.
1838 Apr 17, J. Schopenhauer
(71), writer, died.
1838 Jul 8, Count Ferdinand von
Zeppelin (d.1917), German designer and manufacturer of airships, was
(HN, 7/8/98)(WUD, 1994, p.1660)
1838 Gustav Schwab, German
historian, authored his compendium "Die Sagen des Klassischen
Altertums" (Stories from Classical Antiquity). The 1st English
version was published in 1946. It was republished in 2001 as "Gods
and Heroes of Ancient Greece."
(WSJ, 11/7/01, p.A20)
1838 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel,
German astronomer and director of the Konigsberg Observatory, made
the first reliable parallax measurement for a star known as 61
Cygni. This gave a distance from the sun of 10.9 light-years. Thomas
Henderson, Scottish astronomer, measured the parallax of Alpha
Centauri whose distance is calculated to be 4.3 light-years from the
(NH, 4/1/04, p.45)(SCTS, p.137)
1838-1840 Architect Gottfried Semper, designer of
the Dresden Semper Opera House, designed the Dresden Jewish
synagogue that was built over this time.
(SFC, 1/6/97, p.A10)
1838-1995 The Tirschenreuth Porcelain Factory
operated in Tirschenreuth, Bavaria, during this period. In 1927 it
was acquired by the L. Hutschenreuther Co.
(SFC, 9/21/05, p.G3)
1839 Oct 21, Georg von Siemens,
founder of Deutsche Bank, was born.
1839 The London Treaty, in
which all the European powers guaranteed Belgian neutrality, was
1840 May, 7 Caspar David
Friedrich (b.1774), German Romantic landscape painter, died in
Dresden. His primary interest as an artist was the contemplation of
1840 Aug 14, Baron Richard
Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing (d.1902), German psychiatrist, was born.
He was the author of the seminal work “Psychopathia Sexualis"
1840 Wilhelm Beer of Germany
drew the first full map of Mars. It included dark "seas" and light
(SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)
1840 Caspar David Friedrich
(b.1774), German Romantic painter, died.
(WSJ, 9/21/01, p.W2)(WSJ, 10/17/01, p.A24)
1841 Mar 31, 1st performance of
Robert Schumann's 1st Symphony in B.
1841 Aug, German poet Hoffman
von Fallersleben (1798-1874) authored his poem "Das Lied der
Deutschen" on the island of Heligoland. Its third stanza became the
lyrics for the German national anthem.
(Econ, 2/18/17, p.69)
1841 In Metlach, Germany, the
firm of Villeroy & Boch Pottery was founded. They made many
types of wares, including the famous Mettlach steins and are still
(SFC, 5/22/96, Z1, p7)
1842 May 5, City-wide fire
burned for over 100 hours in Hamburg, Germany. The medieval center
of Hamburg was virtually leveled.
1842 Sep 4, Work on Cologne
cathedral resumed after 284-year hiatus.
1842 Oct 15, Karl Marx became
editor-in-chief of Rheinische Zeitung.
1842-1912 Karl May, German writer, specialized in
stories about noble Indians struggling to survive against the
advance of modern society.
(SSFC, 3/11/01, DB p.35)
1843 Jan 2, Wagner's opera "Der
Fliegende Holländer" premiered in Dresden.
1843 Jul 2, Samuel Hahnemann
(b.1755), German physician and founder of homeopathy, died in Paris.
A renaissance for homeopathy started in the 1970s when it was
rediscovered by West Germany’s glitterati, including Veronica
Carstens, the wife of a former president.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hahnemann)(Econ, 9/10/16, p.44)
1843 Dec 4, Robert Schumann's
"Das Paradied und die Peri," premiered in Leipzig.
1843 Dec 11, Robert Koch
(d.1910), German physician, bacteriologist, and medical researcher,
was born. He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1905.
1843 Heinrich Schwabe, German
amateur astronomer, published his results of a 17 year study on the
number of sun spots. His results showed that sunspot activity varied
over a period of eleven and a half years. Sunspot activity recorded
since this time indicates the period to average 11.2 years and to
vary from 7.5 to 16 years. This activity correlates to agricultural
activity and the price of wheat.
1844 Oct 15, Friedrich Wilhelm
Nietzsche (d.1900), German philosopher, poet, and critic, was born.
He wrote 13 books and was driven to madness by a number of factors,
but one was the bland, dishonest complacency of his contemporaries,
who ignored him while honoring writers who seem like comic book
figures today... He shrilled against Christianity and its empty
moral claims. In 1998 two biographies were published: "Nietzsche in
Turin: An Intimate Biography" by Lesley Chamberlain; and "The
Good European: Nietzsche’s Work Sites in word and Image" by David
Farell Krell and Donald L. Bates. In 2000 Robert C. Solomon and
Kathleen M. Higgins authored "What Nietzsche Really Said." "No one
is such a liar as the indignant man." "In individuals, insanity is
rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule."
"The time for me hasn't come yet. Some are born posthumously."
(V.D.-H.K.p.279)(SFEC, 2/8/98, BR p.9)(AP,
3/19/98)(HN,10/15/98)(AP, 12/3/98) (SFEC, 4/23/00, BR p.4)
1844 Dec 18, Ludwig J. von
Brentano, German economist, was born.
1844-1845 The marriage of Friedrich V of Germany
to and English Princess Elizabeth in Heidelberg is the nominal
subject of a Turner oil painting.
(WSJ, 1/15/96, p. A-10)
1844-1913 August Bebel was an outstanding
political figure in Western European Socialism and co-founder of the
German Social Democratic Party. Bebel participated in the foundation
of the Social Democratic Party in 1869 and was sentenced to prison
for treason in 1872. As head of the Social Democrats he was chief
opposition leader in the Reichstag in the 1890s and 1900s.
1845 Mar 3, Georg Cantor
(d.1918), mathematician, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He grew
up in Germany and developed the field of transfinite numbers.
1845 Mar 13, Felix
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, had its premiere
in Leipzig, Germany.
(BG, 3/13/16, p.B6)
1845 Mar 27, Wilhelm Conrad
Röntgen (d.1923), German scientist, was born. He discovered X-rays
(HN, 3/27/99)(MC, 3/27/02)
1845 May 12, August Wilhelm
Schlegel (77), German poet, interpreter, critic, died.
1845 Aug 25, Ludwig II
(d.1886), King of Bavaria (1864-86), was born at Nymphenburg. He was
also called the "Mad King" for his extravagant castles.
(HN, 1/7/99)(SFEC, 4/9/00,
1845 Oct 19, Richard Wagner's
opera "Tannhauser," premiered in Dresden.
1845 Friedrich Engels
(1820-1895), German social scientist, authored in German “The
Condition of the Working Class in England." It was not published in
English until 1892.
1845 Der Struwwelpeter, a
popular German children's book, was published by Heinrich Hoffmann.
It comprises ten illustrated and rhymed stories, mostly about
children. Each has a clear moral that demonstrates the disastrous
consequences of misbehavior in an exaggerated way. The title of the
first story provides the title of the whole book. Literally
translated, Struwwel-Peter means Shaggy-Peter.
1845 Alexander von Humboldt
(1769-, German explorer, authored “Cosmos," his 5-volume overview of
(WSJ, 7/29/06, p.P8)
1845-1929 Wilhelm von Bode, art historian. He
supervised the construction of a museum that later bore his name.
(WSJ, 7/29/98, p.A13)
1846 Feb 9, Wilhelm Maybach,
German engineer, was born. He designed the first Mercedes
1846 Mar 13, Friedrich Hebbel's
"Maria Magdalena," premiered in Konigsberg.
1846 Sep 23, The planet Neptune
was discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.
(HFA, '96, p.38)(AP, 9/23/97)
1846 Carl Zeiss founded an
optical business in Thuringia, Germany.
(Econ, 11/8/14, p.64)
1847 Feb 16, Ludwig Philipp
Scharwenka, German composer (Album Polonaise), was born.
1847 May 14, Fanny Cacilia
Mendelssohn Hensel (41), German pianist, composer and sister of
Felix Mendelssohn, died of a stroke.
(ON, 6/07, p.8)
1847 Jul 20, Max Liebermann,
German impressionist painter, was born.
1847 Oct 2, Paul von
Hindenburg, German Field Marshall during World War I whose brilliant
victories on the Eastern Front promoted him to become the second
president of the Weimar Republic, was born.
1847 Oct, The German company
Siemens was founded in a Berlin courtyard. Johann Georg Halske and
Werner von Siemens formed their own company, Telegraphen-Bauanstalt
von Siemens & Halske to develop a new design for the Wheatstone
p.A10)(http://tinyurl.com/26xq4a)(Econ, 12/3/16, p.54)
1847 Nov 4, Felix
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (b.1809), German pianist and composer, died at
age 38. His work included: "Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream."
(WUD, 1994 p.895)(LGC, 1970, p.201)(ON, 6/07,
1847 Dec 30, John Peter
Altgeld, US Gov-Ill, was born in Germany. He pardoned some of the
1847-1935 Max Lieberman, a Berlin artist, was
influenced but not smothered by the Impressionists.
(WSJ, 10/8/98, p.A16)
1848 Mar 20, King Ludwig I of
Bavaria abdicated to marry dancer Lola Montez.
1848 Mar 24, The First
Schleswig War began. It was the first round of military conflict in
southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the
Schleswig-Holstein Question and contested the issue of who should
control the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The 3-year war lasted
1848 May 23, Helmuth J.L. von
Moltke, German general, chief of staff (WW I), was born.
1848 The painter-poet Josef
Victor von Scheffel published cynical poems with titles as
'Biedermann's Evening socializing' and 'Bummelmaier's Complaint' in
the Viennese satirical magazine 'Fliegende Blätter' (Flying Leaves).
These names were combined into the pseudonym 'Gottlieb Biedermaier'
by Ludwig Eichrodt, who together with Adolf Kussmaul published poems
by the schoolmaster Samuel Friedrich Sauter under this name. The
spelling finally changed into 'Biedermeier' in 1869 when Eichrodt
published 'Biedermeier's Liederlust'.
1849 Mar 19, Alfred von
Tirpitz, Prussian admiral, was born. He commanded the German fleet
in early World War I.
1849 Mar 24, Johann Dobereiner
(b.1780), German chemist, died. He is best known for work that
foreshadowed the periodic law for the chemical elements.
1849 Jul 23, German rebels in
Baden capitulated to the Prussians.
1850 Jan 6, Franz Xaver
Scharwenka, German pianist and composer (Mataswintha), was born.
1850 Jul 2, Prussia agreed to
pull out of Schleswig and Holstein, Germany.
1850 Aug 28, Richard Wagner's
opera "Lohengrin'' premiered at Weimar, Germany, under the direction
of Franz Liszt.
1850 Nov 9, Lewis Lewin, German
toxicologist and father of psycho-pharmacology, was born.
1851 Feb 6, Robert Schumann's
3rd Symphony "Rhenish," premiered in Dusseldorf.
1851 May 20, Emile Berliner,
inventor of the flat phonograph record, was born in Germany.
1851 Dec 10, Karl von Drais
(b.1785), noble German forest official and inventor, died in
Karlsruhe. He invented the Laufmaschine ("running machine"), later
called the velocipede, draisine (English) or draisienne (French),
also nicknamed the hobby horse or dandy horse. It incorporated the
two-wheeler principle that is basic to the bicycle and motorcycle
and was the beginning of mechanized personal transport. Drais also
invented the earliest typewriter with a keyboard (1821).
1851 Paul Julius Reuter
(1816-1899), a German-born immigrant, began transmitting
stock-market quotes between London and Paris over the new
Dover-Calais submarine telegraph cable.
1852 Apr 12, Carl Louis
Ferdinand von Lindemann (d.1939), German mathematician, was born.
1852 May 8, A war between
Denmark and Prussia lasted three years (1848–50) and ended only when
the Great Powers pressured Prussia into accepting the London
Protocol of 1852. This was the revision of an earlier protocol,
which had been ratified on August 2, 1850, by the major Germanic
powers of Austria and Prussia. The 1852 London Protocol confirmed
that the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein should remain undivided.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Protocol)(Econ, 6/23/12, p.20)
1852 Jun 9, Georg Heinrich von
Langsdorff, German-Russian naturalist, physician and explorer, died
of typhus in Germany. He first participated as naturalist and
physician in the great Russian scientific circumnavigation
expedition commanded by Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern, from 1803 to
1805. He returned from San Francisco by ship to Siberia and thence
to Saint Petersburg by land, arriving in 1808.
1852 Jun 21, Friedrich Frobel
(b.1782), founder of the Play and Activity Institute (1837) in
Germany, died. In 1840 he created the word kindergarten to describe
1853 Karl Gerhardt discovered
(SFEC,11/2/97, Z1 p.6)
1853 German physicist Heinrich
Magnus (1802-1870) first described the phenomenon, which came to be
called the Magnus effect, whereby a spinning object flying in a
fluid creates a whirlpool of fluid around itself, and experiences a
force perpendicular to the line of motion and away from the
direction of spin. According to author James Gleick (b.1954) Isaac
Newton described it and correctly theorized the cause 180 years
earlier, after observing tennis players in his Cambridge college.
1854 Feb 6, Composer Robert
Schumann was saved from a depression-induced suicide attempt of
walking into the Rhine.
1854 Feb 17, Friedrich A.
Krupp, German arms manufacturer, was born.
1854 Feb 27, Composer Robert
Schumann was saved from a suicide attempt in Rhine.
1854 Sep 1, Engelbert
Humperdinck, German opera composer (Hansel & Gretel), was born.
1854 In Germany the Frankfurter
Bank was founded. In 1970 it merged with Berliner
Handels-Gesselschaft and became BHF-Bank.
1855 Jul 30, Wilhelm von
Siemens, German industrialist, was born.
1855 Dec 27, Paul Ehrenreich,
German ethnologist and mythologist, was born.
1856 Feb 17, Heinrich Heine
(b.1797), German journalist and poet, died in Paris. His prose work
included a series of travel memoirs that began in 1826 with “The
1856 May 20, Henri E. Cross
(d.1910), French painter, was born. His real surname was Delacroix
but was changed in 1881.
1856 Jul 29, Robert Schumann
(46), German composer, died. He had starved himself to death in a
madhouse. The 1947 film "Song of Love" was based on the Robert and
Clara Schuman. In 2000 J.D. Landis authored "Longing" a novel based
on the love affair between Robert Schuman and Clara Wieck.
(BLW, 1963 ed. p.49)(WSJ, 9/22/00, p.W12)
1856 Jul 2, Prussian private
bankers founded Berliner Handels-Gesselschaft. In 1970 the bank
merged with Frankfurter Bank and became BHF-Bank.
1856 Lothar von Faber of
Germany bought a graphite mine in Siberia to secure raw material for
his pencil manufacturing operations.
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.73)
1857 Feb 18, Max Klinger,
German graphic artist, painter, sculptor, was born.
1857 Feb 22, Heinrich Hertz,
German physicist, was born in Hamburg. He became the first person to
broadcast and receive radio waves. The radio wave unit of frequency
was named after him.
(HN, 2/22/01)(AP, 2/22/07)
1857 Oct 29, Conrad Haebler,
German historian (Early Printers of Spain and Portugal), was born.
1857 Dec 29, Franz Liszt's "Die
Hunnenschlacht," premiered in Weimar.
1857 H. Sichel & Sohne, the
producers of the popular Blue Nun white wine, was founded.
(SFC, 10/8/97, Z1 p.4)
1857 Franz Kruger (b.1797),
Biedermeier artist of cityscapes and rural genre scenes, died.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)
1858 Jan 25, Britain's Princess
Victoria (the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert),
married Crown Prince Frederick William (the future German Emperor
and King of Prussia) at St. James's Palace. The ceremony's
tradition-setting music, personally selected by the Princess Royal,
included the "Bridal Chorus" from Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" and
the "Wedding March" by Felix Mendelssohn.
1858 Mar 18, Rudolf Diesel,
German mechanical engineer, was born in Paris. He designed the
compression-ignition engine (1893).
(HN, 3/18/99)(AP, 3/18/08)
1858 Mar 31, Norddeutscher
Lloyd Bremen launched the SS New York, a passenger cargo vessel. It
was sold to Edward Bates of Liverpool in 1874 and later wrecked near
Staten Island. In 1994 Edwin Drechsel (1914-2006) later authored a
2-volume history of the North German shipping line.
1858 Apr 23, Max K.E. Ludwig
Planck, German physicist (Planck Constant, Nobel 1918), was born.
1859 Jan 22, Brahms' 1st piano
concerto (in D minor) premiered in Hanover.
1859 Jan 27, Kaiser Wilhelm II,
German emperor (1888-1918) during World War I, was born. He was
forced to abdicate in 1918.
(HN, 1/27/99)(MC, 1/27/02)
1859 Mar 28, 1st performance of
John Brahms' 1st Serenade for orchestra.
1859 May 6, Baron Freidrich von
Humboldt (b.1769), German naturalist and explorer who made the first
isothermic and isobaric maps, died. In 2015 Andrea Wulf authored
“The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World."
1859 Oct 4, Karl Baedeker
(b.1801), German travel writer and tour guide (Die Schweiz), died.
1859 Oct 19, Georg Knorr,
German engineer (brake system trains), was born.
1859 Nov 22, Ludwig "Louis"
Spohr (75), German violinist and composer (Faust), died.
1860 Sep 21, Arthur
Schopenhauer (b.1788), German philosopher known for his pessimism
and philosophical clarity, died. At age 25 he published his doctoral
dissertation," On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient
Reason," which examined the four separate manifestations of reason
in the phenomenal world.
1860-1870 Erdmann and Reinhold Schlegelmilch,
apparently unrelated, began making dinnerware in the 1860s in
(SFC, 4/2/08, p.G2)
1861 Jan 2, Frederik Willem IV
(b.1795), king of Prussia (1840-61) and Germany (1849-61), died.
1861 May 18, Friedrich Hebbel's
"Kriemhildes Rache" premiered in Weimar.
1861 Aug 10, Friedrich Julius
Stahl (b.1802), conservative German jurist and publicist, died in
Bruckenau. He developed the idea that Germans are a people based on
1861 Dec 26, Friedrich Engel,
German mathematician (group theory), was born.
1861 Germany abolished a number
of discriminatory laws including the Matrikel law, which allowed
only the oldest son in a Jewish family to marry.
(SFC, 3/19/17, p.C1)
1861 The first Archaeopteryx
fossil was found in Germany in mid-Jurassic rocks dating to about
155-150 million BC. The very rare remains of the first bird,
Archaeopteryx, was about the size of a dove, had a long,
reptile-like tail but with real feathers, not scales, and it
possessed teeth in its beak.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.101)(SFC, 7/28/11, p.A8)
1861-1871 In 2007 Michael Knox Beran authored
“Forge of Empires: 1861-1871: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the
World They Made," a work of comparative history in which he focuses
on the US, Russia and the unifying German states during the 1860s.
(WSJ, 12/6/07, p.D7)
1862 Mar 19, F. Wilhelm von
Schadow (73), German painter (Modern Vasari), died.
1862 Aug 9, Hector Berlioz'
opera "Beatrice et Benedict," premiered in Baden-Baden.
1862 Sep 23, Otto von Bismarck
became the 9th Minister President of the Kingdom of Prussia.
1862 Nov 15, Gerhart Hauptmann,
German author (Before Dawn- Nobel 1912), was born.
1863 Jun 2, Felix Weingartner,
conductor (Zara, Dalmatia), was born in Germany.
1863 Jul 14, Jews of Holstein,
Germany, were granted equality.
1863 Sep 13, Franz von Hipper,
German naval commander at the Battle of Jutland in World War I, was
1863 Sep 30, Reinhard von
Scheer, German admiral who commanded the German fleet at the Battle
of Jutland, was born.
1863 May 23, In Germany the
General German Workers’ Association (ADAV) was founded. In 1869 it
became the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany (SDAP). In
1875 it became the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
1863 Ludwig II (1845-1886)
became king of Bavaria after his father died.
(SFEC, 4/9/00, p.T5)
1864 Jan 13, Wilhelm K.W. Wien
(d.1928), German physicist (Nobel 1911), was born.
1864 Apr 10, Eugene Francis
Charles D'Albert, German pianist, composer (Golem), was born.
1864 Apr 21, Max Weber
(d.1920), German sociologist and political economist, was born.
Weber drew strong connection between Protestantism and the rise of
capitalism in "The Protestant and the Spirit of Capitalism" (1904).
"He was the first sociologist to grasp that the universe has no true
meaning." In 1996 "Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy" by
John Patrick Diggins was published.
(V.D.-H.K.p.167)(WSJ, 9/3/98, p.A1)(HN, 4/21/01)
1864 Jun 11, Richard Strauss
(d.1949), German orchestra conductor and composer, was born. His
work included "Daphne" and "Ariadne auf Naxos," (1912).
(CFA, '96, p.48)(WUD, 1994, p.1405)
1864 Jun 14, Alois Alzheimer
(d.1915), German psychiatrist, pathologist (Alzheimer Disease), was
1864 Prussia and Austria
snatched Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark. The border was redrawn by
plebiscite in 1920. After 1945 Germany and Denmark agreed to
recognize the rights of minorities on both sides.
(Econ, 6/2/12, p.66)
1864 Hertwig and Co. of
Thuringia, Germany, introduced ceramic figurines called Snow Babies
made from bisque (unglazed clay) covered with crushed bisque
“snowflakes." The first Snow Babies had been made of sugar candy and
used as Christmas decorations.
(SFC, 9/12/07, p.G7)
1864 Lehmann Bernheimer opened
a shop in Bavaria for textiles and oriental carpets before expanding
to include Italian Renaissance furniture, French antiques,
tapestries, porcelain and other objets d’art. In 2002 rth generation
Konrad O. Bernheimer acquired the internationally renowned gallery
Colnaghi, thus uniting two long-standing and distinguished art
dealerships. Founded in 1760, Colnaghi soon received royal patronage
and established itself as the premier dealership for prints.
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.86)(http://tinyurl.com/28d6tnh)
1865 Apr 9, Erich Ludendorff,
German general during World War I, was born.
1865 Jun 10, The opera "Tristan
und Isolde" by Richard Wagner premiered in Munich, Germany. Wagner
had begun the work in 1857.
(AP, 6/10/97)(WSJ, 3/12/99, p.W2)
1865 A commercial treaty was
established between Britain and the German zollverein.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A2)
1865 BASF was founded in
Germany as Badische Anilin & Soda Fabrik. Anilin was important
in making dyes and soda was used in glass, soaps and textiles.
(Econ, 11/4/06, p.80)
1866 May 7, German premier Otto
von Bismarck was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.
1866 Jun 8, Prussia annexed the
region of Holstein.
1866 Jun 15, Prussia attacked
1866 Jun 27, The Battle of
Langensalza was fought near Bad Langensalza in what is now modern
Germany, between the Kingdom of Hanover (Hanoverians) and the
Prussians. The Hanoverians won the battle but were then surrounded
by a larger and reinforced Prussian army, and, unable to link up
with their Bavarian allies to the south, they surrendered. Hanover
was annexed after losing a war with Prussia.
1866 The New Synagogue of
Berlin was completed. It was able to seat 3,200 people for services.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.A29)
1866 German zoologist
Ernst Haeckel proposed that the embryonal development of an
individual organism (its ontogeny) followed the same path as the
evolutionary history of its species (its phylogeny).
1866 The word "ecology" was
coined by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel from the Greek oikos, for
house, and logos, for discourse. It meant the study of the relations
between living organisms and their environment.
(NH, 2/97, p.4)
1867 Feb 11, August W. Messer,
German philosopher, educator, psychologist, was born.
1867 May 14, Kurt Eisner,
German premier of revolutionary Bavaria (1918-19), was born.
1867 Oct, Karl Marx
(1818-1883), London-based German philosopher, sociologist, economic
historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist, published Volume
1 of “Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Okonomie" (Capital:
Critique of Political Economy). The first English edition was
published in 1887. It is a critical analysis of capitalism as
political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the
capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the
socialist mode of production. Volumes II and III remained mere
manuscripts upon which Marx continued to work for the rest of his
life and were published posthumously by Engels.
1867 Bismarck unified Germany.
(WSJ, 12/2/98, p.A20)
1867 Lawyer and civil servant
Heinrich Ulrichs addressed the Association of German Jurists calling
for a repeal of antisodomy laws.
(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.P2)
1867 German businessman named
Augusto R. Berns purchased land across from Machu Picchu, Peru, and
an 1887 document showed he set up a company to plunder the site.
1868 Apr 10, 1st performance of
Johannes Brahms' "Ein Deutches Requiem."
1868 Jun 21, The first
performance of Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger took place in
1868 Dec 24, Emanuel Lasker,
world chess champion (1894-21), was born in Germany.
1868 Ludwig II (1845-1886) of
Bavaria began the construction of his fairy-tale-style castle at
(SFEC, 4/9/00, p.T5)
1869 Jun 6, Siegfried Wagner,
German opera composer, conductor, son of Richard Wagner (who
composed "Siegfried Idyll" to commemorate his birth), was born.
1869 Sep 22, Richard Wagner's
opera "Das Rheingold" premiered in Munich.
1869 Johannes Brahms
composed his "German Requiem."
(WSJ, 12/3/97, p.A20)
1869 Johann Friedrich Overbeck
(b.1789), German Nazarene artist, was born.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)
1869-1949 Hans Erich Pfitzner, composer and
conductor. He became a Nazi sympathizer and an enthusiastic
(WUD, 1994, p.1078)(WSJ, 7/29/97, p.A12)
1870 Apr 9, Heinrich
Schliemann, German archeologist, with neither a permit nor the
consent of the Turkish landowners, had his hired men sink trenches
on the summit of the mound of Hissarlik, the spur of a limestone
plateau on the northwest coast, where he suspected that the ancient
ruins of Troy lay buried. Schliemann was hired by Frank Calvert
(1828-1908), US Consular Agent at the Dardanelles, to excavate at
Thymbra. In 1999 Susan Heuck Allen authored “Finding the Wall of
Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik."
4/96, p.44)(Arch, 11/04, p.8)
1870 Jun 26, Richard Wagner's
opera "Die Walküre" was first performed as a single opera in Munich.
1870 Jul 19, The
Franco-Prussian War began. Napoleon declared war on Bismarck.
Emperor Napoleon III of France declared war on Germany under Otto
von Bismarck. Napoleon was defeated in three months and abdicated.
(WSJ, 3/14/95, p.A-16)(V.D.-H.K.p.260)(AP,
1870 Aug 18, Prussian forces
defeated the French at the Battle of Gravelotte during the
1870 Aug 25, Richard Wagner
married Cosima von Bulow. Cosima was the illegitimate daughter of
Franz Liszt and had married Hans von Bulow. She and Wagner already
had 3 children by the time they married.
(LGC, 1970, p.266)
1870 Sep 1, The Prussian army
crushed the French at Sedan, the last battle of the Franco-Prussian
1870 Sep 2, Napoleon III
capitulated to the Prussians at Sedan, France.
(WSJ, 3/14/95, p.A-16)(HN, 9/2/98)
1870 Sept. 2, Napoleon
surrendered to Prussia at Sedan.
(WSJ, 3/14/95, p.A-16)
1870 Oct 27, The French
fortress of Metz surrendered to the Prussian Army.
1870-1871 Brahms composed his "Triumphlied" to
celebrate Germany's victory over France and the foundation of the
German Empire. It is dedicated to the German Emperor but is really
written for Prince Bismarck.
(BLW, Geiringer, 1963 ed., p.107,318)
1870-1871 During the Franco-Prussian War there was
a shortage of beef and horse meat began to be used. Germany annexed
Alsace after the war.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, Z1 p.2)(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.T4)
1870-1919 Rosa Luxemburg, German socialist leader:
"Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks
1871 Jan 8, Prussian troops
began to bombard Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
1871 Jan 18, The German Empire
(Deutsches Kaiserreich) was proclaimed in Versailles. William
I of Prussia was proclaimed "German Emperor" (which was not the same
thing as "Emperor of Germany"). The unification of Germany was the
greatest geopolitical transformation of the period. Germany went on
to adopt the mark as its common currency.
1/11/99, p.R42)(AP, 1/18/07)(WSJ, 5/6/08, p.A21)
1871 Jan 28, France, under a
provisional republican government, continued the war against
Germany, but was forced to surrender in the Franco-Prussian War.
Surrounded by Prussian troops and suffering from famine, the French
army in Paris surrendered. During the siege, balloons were used to
keep contact with the outside world.
(V.D.-H.K.p.260)(AP, 1/28/98)(HN, 1/28/99)
1871 Mar 1, Germans paraded
down the Champs-Elysses, Paris, France during the Franco-Prussian
(HN, 3/1/99)(WSJ, 3/14/95, p.A-16)
1871 Mar 21, Otto von Bismarck
became the 1st Chancellor of the German Empire.
1871 Mar 27, Heinrich Mann,
Germany, novelist, essayist (Blue Angel); brother of Thomas Mann,
1871 Apr 16, German Empire
ended all anti-Jewish civil restrictions.
1871 Germany adopted the gold
(Econ, 7/5/14, p.57)
1871 Germany codified its
antisodomy laws under “Paragraph 175" of the penal code.
(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.P2)
1871 B. Bloch & Co. was
founded in Eichwald, Germany, for the manufacture of earthenware,
porcelain dinnerware, household items and decorative pieces. The
name was changed after World War I to Eichwalder Porcelain and Stove
Factory Bloch & Co.
(SFC, 8/16/06, p.G7)
1872 Friedrich Nietzsche
published his first book: "The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of
Music," in which Greek tragedy was interpreted along Wagnerian lines
with Appolonian and Dionysian opposites.
( LGC, 1970, p.266)(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A20)
1872 Adolf Baeyer, German
organic chemist, combined phenol (from coal tar) and formaldehyde
(from wood alcohol), while searching for a new synthetic dye. His
student Werner Kleeberg in 1891, while searching for a shellac
substitute, used the combination to create a new resinous substance.
Hendrik Baekeland later expanded on the Kleeberg process and in 1907
filed for a US patent on his new material Bakelite.
(ON, 9/05, p.11)
1873 Feb 2, Baron Konstantin
von Neurath, German secretary of State (1932-38), was born.
After WW II he was tried as war criminal and received jail sentence.
1873 Mar 10, Jakob Wassermann
(d.1934), novelist (My Life as German & Jew), was born in
Germany. "In every person, even in such as appear most reckless,
there is an inherent desire to attain balance."
(AP, 3/25/97)(MC, 3/10/02)
1873 Mar 19, Max Reger,
composer, pianist, prof. (Leipzig Univ), was born in Brand, Bavaria.
1873 Ludwig II of Bavaria began
the construction of his palace at Linderhof.
(SFEC, 4/9/00, p.T5)
1873 Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer
founded the Rabbinerseminar zu Berlin as German Orthodoxy’s answer
to the Judisch-Theologische Seminar in Breslau. Its outlook was that
although Jewish law, the halacha, was immutable, it had to be
couched in contemporary language. In 1990 Rabbi David Ellenson
authored a biography of Rabbi Hildesheimer.
(Econ, 7/28/12, SR p.10,11)
1873 The Verein für
Socialpolitik, Germany’s economic association, was founded.
(Econ, 1/22/05, p.48)
1873 Count Ferdinand von
Zeppelin began the conceptual work for his improved air machine. He
planned a rigid structure with gas held at various intervals in the
framework with engines for propulsion and a suspended gondola to
house the engines, crew and passengers.
1873 Ernst Abbe (1840-1905),
German physicist, noted that a microscope cannot properly see any
object smaller than half the wavelength of the light it uses.
1873 German archeologist
Heinrich Schliemann smuggled out treasures from the ancient city of
(SSFC, 9/11/11, p.A4)
1873-1951 Fritz Thyssen, German industrialist:
"When I rest, I rust."
1874 Apr 15, Johannes Stark,
Nobel Prize-winning German physicist, was born.
1874 Jul 28, Ernst Cassirer,
German philosopher, educator (Essay on Man), was born.
1874 Aug 27, Karl Bosch, German
chemist (BASF, Nobel 1931), was born.
1874 Oct 26, Peter Cornelius,
German composer, died at 49.
1875 Feb 4, Ludwig Prandtl,
physicist (father of aerodynamics), was born in Germany.
1875 May 7, German SS Schiller
sank near Scilly Islands and 312 were killed.
1875 Jun 6, Thomas Mann
(d.1955), German novelist and essayist, was born. He was forced into
exile by the Nazis. The major part of Mann’s oeuvre is concerned
with problems of the artist per se, and no writer of our time and
perhaps of any time has probed so deeply into the artistic
personality or described so brilliantly the workings of
artistic genius. His work included Buddenbrooks (1901), Death in
Venice (1912), Doctor Faustus (1947), and The Magic Mountain. Two
biographies of Mann were published in 1995: Thomas Mann: A Biography
by Ronald Hayman and Thomas Mann: A Life by Donald Prater. "Speech
is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word,
preserves contact -- it is silence which isolates."
(V.D.-H.K.p.367-368)(WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-5)(AP,
1875 Jul 3, Ernst F.
Sauerbruch, German Nazi surgeon, was born.
1875 Sep 3, Ferdinand Porsche,
German automotive engineer, was born. He designed the Volkswagen in
1934 and the Porsche sports car in 1950.
(HN, 9/3/00)(MC, 9/3/01)
1875 Dec 12, Karl R.G. von
Rundstedt, German gen-field marshal (Normandy), was born.
1875-1926 Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian poet. He
was born in Prague to German-speaking parents. His works include New
Poems (1907), his autobiographical novel: "The Notebooks of Malte
Laurids Brigge," and his masterpieces the "Duino Elegies" and "The
Sonnets to Orpheus." His mistress was Lou Andreas-Salome, a
novelist, essayist and clinical psychologist. Ralph Freedman
wrote a biography of Rilke titled Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke
in 1996. His complete works were published in 1966 and an annotated
edition in 1996. In 1997 his early work was published: "Diaries of a
Young Poet," translated by Edward Snow and Michael Winkler. On the
new year day: "And now let us believe in a long year that is given
to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of
work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands;
and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too
much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary,
serious and great things."
(WSJ, 3/19/96, p.A-12)(WSJ, 12/15/97, p.A20)(AP,
1875-1965 Albert Schweitzer, German-born
missionary and Nobel laureate. "Man must cease attributing his
problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will --
his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals."
1876 Jan 5, Conrad Adenauer
(d.1967), statesman and first chancellor of post-World War II West
Germany, was born. He was chancellor of Germany from 1949-1963. "The
good Lord set definite limits on man's wisdom, but set no limits on
his stupidity -- and that's not fair!"
(AHD, 1971, p.15)(AP, 7/1/98)(HN, 1/5/99)
1876 Aug 13, Richard Wagner's
monumental epic, "Ring of the Nibelung" premiered with 4 operas on 4
consecutive nights) at the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Bavaria,
Germany. Wagner had begun writing the opera in 1848.
1876 Sep 15, Bruno Walter, [B W
Schlesinger], conductor (NY Phil), was born in Berlin, Germany.
1876 Aug 16, Wagner's Opera
"Siegfried" premiered at Bayreuth. [See Aug 13]
1876 Aug 17, Wagner's opera
"Gotterdammerung" was produced at Bayreuth. [see Aug 13]
1876 Sep 15, Bruno Walter
(d.1962), [B W Schlesinger], conductor (NY Phil), was born in
1876 Nov 4, Johannes Brahms'
Symphony #1 in C, premiered at Karlsruhe.
1876 The Berlin Nationalgalerie
was inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm I on Museum Island in the Spree
River. It re-opened in 2002 after 4 years of renovation.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)
c1876 In Frankfurt the
Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof was built.
(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.T6)
1876 A paper in the Berliner
Klinische Wochenschrift, a Germany medical journal, suggested
that salsalate could help diabetics control their blood sugar.
Harvard researchers in the 1990s conducted studies that supported
(WSJ, 1/20/09, p.A12)
1876 Carl von Linde
(1842-1934), German engineer, invented refrigeration.
1876 Nikolaus Otto (1832-1891),
German inventor, first demonstrated the four-stroke engine.
1877 Jan 22, Hjalmar Horace
Greely Schacht, president of German Reichsbank, minister of
Economics, was born.
1877 Jul 2, Herman Hesse
(d.1962), German philosopher poet and author, was born in
Switzerland. His work included "Steppenwolf" and he won the Nobel
Prize in literature in 1946.
(HN, 7/2/99)(WUD, 1994, p.666)(SC, 7/2/02)
1877 Dec 2, Camille
Saint-Saens' opera "Samson et Dalila," premiered in Weimar.
(WSJ, 2/20/98, p.A16)(MC, 12/2/01)
1877 In Germany the Steiff Toy
Co. was founded. They made their first teddy bears in 1903 with
black, shoe-button eyes.
(SFC, 1/21/98, Z1 p.3)
1877 In Germany the S.
Gunthermann manufacturer of metal vehicles and other toys was
founded in Nuremberg about this time.
(SFC, 9/20/06, p.G3)
1877-78 Treaty of San Stefano, signed after
Russo-Turkish War, assigned Albanian-populated lands to Bulgaria,
Montenegro and Serbia; but Austria-Hungary and Britain block the
treaty's implementation. Albanian leaders meet in Prizren, Kosova,
to form the League of Prizren. The League initially advocated
autonomy for Albania. At the Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers
overturned the Treaty of San Stefano and divided Albanian lands
among several states. The League of Prizren began to organize
resistance to the Treaty of Berlin's provisions that affected
(www, Albania, 1998)
1878 Feb 8, Martin Buber,
German-Israeli philosopher, theologist (Ich und Du), was born.
1878 Apr 1, Carl Sternheim,
German playwright (Hyperion, Tabula Rasa), was born.
1878 Jun 4, The Ottoman Empire
turned over control of Cyprus to the British. The Congress of Berlin
leased Cyprus to Britain.
(AP, 6/4/08)(Econ, 10/23/10, SR p.10)
1878 Jul 13, The Treaty of
Berlin amended the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, which had
ended the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The Congress of Berlin
divided the Balkans among European powers. Austria-Hungary and
Britain, alarmed at the possibilities of growing Russian power,
concluded the Treaty of Berlin, reducing the military and political
gains Russia had made with the San Stefano treaty.
(AP, 7/13/97)(HN, 7/13/98)(HNQ, 2/23/01)
1878 Jul 30, German
anti-Semitism began during the Reichstag election.
1878 Oct 21, German republic
chancellor Bismarck delegated the end of "Socialism."
1878 Oct 29, Alex E. von
Falkenhausen, German general (China, WW II), was born.
1878 Topf & Sons was
founded in Erfurt, Germany, as a customized incinerator and malting
equipment manufacturer. The firm was close to the Ettersberg hill,
later the site of Buchenwald concentration camp. With the expansion
of cremation in Germany as a burial rite in the 1920s, the firm's
ambitious chief engineer Kurt Pruefer pioneered furnaces which
complied with strict regulations on preserving the dignity of the
body. In 1941 the firm agreed to build crematoria for Auschwitz and
enable industrialized mass murder.
1878 Carl Humann led a German
team in excavating an archeological site in Bergama, western Turkey.
The team discovered an altar of Zeus, dating from the 2nd century
BC. It was sent to Germany and became the centerpiece of the
Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
(Econ, 5/19/12, p.89)
1879 Mar 8, Otto Hahn, German
co-discoverer of nuclear fission, was born. He received a Nobel
Prize in 1944.
(HN, 3/8/98)(MC, 3/8/02)
1879 Mar 14, Physicist Albert
Einstein, mathematician best known for his theories on relativity
was born in Ulm, Germany. He received the Physics Nobel Prize in
(CFA, ‘96,Vol 179, p.42)(AP, 3/14/97)(HN,
1879 May 31, 1st electric
railway opened at the Berlin Trades Exposition.
1879 Oct 2, A dual alliance was
formed between Austria and Germany, in which the two countries
agreed to come to the other's aid in the event of aggression.
1879 Oct 9, Max von Laue,
German physicist, was born.
1879 Oct 29, Franz JHMM von
Papen, German diplomat and chancellor (1932), was born.
1879 Dec 18, Paul Klee
(d.1940), Swiss abstract painter best known for The Mocker Mocked,
1879 Germany raised tariffs to
limit agricultural and steel imports.
(WSJ, 3/29/04, p.A1)
1879 Rosenthal began making
porcelain plates in Selb, Germany. Limited edition Christmas plates
were introduced in 1910.
(SFC, 12/21/05, p.G6)
1880 May 29, Oswald Spengler,
German philosopher of history, was born. He maintained that every
culture grows, matures and decays. He wrote the book "The Decline of
1880 Aug 14, Construction of
Cologne Cathedral, begun in 1248, was completed 633 years after it
1880 Nov 1, Alfred L Wegener,
German meteorologist (continental shift), was born.
1880 Hans Hofmann (d.1966),
abstract artist, was born and raised in Munich, Germany. He lived in
Paris from 1904-1914 and moved to the US in 1931.
(SFC, 7/31/01, p.B5)(WSJ, 1/15/04, p.D8)
1880 In Berlin the Weissensee
Jewish cemetery was opened.
(SFC, 10/5/99, p.A10)
1880 Bavaria and Prussia
introduced Spellingreform. Chancellor Bismarck threatened civil
servants with increased fines if the new system was used.
(Econ, 8/21/04, p.45)
1880-1889 Germany set up a vocational training
(Econ, 4/14/12, p.30)
1880-1889 In Germany Louis Doberman, a night
watchman and keeper of the local dog pound, refined the dog that
bears his name into a fierce creature.
(SFC, 12/11/99, p.B6)
1881 Jan 4, The "Academic
Festival Overture" by Johannes Brahms premiered in Breslau.
1881 Feb 14, Otto Selz, German
psychologist, was born.
1881 Mar 23, Hermann
Staudinger, chemist, plastics researcher (Nobel '53), was born in
1881 May 14, Rudolph Karstadt
founded his first store in Wismar, Germany. In 1999 Karstadt merged
with Quelle, a mail-order business founded in 1927 by Gustav
Schickedanz. By 2009 the venerable German chain, which
included the famous Berlin department store KaDeWe, faced bankruptcy
after years of erratic management.
1881 May 16, World's 1st
electric tram went into service in Lichterfelder near Berlin.
1881 Aug 8, Paul L.E. von
Kleist, German general-fieldmarshal (Eastern Front), was born.
1881 Oct 4, [Heinrich AH]
Walther von Brauchitsch, German field marshal, was born.
1881 The Aug. Schatz &
Sohne company was founded in Triburg, Germany, to produce clocks.
These included anniversary clocks, also called 400-day clocks,
because they could be wound to run for more than 365 days.
(SFC, 2/21/07, p.G3)
1881 A German expedition to
Chile that took 11 Kawesqar Indians to Europe to appear in what was
later described as a human zoo. 5 of the Indians died in 1882 in
Zurich, Switzerland. Their remains were repatriated in 2010.
1881-1882 Dr. Muller of Germany was said to be
working at the Swiss Geisenheim viticultural station when he made
the crossing that joined the late-ripening Riesling and the
early-ripening and prolific Silvaner. The grape became know as
Muller-Thurgau. Müller-Thurgau entered the well-kept records of
Germany's vineyards in 1921, but it was not until a major symposium
on the crossing was held at Alzey in 1938 that it gained any
1881-1934 Ernst Paul Lehmann made tin toys over
this period in Brandenburg. His toys included a toy mule that kicked
while pulling a cart driven by a clown called "the balky mule."
(SFC,11/26/97, Z1 p.7)
1882 Mar 24, German scientist
Robert Koch announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus
responsible for tuberculosis.
1882 Jun 24, Joseph Joachim
Raff (60), German opera composer, died.
1882 Jul 26, Richard Wagner's
final opera "Parsifal," premiered in Bayreuth, Germany.
1882 Sep 10, The 1st
international conference to promote anti-Semitism met in Dresden,
Germany (Congress for Safeguarding of Non-Jewish Interests).
1882 Sep 22, Wilhelm Keitel,
German field marshal, was born.
1882 Oct 3, Gunther von Kluge,
German field marshal, was born.
1882 Dec 16, Walther Meissner,
German physicist (Meissner effect), was born.
1882 The Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra was founded.
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.E6)
1882-1884 Norwegian adventurer Johan Adrian
Jacobsen collected some 200 Chugach items from graves in caves on
Chenega Island, Alaska, for Germany's Royal Museum of Ethnology. In
2018 a Berlin museum returned ancient wooden masks, an idol and
other spiritually significant artifacts plundered from graves to
1883 Feb 13, Richard Wagner
(b.1813), revolutionary German composer, died in Venice. Composer
Leon Stein (d.2002 at 92) later authored "The Racial Thinking of
Richard Wagner." In 2007 Jonathan Carr authored “The Wagner Clan,"
The Saga of Germany's Most Illustrious and Infamous Family. In 2020
Alex Ross authored "Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of
p.A20)(Econ., 9/8/07, p.85)(Econ., 9/19/20, p.81)
1883 Feb 23, Karl Jaspers,
existentialist philosopher, was born in Oldenburg, Germany.
1883 Mar 14, Karl Marx (64),
German political philosopher (Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital),
died in London.
(AP, 3/14/97)(MC, 3/14/02)
1883 Apr 29, Franz Hermann
Schulze-Delitzsch (b.1808), German economist, died. He was
responsible for organizing of the world's first credit unions.
1883 May 18, Walter Gropius
(d.1969), architect and founder of the Bauhaus school of design, was
born in Berlin, Germany. "The human mind is like an umbrella. It
functions best when open."
(V.D.-H.K.p.363)(AP, 10/7/98)(SC, 5/18/02)
1883 Jul 27, Albert Franz
Doppler (61), composer, died.
1883 Nov 18, Wilhelm Siemens,
German-British physicist (steam engine), died.
1883 Germany under Chancellor
Otto von Bismarck adopted the first compulsory health insurance
program on a national scale.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1883 Richard Wagner, composer,
died. Composer Leon Stein (d.2002 at 92) later authored "The Racial
Thinking of Richard Wagner."
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A20)
1884 Apr 24, Otto von Bismarck
cabled Cape Town that South Africa had become a German colony.
1884 May 18, Heinrich R.
Göppert, German paleo-botanist, died.
1884 Jun 10, Johann Gustav
Droysen (b.1808), German historian, died in Berlin. His books
included “Geschichte Alexanders des Grossen" (1833), a study of
Alexander the Great.
1884 Jul 7, Lion Feuchtwanger,
German philosopher, writer (Jud Suss), was born.
1884 Aug 7, The German flag was
raised in South West Africa. German South West Africa became a
colony of the German Empire. This continued to 1915.
1884 Dec 30, Anton Bruckner's
7th Symphony in E, premiered in Leipzig.
1884 Otto von Bismarck, German
Chancellor, called on representatives of 13 nations in Europe as
well as the United States to take part in the Berlin Conference to
work out joint policy on the African continent.
1884 Germany under Chancellor
Otto von Bismarck adopted a national workman's compensation program.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1884 Germany legislated a dual
board system of corporate governance.
(Econ, 4/14/12, p.30)
1884 Ottmar Mergenthaler
(1854-1899) of Germany invented the Linotype machine that produced
newspaper type and was used until it was replaced by computers.
(SFC, 2/4/98, p.A21)
1884 Robert Koch, German
microbiologist, rediscovered, isolated and cultured the cholera
bacillus, Vibrio cholerae. Italian anatomist Fillipo Pacini
discovered the bacillus in 1854, but did not prove that it caused
(ON, 5/05, p.10)
1884 Cameroon was colonized by
1885 Feb 26, The General Act of
the Conference of Berlin was signed. The conference ushered in a
period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, which
eliminated or overrode most existing forms of African autonomy and
1885 Mar 31, Franz Wilhelm Abt
(65), German composer, choir conductor, died.
1885 Apr 3, Gottlieb
Daimler’s four-stroke, single-cylinder engine, was registered for
patent. It was prerequisite for the riding car and
simultaneously the world’s first motorcycle.
1885 May 14, Otto Klemperer,
conductor, composer, was born in Breslau, Germany.
1885 May 19, German chancellor
Bismarck took possession of Cameroon & Togoland.
1885 Nov 18, Paul Daimler, son
of Gottlieb Daimler, became the first motorcyclist when he rode his
father's new invention, Daimler Reitwagen, on a round trip of 5-12
km. The seat caught fire on that excursion.
1885 Nov 30, Albrecht (von)
Kesselring, German field marshal, was born.
1885 The 70-room Herrenchiemsee
Castle of Ludwig II of Bavaria was built on an island in Lake
(SFEC, 4/9/00, p.T4)
1885 In Germany Berlin police
Commissioner Leopold von Meerscheidt-Hullessem created the police
Dept. of Homosexuals to prosecute cases under Paragraph 175.
(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.P2)
1885 Bavaria issued measures
aimed at controlling Gypsies and gathering information about them.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1886 Jan 25, Wilhelm
Furtwangler, conductor, composer, was born in Berlin, Germany.
1886 Jan 29, Karl Benz in
Karlsruhe applied for a patent on his 1st successful gasoline-driven
car. The date of the application became the patent date for the
invention once the patent was granted, which occurred in November of
1886 Mar 27, Ludwig Mies Van
Der Rohe, German-US architect (Bauhaus), was born.
1886 Apr 28, Erich Salomon,
German photographer, was born.
1886 Jun 13, King Ludwig II
(40), King of Bavaria, drowned in Lake Starnberg. Bavarian leaders
had conspired to remove Ludvig II from office and got a doctor, who
never saw him, to declare him insane. He was captured and taken to a
mansion on Lake Starnberg where he was found floating dead with his
doctor. In 1996 Greg King authored "The Mad King."
(AP, 6/13/97)(SFEC, 4/9/00, p.T5)
1886 Jul 3, In Germany Karl
Benz drove the 1st automobile. [see Jan 29]
1886 Jul 31, Franz Liszt,
composer, died in Bayreuth. His work included the symphonic poem
"Les Preludes" and the "Faust Symphony." Cosima-von-Bulow was a
illegitimate daughter of Liszt and married to Richard Wagner. A 3
volume biography of Liszt (1977, 1983, 1996) was written by Alan
Walker, Vol 3 was titled: "Franz Liszt: The final Years." Deszno
Legany of Hungary earlier wrote: "Liszt and His country: 1874-1866."
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A14)
1886 Aug 20, Paul Tillich,
German-US theologian and philosopher who wrote "Systematic
Theology," was born.
(HN, 8/20/98)(MC, 8/20/02)
1886 Gottlieb Daimler and
lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach mounted a vertical
cylinder version of their throttled engine onto a coach.
1886 The firm of Robert Bosch
GmbH was founded. It later became a world leader in automotive
(SFEC, 3/28/99, p.A30)
1886 A handful of German
families, led by Elisabeth Nietzsche-Foerster (1935), founded the
Aryan colony Nueva Germania in the jungles of Paraguay. The idea had
been originally suggested by composer Richard Wagner in 1880. The
colony fell apart in 1893 and Elisabeth Nietzsche-Foerster,
described by her brother, Friedrich Nietzsche (d.1900), as a
“vengeful anti-Semitic goose," returned to Germany where she edited
and promoted the work of her brother.
(SSFC, 3/13/05, p.C6)
1887 Jun 20, Kurt Schwitters
(d.1948), German artist, was born. He spent a year and a half in an
internment camp on the Isle of Man during WW II where he managed to
create some 200 works of art from salvaged scraps.
(WSJ, 8/19/97, p.A17)(HN, 6/20/01)
1887 Feb 11, Ernst "Putzi"
Hanfstangl, German politician and confidante of Hitler, NSDAP &
American school chum of Roosevelt ), was born.
1887 Jul 22, Gustav Hertz,
German physicist, was born.
1887 Nov 10, Arnold Zweig,
German antifascist and author (Erziehung vor Verdun), was born.
1887 Nov 28, Ernst Roehm, early
Nazi and German staff member, later Bolivian leader, was born.
1887-1891 German colonial administrators made
Bagamoyo, Tanzania, their capital.
(SSFC, 7/13/03, p.C9)
1888 Jan 24, Ernst Heinrich
Heinkel, German inventor (1st rocket-powered aircraft), was born.
1888 Feb 27, Lotte Lehmann,
German opera singer, was born.
1888 Mar 5, Friedrich Schnack,
German journalist, writer (Rosewood), was born.
1888 Jun 15, Wilhelm II became
emperor of Germany.
1888 Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844-1900), German philosopher, authored “Twilight of the Idols."
It included the phrase: "What does not destroy me makes me
stronger," which unwittingly inspired 21st century musicians.
1888 German scientists
discovered that small amounts of poison might actually do an
organism good. The paradoxical effect was called hormesis.
(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.B1)
1889 Mar, Friedrich Nietzsche
entered an asylum 2 months after a mental collapse at age 44.
Nietzsche's sister Elizabeth edited his writings from this time on.
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A20)
1889 Apr 20, Adolf Hitler,
leader of National Socialist Party (1921-1945), was born in Braunau,
Austria. He was the dictator of Nazi Germany from 1933-1945 and
started World War II by invading Poland. He committed suicide in his
Berlin bunker. The German Fascist leader, promised to bring Germany
to the promised land on one condition: that the state would have
total control over all the organs, organizations, and citizens of
the nation. Brigitte Hammann later authored "Hitler in Vienna: A
Dictator’s Apprenticeship." In 1998 Ron Rosenbaum published
"Explaining Hitler," a look at the various agendas and needs of
different scholars in their examination of Hitler. In 1999 Ian
Kershaw published "Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris."
(V.D.-H.K.p.309)(HN, 4/20/98)(SFEC, 10/18/98, BR
p.5)(WSJ, 1/21/98, p.A16) (AP, 4/20/99)(HN, 4/20/99)(WSJ, 4/4/01,
1889 May 1, Bayer in
Germany introduced aspirin in powder form.
1889 Aug 16, Buffalo Bill's
Wild West Show star Annie Oakley, using a Colt .45, shot the ash off
the end of a cigarette held in the mouth by a young German Kaiser
Wilhelm II. Appearing at Berlin's Charlottenburg Race Course, Oakley
asked in jest for a volunteer from the audience and, to her horror,
the young ruler of the Reich stepped forward. A nervous Oakley
successfully performed the trick shot. Years later, after the start
of WWI, Oakley reportedly wrote to the Kaiser, asking for a second
1889 Sep 26, Martin Heidegger,
existentialist philosopher and writer, was born in Germany. He wrote
"Being and Time," and criticized the tyranny of modern technology
(WUD, 1994, p.657)(WSJ, 8/28/97, p.A12)(MC,
1889 Prussia under Chancellor
Otto von Bismarck adopted old-age and invalidity pensions. Prussian
average life expectancy was about 45.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)(Econ, 6/27/09, p.18)
1889-1945 Emmy Esther Scheyer was a promoter and
collector of the Weimar artists known as the Blue Four. In 1998 the
book "The Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Paul Klee" was
edited by Vivian Endicott Barnett and Josef Helfenstein" to
accompany an exhibition.
(SFEC, 8/23/98, BR p.12)
1890 Jan 4, Alfred G. Jodl,
German Wehrmacht general and chief of staff, was born.
1890 Feb 15, Robert Ley, German
chemist, MP (NSDAP), was born.
1890 Mar 20, Germany’s Kaiser
Wilhelm II fired republic chancellor Otto Von Bismarck.
1890 Dec 5, Berlioz' opera "Les
Troyens," premiered in Karlsruhe.
1890 Dec 26, Heinrich
Schliemann (86), German businessman and archaeologist, died. He
excavated the site of ancient Troy in 1870-1871.
1890 Britain ceded the island
of Heligoland to Germany in exchange for a free hand in the former
slave-trading sultanate of Zanzibar.
(Econ, 2/18/17, p.69)
1890 A conference in Brussels
gave Rwanda and Burundi to the German Empire as colonial spheres of
interest in exchange for renouncing all claims on Uganda. The
Kingdom of Burundi, believed to date to the 17th century, came under
German colonial rule, but was awarded by the League of Nations to
Belgium after World War I.
1890 August Kuehne and
Friedrich Nagel founded the forwarding and commissioning business in
1890 in Bremen, northern Germany, concentrating on cotton and
consolidated freight. By 2006 the company was a world leader in
arranging seaborne cargo.
(www.kn-portal.com/about/)(Econ, 6/17/06, Survey
1890 German Kaiser Wilhelm II
ended Bismarck’s secret Reinsurance treaty with Russia. This helped
drive Russia into the arms of France.
(Econ, 10/25/14, p.84)
1891 Jan 8, Walter Bothe,
subatomic particle physicist (Nobel 1954), was born in Germany.
1891 Jan 24, Max Ernst,
German-French surrealist painter, sculptor, was born. [see Apr 2]
1891 Apr 2, Max Ernst, German
painter and sculptor, founder of surrealism, was born. [see Jan 24]
1891 Apr 24, Helmuth Karl
Bernhard Graf von Moltke (b.1800), German Field Marshal, died. He
was the chief of staff of the Prussian Army for thirty years and
became later regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter
1891 May 18, Rudolf Carnap,
philosopher (German Logical Positivist), was born.
1891 Jun 21, Hermann Scherchen,
conductor (Nature of Music), was born in Berlin, Germany.
1891 Sep 16, Karl Doenitz,
German Admiral who succeeded Hitler in governing Germany, was born.
1891 Nov 15, Erwin Rommel,
field marshal in World War II, was born. He commanded the Afrika
Korps in North Africa and defended the Normandy coast on D-Day.
1892 Feb 8, Fritz Todt, German
Reichs minister (Organization Todt) succeeded by Albert Speer, was
1892 May 2, Manfred von
Richthofen (the Red Baron), was born. He was a German pilot and
greatest ace of world War I with 80 planes to his credit.
1892 May 31, Gregor Strasser,
German pharmacist, NSDAP-Reich organization founder, was born.
1892 Aug 30, The Moravia, a
passenger ship arriving from Germany, brought cholera to the United
1892 Dec 6, E. Werner von
Siemens (75), German industrialist (Siemens AG), died.
1892 The neo-Baroque Theater am
Schiffbauerdamm was built in East Berlin.
(WSJ, 7/27/99, p.A21)
1892 Ernst von Mendelssohn
Bartholdy acquired the mansion at Boernicke, Germany and 4,500
acres. The mansion was lost to the Nazis in the early 1930's and to
the Soviets in 1945. In 1994 it passes to the control of a former
Communist leader, Karl Heinz Posselt, the local deputy mayor. The
Mendelssohn family is still seeking control.
(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-1)
1892 Count Zeppelin left the
army and began work on his lighter-than-air ship.
1893 Jan 12, Hermann Goring,
Reichsmarshal of the Third Reich and commander of the Luftwaffe, was
born. He committed suicide before he was to be hung for war crimes.
1893 Jun 1, The opera
"Falstaff" was produced (Berlin).
(DT internet 6/1/97)
1893 Jul 26, George Grosz
(d.1959), German satiric artist and illustrator, was born. He
arrived in Berlin in 1911 and began drawing what he saw in a style
of expressionism and the journalistic style of Heinrich Zille. A
collection of his work was published in 1997 based on an exhibition
catalog titled: "The Berlin of George Grosz: Drawings, Watercolors
and Prints, 1912-1930."
(SFEC, 7/13/97, BR p.10)(HN, 7/26/01)
1893 Sep 7, The Rhine river was
officially closed for bathing. It had been determined the Rhine was
infected with cholera.
1893 Dec 23, The Engelbert
Humperdinck opera " Haensel und Gretel " was first performed, in
1893 Franz von Stuck, Franz von
Lembach, and others were part of the Munich Secession movement in
(WSJ, 3/19/97, p.A16)
1893 German artist Franz von
Stuck painted "Sin," a shocking work of a bare-breasted woman whose
shoulders were entwined with a gleaming-eyed snake.
(WSJ, 3/19/97, p.A16)
1893 Rudolph Diesel, German
engineer, developed his diesel engine.
(WSJ, 1/14/05, p.W10)
1893-1939 Ernst Toller, German poet and
dramatist: "History is the propaganda of the victors."
1894 Apr 26, Rudolf Hess, Nazi
leader, was born. He was the Hitler deputy who flew to England to
negotiate an Anglo-German treaty.
(HN, 4/26/99)(MC, 4/26/02)
1894 Jun 26, Karl Benz of
Germany received a US patent for a gasoline-driven auto.
1894 In Germany the Zum
Auspannen der Pferde (Z.A.D.P.) was founded by Sophie von Sell as a
society to honor the ex-chancellor Bismarck by unharnessing his
horses and drawing his carriage on his return to Berlin after being
dismissed by Wilhelm II.
(BLW, Geiringer, 1963 ed.p.107)
1895 Feb 27, Rudolf von
Eschwege, German fighter pilot with 20 victories in World War I, was
born. He was the only German fighter pilot on the Macedonian Front.
1895 Mar 4, Gustav Mahler's 2nd
Symphony, premiered in Berlin.
1895 Apr 23, Russia, France,
and Germany forced Japan to return the Liaodong peninsula to China.
1895 Jul 10, Carl Orff,
composer (Carmina Burana/Antigonae; Mozart prize 1969), was born in
1895 Sep 8, Adam Opel (58),
German manufacturer of sewing machines and bicycles, died. In 1899
the firm acquired a car factory.
1895 Oct 4, Richard Sorge,
German spy for USSR in Tokyo (WW II), was born.
1895 Nov 8, Wilhelm Konrad von
Röntgen (50), German physicist, discovered X-rays.
1895 Nov 16, Paul Hindemith
(d.1963), composer and violinist, was born in Hanau, Germany. His
work included "Cardillac."
(WUD, 1994, p.672)(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A8)(MC,
1895 Nov 25, Wilhelm Kempff,
pianist (Unter dem Zimbelstern), was born in Juterbog, Germany.
1895 Theodore Fontane
(1819-1898), German novelist and poet, authored Effi Briest, the
last of the great 19th-century novels of adultery.
1895-1935 The C.A. Lehmann & son Co. ran a
porcelain factory in Kuhla, Thuringia.
(SFC, 8/19/98, Z1 p.6)
1896 Jan 5, An Austrian
newspaper (Wiener Presse) reported the discovery by German
physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation that came to be
known as "X-rays."
1896 Apr 28, Heinrich von
Treitschke, German historian, died.
1896 Aug 9, Otto Lilienthal,
German aerodynamic engineer, made his last glide when his glider No.
11 was upset by a sudden gust of wind and he was unable to regain
control. Lilienthal broke his back in the crash and died the next
day in a Berlin clinic. He had made more than 2,000 test flights in
gliders and convinced many people that flight was possible and set
the stage for early aviation. He once wrote that "we must fly and
fall, fly and fall until we can fly without falling." He also
influenced flight theory by using bird flight as a model for the
basis of aviation.
1896 Nov 27, Richard Strauss'
"Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Thus Spake Zarathustra) debuted in
1896 In Germany Magnus
Hirschfield under a pseudonym published the pamphlet "Sappho und
Sokrates," that examined same sex love.
(SFEC, 6/15/97, DB p.47)
1896 The Schafer & Vater
porcelain factory began operating about this time in Rudolstadt,
Germany, and continued operations to 1962.
(SFC, 5/24/06, p.G3)
1896 German inventor Gottlieb
Daimler constructed the world's first lorry.
(Econ., 2/6/21, p.52)
1897 Mar 9, Premiere of (parts
of) Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony in Berlin.
1897 Apr 3, Johannes Brahms
(63), German composer, conductor (Hungarian Dances), died.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.B11)(MC, 4/3/02)
1897 Jun 14, Dr. Karl Wolfert
and his mechanic were killed in Germany when their dirigible,
powered by a Daimler car engine, crashed on its 4th flight.
(ON, 3/03, p.10)
1897 Jun 23, Winifred
Wagner-William, German organizer (Bayreuth Wagner Festival), was
1897 Jul 31, The commercial
treaty between Britain and the German zollverein (established in
1865) was denounced by Britain and pronounced to end in one year.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A2)
1897 Aug 10, Felix Hoffmann, a
German worker for Bayer, rediscovered aspirin (acetyl salicyclic
acid), the active ingredient of the willow plant’s (salicin). In
1832 a French chemist named Charles Gergardt had experiments with
salicin and created salicylic acid. On March 6, 1899, Bayer
registered Aspirin as a trademark.
1897 Oct 28, Hans Speidel, Nazi
chief-staff and NATO-supreme commander, was born.
1897 Oct 29, Joseph G.
Goebbels, German Nazi Propaganda Minister who died of suicide in
Hitler’s bunker, was born.
1897 Nov 13, The first metal
dirigible was flown from Tempelhof Field in Berlin.
1897 In Germany Dr. Magnus
Hirschfeld founded the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (SHC) to
study homosexuality and help win support for gay rights.
(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.P2)
1898 Feb 10, Bertolt Brecht,
German poet and dramatist, was born. He is best remembered for his
plays Three Penny Opera and Mother Courage.
1898 Mar 8, Richard Straus'
"Don Quixote," premiered in Keulen.
1898 Jun 26, Wilhelm Emil
Messerschmitt, German engineer, was born. He built fighters and jet
aircraft for Nazi Germany.
1898 Jul 30, Otto von Bismarck
(b.1815), German-Prussian statesman and former "Iron" chancellor
(1871-1890), died. He held the German social security system as his
greatest accomplishment. In 1986 Lothar Gall authored “Bismarck." In
2011 Jonathan Steinberg authored “Bismarck: A Life."
(WUD, 1994, p.151)(WSJ, 6/23/07, p.P10)(Econ,
1898 Sep 10, Empress Elisabeth
of Bavaria (60), Queen of Hungary and wife of Emp. Franz Josef II,
was assassinated in Geneva by the Italian anarchist Luigi Luccheni.
A 1997 German rock musical, "Elisabeth," by Michael Kunze and
Sylvester Levay was based on her life.
(EWH, 1968, p.744)(WSJ, 12/8/97, p.A1,13)
1898 Sep 20, Theodore Fontane
(b.1819), German novelist and poet, died. He is regarded by many to
be the most important 19th-century German-language realist writer.
1898 Dec, In Germany Emil and
Joseph Berliner founded Deutsche Grammophon, dedicated to
manufacturing the gramophone record and player invented by Emil.
(SFEC,12/797, DB p.45)
1898 Kaiser Wilhelm II of
Germany visited Constantinople.
(Econ, 9/2/17, p.43)
1899 Feb 23, Erich Kastner
(d.1974), German poet, novelist and children’s author (Emil and the
Detectives), was born. "The only people who attain power are those
who crave it."
(AP, 12/1/98)(HN, 2/23/01)
1899 In Berlin a tunnel was dug
under the Spree River.
(WSJ, 12/2/98, p.A20)
1899 Germany bought the
Caroline Islands, a group of about 500 small coral islands east of
the Philippines, from Spain for 25 million pesetas.
1899 A treaty between American,
Germany and Britain gave Western Samoa to the Germans and Eastern
Samoa to the Americans. In an Anglo-German treaty the UK renounced
its rights to the Samoan Islands
(HN, 1/16/99)(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.45)
1899 Munich police established
a central office for Gypsy affairs.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1900 Mar 2, Kurt Weill,
composer (The Threepenny Opera), Brecht collaborator, was born in
(HN, 3/2/01)(SC, 3/2/02)
1900 Mar 6, Gottlieb Daimler
(65), designer of the 1st motorcycle, died.
1900 Mar 23, Erich Fromm
(d.1980), German-American psychologist (Sane Society), was born in
Frankfurt, Germany. He wrote "The Sane Society." "Modern man thinks
he loses something, time, when he does not do things quickly. Yet he
does not know what to do with the time he gains, except kill it."
(AP, 4/21/97)(HN, 3/23/99)(SS, 3/23/02)
1900 Apr 2, Heinrich Besseler,
German musicologist, was born.
1900 May 5, Hans
Schmidt-Isserstedt, German composer, conductor (Hassan gewinnt), was
1900 Jun 12, German Navy Law
called for a massive increase in sea power.
1900 Jun 17, Martin Bormann,
deputy Führer to Hitler, was born.
1900 Jul 2, Count Ferdinand
Adolf Heinrich August von Zeppelin (1838-1917) made the 1st
successful flight of his lighter-than-air ship LZ-1 in
Friedrichshafen, Germany. The 400 foot craft stayed aloft 17 minutes
before it crashed.
(AHM, 1/97)(WSJ, 2/120/00, p.A1)(ON, 3/03, p.11)
1900 Aug 25, Philosopher
Friedrich Nietzsche (55) died in Weimar, Germany. In 1999 Ronald
Taylor translated into English the book "Nietzsche and Wagner" by
Joachim Köhler. In 2002 Taylor translated Joachim Kohler’s
"Zarathustra’s Secret: The Interior Life of Friedrich Nietzsche." In
2004 Georges Liebert authored "Nietzsche and Music."
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A20)(AP, 8/25/00)(SSFC, 6/9/02,
p.M5)(WSJ, 1/28/04, p.D6)
1900 Oct 7, Heinrich Himmler,
chicken farmer who became the head of the German Gestapo in Hitler's
Germany, was born. [see Oct 20, 1900]
1900 Oct 8, Maximilian Harden
was sentenced to six months in prison for publishing an article
critical of the German Kaiser.
1900 Oct 20, Heinrich Himmler,
head of SS, was born. [see Oct 7, 1900]
1900 Nov 7, Heinrich Himmler,
Head of the Nazi SS and organizer of extermination camps in Eastern
Europe, was born.
1900 Nov 19, Anna Seghers,
[Netty Radvanyi-Reiling], German author (7th Cross), was born.
1900 Nov 30, A German engineer
patented front-wheel drive for automobiles.
1900 Dec 1, Kaiser Wilhelm II
refused to meet with Boer leader Paul Kruger in Berlin.
1900 Dec 14, Max Planck
(1858-1947), German physicist, presented the quantum theory at the
Physics Society in Berlin. Planck, demonstrated that energy,
in certain situations, can exhibit characteristics of physical
matter. Planck was rewarded the Nobel Prize (1918) in Physics for
his work on blackbody radiation.
(HN, 12/14/98)(MC, 12/14/01)
1900s The Blue Rider movement
of expressionist painting centered in Munich in the early 1900s.
1900-1901 Sai Jinhua (c1872-1936), Chinese
courtesan and the acquaintance of German field marshal Alfred von
Waldersee, was credited with influencing Waldersee to moderate the
harsh treatment of Beijing residents during the Boxer Rebellion.
Jinhua used her knowledge of German to save the Qing emperor from
1900-1949 The "Letters of Heinrich and Thomas
Mann" of this period were translated to English and published in
(SFEC, 4/5/98, BR p.6)
1901 Feb 23, Britain and
Germany agreed on a boundary between German East Africa [later
Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi] and Nyasaland [later Malawi].
(HN, 2/23/98)(WUD, 1994, p.593,990)
1901 Mar 6, A would-be assassin
tried to kill Wilhelm II in Bremen, Germany.
1901 Oct 15, Bernard von
Brentano, German writer (Big Cats), was born.
1901 Oct 15, Hermann Abs,
director (Deutsche Bank) and Hitler's advisor, was born.
1901 Oct 23, Georg von Siemens,
founder of Deutsche Bank, died.
1901 Nov 21, Richard Strauss'
opera "Feuersnot," premiered in Dresden.
1901 Nov 25, Josef Gabriel
Rheinberger (62), German composer and music theorist, died.
1901 Dec 5, Werner Heisenberg
(d.1976), German physicist, was born. He discovered the uncertainty
principle and won the Nobel Prize in 1932.
1901 An elevated monorail,
"hanging railway," was built in the Ruhr Valley.
(WSJ, 4/13/99, p.A1)
1901 Wilhelm Maybach, a German
engineer and industrialist was the chief designer of the first
Mercedes and later went on to build power plants for Zeppelin
airships with his son. Maybach had worked with Gottlieb Daimler
since 1883 on developing efficient internal-combustion engines. The
two formed the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 to build
automobiles. In 1909, he organized a company with his son Carl to
build aircraft engines, including power plants for the Zeppelin
1901 A conference of
German-speaking countries in Berlin settled on a single German
spelling system (orthography).
(Econ, 8/21/04, p.45)
1901 Emil von Behring
(1854-1917), German physiologist, became the first recipient of the
Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering how to employ antitoxins.
(Econ, 11/22/14, p.75)
1902 Mar 9, Alma Schindler
(d.1964), daughter of landscape painter Emil Schindler, married
composer Gustav Mahler (d.1911) in Vienna. He immortalized her in
the first movement of his Symphony No. 6, and he dedicated Symphony
No. 8 to her. After his death Alma became involved with Oskar
Kokoschka, who painted her many times, most notably in "The Tempest"
(1914; "Die Windsbraut"). In August 1915 she married the architect
Walter Gropius. During her lifetime Alma Mahler became friends with
numerous celebrated artists, including the painter Gustav Klimt (who
made several portraits of her), composer Arnold Schoenberg, the
writer Gerhart Hauptmann, and the singer Enrico Caruso. The composer
Alban Berg dedicated his opera Wozzeck (1921) to her. In 1929 she
married writer Franz Werfel.
1902 May 10, Joachim Prinz,
author, Rabbi of Berlin (1926-37), was born.
1902 May 12, Heinrich Kirchner,
German sculptor, was born.
1902 Jun 23, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, and Italy renewed the Triple Alliance for a 12 year
1902 Aug 13, Felix Wankel,
inventory of the rotary engine which bears his name, was born in
(HN, 8/13/00)(MC, 8/13/02)
1902 Aug 22, Leni Riefenstahl,
[Helene Bertha Amalie], actress, Hitler's favorite cinematographer
(Triumph of the Will, Tiefland), was born in Germany.
1902 Aug 31, Mathilde Wesendonk
(73), German author and poetess, died.
1902 Nov 1, Eugen Jochum,
German conductor (Hamburg Orch), was born in Babenhausen, Bavaria.
1902 Dec 11, Matthias Hohner
(b.1833), German clockmaker and harmonica manufacturer, died. He
began making harmonicas in 1857. Exports to America began in 1862.
1902 Max Ophuls (d.1957), later
film director, was born in the Rhine Valley of Jewish parents. He
made films in Germany, France, Netherlands and the US.
(SFEC, 9/5/99, DB p.50)
1903 Jan 18, Berthold
Goldschmidt, German-British (opera) composer (Beatrice Cenci), was
1904 Jan 12, Anxious Germans
opened fire on Ovaherero at Okahandja. The Herero people of
Southwest Africa (Namibia) had risen in rebellion against German
colonial rule. The deadly Deutsche Schutzruppe “peacekeeping
regiment" quelled the tribes. They eventually annihilated 75% of the
Herero and Nama peoples. In 1981 Jon M. Bridgeman authored “The
Revolt of the Hereros."
1904 Mar 7, Reinhard Heydrich,
German SS Leader and Architect of the "final solution," was born.
1904 Mar 8, The Bundestag in
Germany lifted the ban on the Jesuit order of priests.
1904 Apr 24, Friedrich Siemens
(77), German industrialist, died.
1904 Jun 11, German General
Lothar von Trotha arrived in SW Africa (later Namibia) to take over
from the colonial Governor, Theodor Leutwein, the direction of a
campaign to quell a native uprising.
1904 Jul 5, Ernst Mayr,
biologist, was born in Germany. He emigrated to the US in 1931. Mayr
helped define the concept of species as a group of interbreeding
populations. He helped found the modern evolutionary synthesis with
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Julian Huxley and George Gaylord Simpson,
that brought together a genetic understanding of how species adopt
to their environment.
(NH, 5/97, p.8)(SFC, 7/5/04, p.A6)
1904 Aug 9, Friedrich Ratzel
(59), German social-geographer (Lebensraum), died.
1904 Aug 11, German General
Lothar von Trotha defeated the Hereros tribe near Waterberg, South
Africa. [see Namibia]
1904 Aug 14, The cattle-herding
Hereros, a tribe of Southwest Africa (later Namibia), became the
first genocide victims of the 20th century. Kaiser Wilhelm II had
sent General Lothar von Trotha to put down a Herero uprising along
with the groups of rebellious Khoikhoi. Trotha drove the Hereros
into the desert and then issued a formal "extermination order"
(Schrecklichkeit) authorizing the slaughter of all who refused to
surrender. Out of some 80,000 Hereros, 60,000 died in the desert. Of
the 15,000 who surrendered, half of those died in prison camps. Some
9,000 escaped to neighboring countries. In 2004 a senior German
government official apologized for the genocide during a ceremony in
Namibia marking the 100th anniversary of the uprising. In 2005 a
German minister acknowledged violence by German colonial powers and
admitted that following uprisings, the surviving Herero, Nama and
Damara were interned in camps and put to forced labor of such
brutality that many did not survive.
4/14/99)(AP, 8/14/04)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E5)
1904 Aug 29, Werner
Forssman, German urologist, was born. He was the first to
catheterize his own heart and won a Nobel prize in 1956.
1904 Oct 2, General Lothar von
Trotha: “I, the great General of the German soldiers, send this
letter to the Herero people (SW Africa-Namibia). The Herero are no
longer German subjects... The Herero nation must...leave the
country. If they do not leave, I will force them out with the Groot
Rohr (cannon). Every Herero, armed or unarmed...will be shot dead
within the German borders. I will no longer accept women and
children, but will force them back to their people or shoot at
1904 Oct 18, Mahler's 5th
symphony premiered in Cologne.
1904 Nov 27, A German colonial
army defeated Hottentots at Warmbad in Southwest Africa (later
1904 Dec 9, Von Schlieffen
order von Trotha to pardon all Ovaherero, after tens of thousands
had perished in the desert, except those who were "directly
guilty and the leaders."
1904 Dec 24, German SW Africa
abolished the slavery of young children. [see Namibia]
1904 Max Weber (1864-1920),
German sociologist and political economist, authored "The Protestant
Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism." Weber wrote "the modern man is
in general, even with the best will, unable to give religious ideas
a significance for culture and national character which they
deserve." Weber visited the US in this year.
(WSJ, 6/14/95, p.A-14)(WSJ, 8/19/96, p.A11)(WSJ,
1904 Reinhard Piper (d.1953)
founded R. Piper Verlag, a publishing house grounded in philosophy,
literature and the arts.
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.C5)
1904 In Germany the O&M
Hausser toy company was founded in Ludwigsberg. They used they
"Elastolin" trade name for small composition figures that included
soldiers of various countries.
(SFC, 1/13/99, Z1 p.6)
1904-1908 In South West Africa (later Namibia)
thousands of Herero and Nama were slaughtered, left to starve or
died at concentration camps during this period, after the tribes
rebelled against German rule.
1905 Feb 1, Germany contested
French rule in Morocco.
1905 Feb 21, France violated
the 1880 Treaty of Madrid by demanding control in Morocco of the
Sultan's army and police. These demands were made without consulting
Germany. In the “Morocco Crisis" German Chancellor Bernhard von
Bulow sent the Kaiser to visit Tangier on March 31 to see if France
1905 Mar 4, Gerhart Hauptmann's
"Elga" premiered in Berlin.
1905 Mar 15, Berthold Schenck
von Stauffenberg was born. He later attempted to assassinate Hitler.
1905 Mar 19, Albert Speer,
German architect, minister of Armament (NSDAP), was born.
1905 Apr 1, Berlin and Paris
were linked by telephone.
1905 Nov 9, Erika Mann,
German-US author (Other Germany) and daughter of Thomas Mann, was
1905 Sep 27, Annalen der Physik
published a fourth paper by Albert Einstein, "Does the Inertia of a
Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?," in which Einstein developed
an argument for arguably the most famous equation in the field of
physics: E = mc². Einstein considered the equivalency equation to be
of paramount importance because it showed that a massive particle
possesses an energy, the "rest energy", distinct from its classical
kinetic and potential energies.
1905 Dec 9, Richard Strauss'
opera "Salome," premiered in Dresden. Soprano Marie Wittich
delegated the dance of the seven veils to a member of the corps de
1905 Max Weber (1864-1920),
German sociologist, authored “The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit
of Capitalism." Weber argued that Protestants, in particular
Calvinists, drove the emergence of capitalism due to a strong work
(Econ, 11/16/13, p.73)(Econ., 9/5/20, p.57)
1905 The expressionist art
group "Die Bruecke" (the Bridge) was formed by German painters that
included Erich Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
(SSFC, 4/21/02, p.A17)
1905 Einstein presented his
theory of relativity declaring that the very measurement of time
intervals is affected by the motion of the observer. He proposed
that light is itself quantized, or particle-like, to explain how
electrons were emitted when light hit certain metals. He presented
four papers, the first on Brownian motion, the second was on the
composition of light, the third proposed the Special Theory of
Relativity, and the fourth established the equivalence of mass and
energy (see Sep 27). Einstein presented 5 papers this year, one of
which was titled “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on its Energy
Content?" This paper provided an incomplete proof of E=mc2, an
equation that had already been know for a few years. In 2008 Hans C.
Ohanian authored “Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of
p.72)(www.aip.org/history/einstein/great1.htm)(WSJ, 9/5/08, p.A13)
1905 Adolph Menzel (b.1815),
German painter, died. He combined elements of many styles and was
considered the greatest artist in Germany at the time and was
Prussia’s foremost historical artist. He was considered Germany’s
(WSJ, 10/8/96, p.A20)(WSJ, 7/16/98, p.A16)
1905 In Southwest Africa (later
Namibia) the Nama tribe joined the Herero uprising against German
settlers stealing their land, cattle and women.
1906 Feb 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(d.1945), German Protestant theologian, was born. "If you board the
wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other
(AP, 8/27/00)(HN, 2/4/01)
1906 Mar 19, Adolf Eichmann,
Nazi Gestapo officer, was born. He was captured in Argentina and put
on trial in Israel.
1906 Mar 19, Ermanno
Wolf-Ferrari's "Quattro Rusteghi," premiered in Munich.
1906 Mar 31, G.B. Shaw's German
version of "Caesar and Cleopatra," premiered in Berlin.
1906 May 31, France and Germany
signed an accord in which France agreed to yield control of the
Moroccan police, but otherwise retained effective control of
Moroccan political and financial affairs.
1906 Oct 3, The first
conference on wireless telegraphy in Berlin adopted SOS as warning
1906 Oct 14, Hannah Arendt,
historian (Origins of Totalitarianism), was born in Germany.
1906 Nov 9, Arthur Rudolph,
Nazi-turned-American rocket engineer, was born.
1906 Nov, Aloysius Alzheimer
(1864-1915), German psychiatrist, first described the symptoms of a
progressive neurodegenerative disease that caused memory loss,
dementia and ultimately death following the death of his patient,
Auguste Deter (56). She was the first person to have been diagnosed
with Alzheimer's disease.
(WSJ, 5/13/97, p.B1)(Econ, 7/29/06, p.72)(Econ,
1906 Dec 14, First U1 submarine
was brought into service in Germany.
1906 The 1st gay periodical
"Der Eigene" was published.
(SSFC, 6/17/01, DB p.66)
1906 Alfred Lothar Wegener
(26), German meteorologist, joined an expedition to survey
Greenland’s glacier-fringed coast.
(ON, 9/04, p.8)
1907 May 9, Baldur von
Schirach, German writer, Nazi Youth leader, convicted war criminal,
1907 Aug 13, Alfred Alwin Felix
Krupp, arms manufacturer, was born in Essen, Germany.
1907 Aug 15, Hungarian
violinist Joseph Joachim (b.1831), widely regarded as one of the
most significant violinists of the 19th century, died in Berlin.
1907 Oct 27, The first trial in
the Eulenberg Affair ended in Germany. Prince Philip Eulenberg was
an aristocrat and former diplomat who was an old friend of the
Kaiser's. Others were jealous of Eulenberg's position. Maximilian
Harden, editor of the magazine Die Zunkunft, began to print a series
of articles in the fall of 1906 which alleged that Eulenberg and
other highly placed men were homosexuals.
1907 Nov 15, Count Claus
Schenck von Stauffenberg, German anti fascist colonel, was born.
1907 Dec 28, Erich Mielke
(d.2000), later head of the East German Stasi, was born in Berlin.
(SFC, 5/26/00, p.D3)
1907 Johannes Klepper licensed,
improved and marketed a folding kayak.
(Hem, 9/04, p.50)
1907 In Berlin the Hotel Adlon
on the Unter den Linden was founded by Lorenz Adlon. It was burned
to the ground during WW II and reconstructed in 1997.
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.T5)
1907 A 4-year German campaign
ended against the cattle-herding Hereros of Southwest Africa (later
Namibia). It was later estimated that tens of thousands of Hereros
were butchered, with only some 15,000 surviving. Many historians
called the killings the first genocide of the 20th century. Some 300
skulls were believed taken from the Herero and ethnic Nama who died
in German-run prison camps over the four-year conflict. In 2011 a
Namibian delegation reclaimed about 20 human skulls used by
colonial-era scientists, who sought to prove the racial superiority
of whites over blacks.
1907 Carl Hagenbeck established
the world’s first zoo to free animals from cages in Hamburg,
(Hem., Oct. ‘95, p.25)
1908 Apr 18, Joseph Keilberth,
German conductor (Bayreuther Festspiele), was born.
1908 Jun 10, Ernst B. Chain,
German chemist, bacteriologist (penicillin, Nobel 1945), was born.
1908 Jun 12, Otto Skorzeny,
German-Austrian SS colonel who led glider rescue of Mussolini, was
1908 Aug 11, Britain's King
Edward VII met with Kaiser Wilhelm II to protest the growth of the
1908 Sep 5, Joaquin Nin-Culmell
(d.2004), composer, was born in Berlin to Joaquin Nin, a Cuban
pianist, and singer Rosa Culmell. His older sister was Anais Nin
(SFC, 1/16/04, p.A1)
1908 Sep 20, Alexander
Mitscherlich, German psychotherapist, was born.
1908 Dec 9, A child labor bill
passed German Reichstag forbidding work for children under age 13.
1909 Feb 9, France agreed to
recognize German economic interests in Morocco in exchange for
1909 Mar 2, Great Britain,
France, Germany and Italy asked Serbia to set no territorial
1909 Jul 2, Fritz Haber
(1868-1934) and Carl Bosch (1874-1940) of the BASF company succeeded
in combining nitrogen from the air with hydrogen from coal to make
ammonia. Haber and Bosch developed the Haber process (Haber-Bosch
process), an artificial nitrogen fixation process that became the
main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia.
1909 Nov 4, Opera "Il Segreto
di Susanna" was produced in Munich.
1909 Adolf Hitler painted a
series of views around Linz, Austria, including the watercolor
(WSJ, 7/24/02, p.D12)
1909 Milanese engineer Ettore
Bugatti (1881-1947) founded a car factory in the then German town of
Molsheim in the Alsace region, later part of France.
1909 Wilhelm Maybach, German
engineer and industrialist, organized a company with his son Carl to
build aircraft engines, including power plants for the Zeppelin
1910 Jan 3, The Social
Democratic Congress in Germany demanded universal suffrage.
1910 May 27, Robert Koch
(b.1843), German bacteriologist (TB, Cholera, Nobel), died.
1910 Jun 14, Rudolf Kempe,
conductor, was born in Niederpoyritz, Germany.
1910 Jun 22, German
bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich announced a definitive cure for
1910 Sep 11, Gerhard Schroder,
German chancellor, was born.
1910 Sep 12, Gustav Mahler's
8th Symphony premiered in Munich with 1028 musicians.
1910 In Germany there was an
important show on Islamic art in Munich.
(WSJ, 12/11/97, p.A21)
1910 Herman Lons, German
writer, authored his novel “The Warwolf: a peasant chronicle." It
was set in the time of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), during
which some 10 million people died including 4 million Germans. In
2006 it was made available in English.
(WSJ, 6/16/06, p.P8)
1911 Jan 10, Two German
cruisers, the Emden and the Nurnberg, suppressed a native revolt on
island of Ponape in the Carolina Islands [Caroline Islands, east of
the Philippines] when they fired on the island and land troops.
1911 Jan 26, The Richard
Strauss opera "Der Rosenkavalier" premiered in Dresden, Germany.
1911 Jan 31, The German
Reichstag exempted royal families from tax obligations.
1911 Mar 16, Josef Mengele, MD,
PhD, SS ("The Angel of Death at Auschwitz"), was born in Gunzburg,
1911 Apr 1, Gunther Rennert,
opera director, producer, was born in Essen, Germany.
1911 Apr, The Agadir Crisis,
also called the Second Moroccan Crisis, or the Panthersprung, was
the international tension sparked by the deployment of a substantial
force of French troops in the interior of Morocco. France thus broke
both with the Act of Algeciras that had ended the First Moroccan
Crisis, and the Franco-German Accord of 1909. Germany reacted by
sending the gunboat Panther to the Moroccan port of Agadir on July
1911 May 16, Zeppelin
"Deutschland" was wrecked at Dusseldorf.
1911 Jun 29, Klaus E.J. Fuchs,
German nuclear physicist, spy, was born.
1911 Aug 1, Konrad Duden
(b.1829), German philologist, died. His 1880 dictionary represents
the start of the Duden series and included 28,000 words on 187
1911 Aug 31, Anthony Fokker's
demonstrated the aircraft "Snip."
1911 Nov 20, Gustav Mahler's
"Das Lied von der Erde" premiered in Munich.
1911 Nov 29, German atomic
physicist Konrad Fuchs, was born.
1911 Dec 23, Emmanuel
Wolf-Ferrari's opera "I Giojelli Della Madonna" was produced in
1911 Vasily Kandinsky painted
"Compositions IV & V." "This airy, whitish, light-filled canvas
abounds with imagery from Kandinsky’s Russian childhood..."
(WSJ, 2/8/95), p.A-12)
1911 Vasily Kandinsky (45) and
Franz Marc (31) formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a Munich
artist group that included Paul Klee, Alexei Jawlensky, August Macke
and Gabriele Munter.
(Econ, 5/25/13, p.87)
1911 Munich police began
fingerprinting all Gypsies.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1911 Wilhelm Wien (1864-1928),
German physicist, won the Nobel Prize. In 1893 he used theories
about heat and electromagnetism to deduce Wien's displacement law,
which calculates the emission of a blackbody at any temperature from
the emission at any one reference temperature.
1912 Jan, Alfred Wegener,
German scientist, suggested that the continents had drifted to their
present positions from the break-up of a single primeval
super-continent. He said that the break up of Pangaea came at the
end of the Mesozoic era.
(DD-EVTT, p.22,189)(ON, 9/04, p.8)
1912 Mar 23, Werner von Braun,
rocket expert (I Aim at the Stars), was born in Wirsitz,
Germany. He led the development of the V-2 rocket during World War
(HN, 3/23/99)(SS, 3/23/02)
1912 Mar 30, The Treaty of Fez
was signed. Sultan Abdelhafid made Morocco a French protectorate,
resolving the Agadir Crisis of July 1, 1911.
1912 May 2, Axel Springer,
German newspaper magnate, was born.
1912 May 18, Georg von Opel,
German auto manufacturer, was born.
1912 Jun 17, The German
Zeppelin SZ 111 burned in its hanger in Friedrichshafen.
1912 Jun 28, Karl F. von
Weisacker, German physicist, philosopher, was born.
1912 Sep 9, Kurt Sanderling,
conductor (E Berlin Symph 1960-77), was born in Arys, Germany.
1912 Nov 24, Austria denounced
Serbian gains in the Balkans; Russia and France backed Serbia while
Italy and Germany backed Austria.
1912 Dec 5, Italy, Austria, and
Germany renewed the Triple Alliance for six years.
1912 German philosopher Edmund
Husserl (1859-1938) introduced phenomenology, the philosophical
study of the structures of experience and consciousness.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Husserl)(Econ, 3/26/15, p.94)
1912 German psychologist
William Stern introduced the term "intelligence quotient" and
(WSJ, 7/18/97, p.A15)
1912 Heinrich Muller and
Heinrich Schreyer started the Schreyer & Co. toy company in
Nuremberg, Germany. The name was shortened to Schuco in the 1920.
They began making “Yes/No" toys in 1921 and after WWII these were
called “Tricky" toys. In 1999 Schuco became part of the Simba
(SFC, 4/23/08, p.G6)
1912 Wilesco Schroeder Co. of
Ludenscheid, Germany, was founded by Wilhelm Schroeder to
manufacture aluminum utensils and carving sets. By the 1960s it
expanded to produce toy tractors and fire engines.
(SFC, 11/1/06, p.G2)
1912 Merck chemists in Germany
introduced methylene-dioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), a
euphoria-producing psychedelic. Documents from the time showed that
MDMA emerged during the company's efforts to develop a potentially
life-saving medicine that would help blood to clot. It later became
known as "ecstasy."
1912 Karl May (b.1842), German
author of US Western novels, died. A third of his 80 books were set
in the American West and included "Son of the Bear Hunter," "The
Spirit of Llano Estacado" and the 4 Winnetou novels.
(WSJ, 4/4/01, p.A1)
1913 Jan 12, Kiel and
Wilhelmshaven became submarine bases in Germany.
1913 Jan 15, The first
telephone line between Berlin and New York was inaugurated.
1913 Feb 18, Artur Axmann, Nazi
youth leader, was born.
1913 Mar 22, Martha Modl,
German singer, soprano (Wagner), was born.
1913 Mar 29, The Reichstag
announced a raise in taxes in order to finance the new military
1913 Jul 14, Fritz Erler,
German politician (SDP), was born.
1913 Sep 26, Ernst Schnabel,
German sailor and dramatist (Anne Frank), was born.
1913 Oct 15, Klaus Barbie,
gestapo chief (Lyon), was born.
1913 Oct 17, Zeppelin LII
exploded over London, killing 28.
1913 Dec 18, Willy Brandt,
Mayor of Berlin and Chancellor of West Germany, was born as Herbert
Frahm. He was chancellor from 1969-74 and won a Nobel Prize in
(HN, 12/18/98)(MC, 12/18/01)
1913 Dec, Konrad Preuss
(1869-1938), German anthropologist, arrived in Colombia to study to
pre-Columbian statues at San Agustin. He stayed until 1919 and
brought back to Germany a number of the statues and a great quantity
of ancient ceramics and other items, which he reproduced and
documented in his book, “Arte Monumental Prehistórico" (1931).
1913 An imperial edict based
nationality on bloodlines rather than birthplace and laid the base
for Germany’s citizenship law. The law was modified in 1993.
(SFC, 3/28/98, p.A9)(SFC, 10/15/98, p.A13)(SFC,
1913 Germany launched the SS
Vaterland, a passenger ship. It happened to be in NY harbor when war
broke out in 1914 and was not allowed to leave. The US Navy seized
it in 1917 for a troop carrier as the US entered the war. After the
war it served as an American passenger liner under the name
Leviathan and continued service to 1938.
(SFC, 8/8/07, p.G2)
1913 The MV Liemba, a 220-foot
steamer, began its life in a shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where
it was named the Graf von Goetzen after German East Africa's former
governor. It was dismantled, packed into 5,000 numbered crates, and
shipped to Dar es Salaam and then taken by railway and porter to the
shore of Lake Tanganyika where it was reassembled in 1915, armed
with cannon, and put to work defending the waters against Belgian
and British soldiers. It was scuttled and then dredged up by the
Belgians but sank in a storm soon after. In 1921 Churchill ordered
it recovered. In 1924 it was fished up and renamed MV Liemba, after
the local name for the lake. It was put into service as a cargo and
passenger ferry in 1927. It later inspired C.S. Forester’s novel
"The African Queen" (1935).
(AFP, 5/12/15)(Econ, 2/4/17, p.39)
1913 German newspaper editor
Wolfgang Riepl formulated Riepl’s Law, which hypothesized that new,
further developed types of media never replace the existing modes of
media and their usage patterns. Instead, a convergence takes place
in their field, leading to a different way and field of use for
these older forms.
1913 Franz Schneider
patented a gun synchronizing device in Germany, France and Great
Britain. In 1915 it was developed as the "Fokker Scourge" to fire
bullets through an airplanes propellers.
(ON, 10/02, p.8)
1913 The German Tendaguru
expedition to East Africa (later Tanzania) yielded a huge collection
of dinosaur bones from the late Jurassic. The collection was taken
to the Berlin Museum of Natural History.
(WSJ, 1/31/03, p.A1)
1914 July 27, Germany informed
Belgium and Luxembourg of its intention to pass its troops through
their countries. German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg
reportedly called the 1839 London Treaty, in which all the European
powers had guaranteed Belgian neutrality, "a scrap of paper" not
worth fighting over. Bethmann-Hollweg was trying to persuade Britain
not to declare war based on the treaty. Unsuccessful in his efforts,
Britain and Belgium declared war when German troops entered Belgium
on August 4.
1914 Jul 31, German Kaiser
Wilhelm II threatened war and ordered Russia to demobilize.
1914 Aug 1, France and Germany
1914 Aug 1, Germany declared
war on Russia at the onset of World War I.
1914 Aug 2, Germany invaded
1914 Aug 2, German press
falsely reported that French bombed Nuremberg.
1914 Aug 2, In Joncherey,
northeastern France, French corporal Jules-Andre Peugeot and German
lieutenant Albert Mayer died in a firefight, the first official
casualties of World War I.
1914 Aug 2, Russian troops
invade Eastern Prussia.
1914 Aug 3, Germany invaded
Belgium and declared war on France at the onset of World War I. The
German plan for victory in France was known as the Schlieffen Plan,
and was based on a quick strike and the capture of Paris.
(HN, 8/3/98)(AP, 8/3/08)(ON, 8/08, p.5)
1914 Aug 3, German Admiral
Souchon, commander of the battle cruisers Goeben and Breslau,
received an unexpected change in his orders. After attacking the
Algerian coast he was no longer to sail west to the Atlantic Ocean.
Instead, he was now ordered to turn around and sail east to Turkey.
His new mission was to persuade the neutral Turkish government to
enter the war on the side of Germany. The 2 ships were sold to
Turkey and Souchon was made commander of the Turkish navy. He took
the ships into the Black Sea, where he bombarded the Russian cities
of Odessa, Sebastopol and Novorossiysk without the knowledge or
consent of the Turkish government.
1914 Aug 4, Britain and Belgium
declared war after German troops entered Belgium. The United States
proclaimed its neutrality. Britain’s entry also committed its
dominions of Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South
Africa. AS WWI started the financial press helped to cover up news
of a run on the Bank of England.
(HNQ, 7/24/98)(AP, 8/4/97)(Econ, 8/2/14,
p.45)(Econ, 9/27/14, p.70)
1914 Aug 6, A German Zeppelin
bombed Liege City and killed 9 people.
1914 Aug 6, Austria-Hungary
declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.
1914 Aug 10, At Luik, German
12"/16.5" guns reached Belgian boundary.
1914 Aug 16, Liege, Belgium,
fell to the German army.
1914 Aug 18, Germany declared
war on Russia.
1914 Aug 20, German forces
occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.
1914 Aug 20, Russia won an
early victory over Germany at Gumbinnen.
1914 Aug 22, Von Ludendorff and
von Hindenburg moved into East Prussia enroute to Russia.
1914 Aug 23, Gen. von Hausen
executed 612 inhabitants of Dinant, Belgium. Felix Fivet (3 weeks
old), Belgian baby, was among those executed by German troops.
1914 Aug 23, Japan sided with
the Allies and declared war on Germany in World War I.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 215)(AP, 8/23/97)
1914 Aug 25, German army began
6 week plundering of Leuven, Belgium. German Zeppelins bombed
Antwerp, Belgium, and 10 died.
1914 Aug 25, German troops
marched into France and pushed the French army to the Sedan.
1914 Aug 27, 2nd day of battle
at Tannenberg: Germany bombed Usdau.
1914 Aug 28, Three German
cruisers were sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of
Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of World War I. The
Germans lost four ships and 1,000 sailors; British casualties were
(HN, 8/28/98)(RTH, 8/28/99)
1914 Aug 29, 4th day of
Tannenberg: Russian Narev-army panics, Gen Martos caught.
1914 Aug 30, The 1st German
plane bombed Paris and 2 people were killed.
(SFC, 8/24/96, p.E3)(MC, 8/30/01)
1914 Aug 31, Germany defeated
Russia at the battle at Tannenberg. Some 30,000 Russians died.
1914 Aug, Berlin stockyards
were slaughtering 25,000 pigs a week. By September, 1916, the number
dropped to 350 a week.
(Econ, 1/10/04, p.73)
1914 Sep 4, General von Moltke
ceased German advance in France.
1914 Sep 5, The First Battle of
the Marne began during World War I. The German First Army was led by
Gen. Alexander von Kluck.
(AP, 9/5/97)(WSJ, 12/31/99, p.A10)
1914 Sep 6, In the Battle of
Marne German forces bypassed Paris to chase retreating allied
forces. French Gen. Gallieni orchestrated an attack using the
British Expeditionary Force along with the French 3rd, 5th and 6th
(ON, 8/08, p.5)
1914 Sep 7, In the Battle of
Marne French Gen. Gallieni commandeered some 600 hundred Paris
taxicabs to deliver overnight 6,000 men of the 3rd army to reinforce
the 6th Army at the Battle of the Marne, which allowed the French
army to hold.
(ON, 8/08, p.5)
1914 Sep 9, In the Battle of
Marne the German advance stalled and a retreat began back to the
(ON, 8/08, p.5)
1914 Sep 12, The First Battle
of the Marne ended in an Allied victory against Germany. The German
advance into France was stopped. 20th century history turned on this
(WSJ, 12/31/99, p.A10)(AP, 9/12/06)
1914 Sep 15, The Battle of
Aisne began between Germans and French during WW I.
1914 Sep 18, Gen. von
Hindenburg was named commander of German armies on the Eastern
1914 Sep 18, Battle of Aisne
ended with Germans beating the French during WW I.
1914 Sep 22, The German cruiser
Emden shelled Madras, India, destroying 346,000 gallons of fuel and
killing only five civilians.
1914 Sep 22, A German submarine
sank 3 British ironclads, 1,459 died. The Aboukir, the Hogue, and
the Cressy, were all sunk in just over one hour. This loss
alerted the British to the deadly effectiveness of the submarine,
which had been generally unrecognized up to that time.
1914 Sep 22, The RNAS attempted
their first air attack on the Zeppelins at Dusseldorf and Cologne.
There was little damage done.
1914 Sep 24, In the
Alsace-Lorraine area between France and Germany, the German Army
captured St. Mihiel.
1914 Oct 4, The first German
Zeppelin raided London.
1914 Oct 8, The RNAS attempted
another air attack on the Zeppelins at Dusseldorf and Cologne. The
dirigible shed at Dusseldorf was destroyed.
1914 Oct 9, German troops took
Antwerp after a 12-day siege in WW I crushing the resistance of over
100,000 Belgian troops and violating Belgian neutrality.
(HN, 10/9/98)(MC, 10/9/01)
1914 Oct 19, The German cruiser
Emden captures her thirteenth Allied merchant ship in 24 days.
1914 Oct 21, Battle of Warsaw
ended with a German defeat.
1914 Oct 28, The German cruiser
Emden, disguised as a British ship, steamed into Penang Harbor near
Malaya and sank the Russian light cruiser Zhemchug.
1914 Oct 29, A Turkish fleet
including 2 German cruisers stormed the Black Sea and bombarded
Odessa, Sevastopol and Theodosia. [see Aug 3] This marked Turkey’s
full entry into WWI
(PC, 1992, p.706)(ON, Dec, 1995)(Econ., 3/7/15,
1914 Nov 1, Von Hindenburg was
named marshal of Eastern front.
1914 Nov 1, A German squadron
engaged the British fleet under Adm. Craddock near Coronel Bay,
Chile. The ships Good Hope and Monmouth were sunk and 1,600 men were
lost including Adm. Craddock.
(MC, 11/1/01)(ON, 3/02, p.11)
1914 Nov 7, Japan attacked a
German concession on Chinese peninsula of Shanghai.
1914 Nov 9, Lt. Captain
Hellmuth Karl von Mucke (1892-1957) led a squad of men in 3 small
boats from the German cruiser Emden to destroy the British telegraph
station at Direction Island in the Cocos archipelago. Separated from
the Emden von Mucke commandeered the old schooner Ayesha and led his
men to Padang, where he sunk the Ayesha and took command of the
German merchant SS Choising. They reached Yemen on Jan 8, 1915.
(ON, 4/05, p.4)
1914 Nov 9, The Australian
light cruiser HMAS Sydney wrecked the German cruiser Emden, forcing
her to beach on a reef on North Keeling Island in the Indian Ocean.
1914 Nov 21, The RNAS attempted
an air attack on the Zeppelins at Friedrichshafen. They succeeded in
doing considerable damage.
1914 Nov 25, Hindenburg called
off Lodz offensive 40 miles from Warsaw, Poland. The Russians lost
90,000 to the Germans’ 35,000 in two weeks of fighting.
1914 Dec 4, The first Seaplane
Unit formed by the German Navy officially came into existence and
began operations from Zeebrugge, Belgium.
1914 Dec 6, German troops over
1914 Dec 8, The German cruisers
Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Leipzig were sunk by a British
force under Adm. Sturdee in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
1,800 German sailors were killed including Adm. Von Spee and his 2
sons. Over 2,500 lives were lost in a single day.
3/02, p.11)(SSFC, 10/6/02, p.C12)
1914 Dec 24, 577,875 Allied
soldiers were to spend Christmas as prisoners in Germany. World War
I was only months old on Christmas Eve 1914 when an extraordinary
unofficial truce occurred in many places along the Western Front.
"We were all moved and felt quite melancholy," wrote one German
soldier, "each of us taken up with his own thoughts of home." German
and English troops, often less than one hundred yards from each
other, set aside warfare to trade Christmas greetings and sing
familiar carols in two languages. The truce, probably observed by
two-thirds of the British and German troops, ended with the holiday,
but reasserted the basic decency of ordinary men like these British
and German soldiers caught up in war.
(HN, 12/24/98)(HNPD, 12/24/98)
1914 Dec 25, German and British
troops declared an unofficial truce to celebrate Christmas during
World War I.
1914 Dec 25, The British Royal
Navy Air Force attempted to bomb the German Zeppelin shed at
Cuxhaven. Fog obscured the mission and the bombs were dropped on
other sites, i.e. a seaplane base on Langeoog Island, the light
cruisers Stralsund and Graudenz and the city of Wilhemshaven. An
audacious British air attack on a Zeppelin base in northern Germany
caught the Germans with their defenses down.
(AHM, 1/97)(HN, 3/22/97)
1914 Dec 29, The production of
Belgian newspapers was halted to protest German censorship.
1914 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
(1880-1938), German Expressionist painter, created his “Potsdamer
(WSJ, 5/25/04, p.d8)
1914 Ludwig Meidner
(1884-1966), German expressionist artist, published his sequence of
drawings titled “Krieg," a grotesque taste of the ghastliness of war
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.80)
1914 Gen’l. Ludendorf defeated
the Russian army in a battle that he named after the 1410 battle of
"Tannenberg," which was fought nearby.
(DrEE, 11/9/96, p.6)
c1914 When WW I began New
Zealand pried Western Samoa from the Germans.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.45)
1914 In 2002 "German
Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial" was published.
(NW, 9/30/02, p.72)
1914-1918 The German campaign in East Africa was
directed by General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck. German looting and
raiding caused at least 300,000 civilian deaths. By attacking
Northern Rhodesia they invaded British territory. Of 1 million
porters recruited by the British, 95,000 died. In 2007 Edward Paice
authored “Tip and Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in
Africa. In 2008 Edward Paice authored “World War I: The African
(Econ, 2/17/07, p.87)(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.W8)
1914-1933 Sebastion Haffner (d.1999) covered this
period of the Weimar in a memoir that was cut short by his death.
The English version was published in 2002 as "Defying Hitler."
(WSJ, 9/19/02, p.D12)
1915 Jan 1, German
submarine U-24 sank the British battleship Formidable in the English
Channel whilst on patrol and exercise with the 5th Battle Squadron.
She sank rapidly with the loss of 547 crew. The 5BS had been
steaming slowly (10knots), not zigzagging and were without destroyer
escort. Admiral in charge Lewis Bayly was dismissed from his
position over the loss.
1915 Jan 14, The French
abandoned five miles of trenches to the Germans near Soissons.
1915 Jan 19, The first German
air raids on Britain inflicted minor casualties. A Zeppelin attack
over Great Britain killed 4 people.
(HN, 1/19/99)(MC, 1/19/02)
1915 Jan 24, The German cruiser
Blücher was sunk by a British squadron in the Battle of Dogger Bank.
1915 Jan 28, The German navy
attacked the U.S. freighter William P. Frye, loaded with wheat for
1915 Jan 31, Germans
used poison gas for the 1st time on the Russians at Bolimov.
(HN, 1/31/99)(MC, 1/31/02)
1915 Jan 31, German
U-boats sank two British steamers in the English Channel.
1915 Jan, French and German
soldiers faced off at the Hartmannswillerkopf peak in eastern
France. Over the next year some 25,000 soldiers from both sides
perished in the fighting there. In 2017 a museum was inaugurated at
1915 Feb 4, Germans decreed
British waters part of war zone; all ships were to be sunk without
1915 Feb 7, Field marshal Paul
von Hindenburg moved on Russians at Masurian Lakes.
1915 Feb 10, President Wilson
blasted the British for using the U.S. flag on merchant ships to
deceive the Germans. He also warned the Kaiser that he would hold
Germany "to a strict accountability" for U.S. lives and property
endangered. In Europe [Lithuania], the Germans encircled and
captured 100,000 Russians near Nieman River. When the United States
entered World War I, propagandist George Creel set out to stifle
1915 Feb 14, The Kaiser invited
the U.S. Ambassador Gerard to Berlin in order to confer on the war.
1915 Feb 22, Germany began
"unrestricted" submarine warfare.
1915 Feb 23, Germany sank US
ships Carib & Evelyn and torpedoed the Norwegian ship Regin.
1915 Feb 26, The 1st
flame-thrower was used by the Germans at Malancourt, Argonnen.
1915 Mar 1, The Allies
announced their aim to cut off all German supplies, and assured the
safety of the neutrals.
1915 Mar 9, The Germans took
Grodno on the Eastern Front.
1915 Mar 13, The Germans
repelled a British Expeditionary Force attack at the battle of Neuve
Chapelle in France.
1915 Mar 14, The British Navy
sank the German battleship Dresden off the Chilean coast.
1915 Mar 22, A German Zepplin
made a night raid on Paris railway stations.
1915 Apr 1, Roland Garros
(d.1918), French aviator, shot down 2 German aviators over Belgium,
with bullets shot through his propellers. Corp. August Spachholz and
Lt. Walter Grosskopf became the 1st to be killed by an enemy pilot
(ON, 10/02, p.8)
1915 Apr 22, Germans made the
first use of poison gas in World War I at the Second Battle Ypres.
Chlorine gas was used along 4 miles of the French line at Ypres.
(NH, 10/98, p.18)(HN, 4/22/99)
1915 May 1, A German submarine
sank the U.S. ship Gulflight I.
1915 May 5, German U-20 sank
the Earl of Lathom.
1915 May 6, German U-20 sank
Centurion SE of Ireland.
1915 May 7, In the 2nd year of
WWI, the British Cunard ocean liner Lusitania, on a voyage from New
York to Liverpool, sank off the coast of Ireland in only 18-21
minutes after being struck by a torpedo fired by the German U-boat
U-20. Of 1,962 passengers and crew, 1,198 died. Of the fatalities,
128 were Americans. Even though the Germans maintained the liner was
carrying arms purchased in America to Britain, the sinking of a
passenger ship aroused intense anger against the German policy of
unrestricted submarine warfare and hastened America's entrance into
the war. In 2002 Diana Preston authored "Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy"
and David Ramsay authored "Lusitania: Saga and Myth."
5/7/97)(WSJ, 5/8/02, p.AD9)
1915 May 9, German and French
forces fought the Battle of Artois.
1915 May 15, In Germany Clara
Immerwahr, chemist and wife of chemist Fritz Haber, shot herself in
the heart with her husband’s service weapon in their garden,
possibly in response to his having personally overseen the first
successful use of chlorine at the Second Battle of Ypres on April
22, 1915. That same morning, Haber left for the Eastern Front to
oversee gas release against the Russians.
1915 Jun 20, There was a German
offensive in Argonne.
1915 Jun 21, Germany used
poison gas for the first time in warfare in the Argonne Forest.
1915 Jun 22, Austro-German
forces occupied Lemberg on the Eastern Front as the Russians
1915 Jul 9, Germany’s South
West Africa surrendered to Gen. Botha of the Union of South Africa.
1915 Aug 5, The Austro-German
Army took Warsaw, in present-day Poland, on the Eastern Front.
1915 Aug 14, British transport
Royal Edward was sunk a by German U boat and some 1000 people were
1915 Aug 19, The British ocean
liner Arabic was sunk by Germany. After the sinking Germany promised
that no more merchant ships would be torpedoed without warning. Two
Americans were aboard and Germany feared U.S. entry into World War
I. Earlier, in May 1915, a German U-boat sank the British liner
Lusitania, killing 60 percent of those on board-some 1,198-of whom
128 were Americans. The threat of American intervention receded
until the beleaguered Germans believed it was necessary to resume
unrestricted submarine warfare to break the British blockade. On
January 31, 1917, Berlin’s announcement that its submarines would
"sink on sight" brought the United States into the war.
1915 Aug 20, Paul Ehrlich (61),
German genealogist (Chemotherapy, Nobel 1908), died.
1915 Sep 2, Austro-German
armies took Grodno, Poland.
1915 Sep 4, Rudolf Schock,
German opera and operetta tenor, was born.
1915 Sep 6, Franz Josef
Strauss, Germany, Nazi and minister of defense (1956-62), was born.
1915 Sep 8, Germany began a new
offensive in Argonne on the Western Front.
1915 Sep 25, An allied
offensive was launched in France against the German Army.
1915 Sep 25, At the Battle at
Loos: 8,246 British and 0 German casualties.
1915 Oct 5, Germany issued an
apology and promises for payment for the 128 American passengers
killed in the sinking of the British ship Lusitania.
1915 Oct 8, The WWI Battle of
Loos ended with virtually no gains for either side. There was loss
of over one hundred thousand French, British, and German lives in
this battle. It marked the first use of poisonous gas by the
British, which drifted back to the British trenches.
1915 Oct 12, British nurse
Edith Cavell (47), despite international protests, was shot as a spy
by a German firing squad in Brussels, Belgium. Cavell, the matron of
a Brussels training school for nurses, was known for her compassion
and sense of duty. As WWI broke out in Europe, Cavell helped 60
British student nurses return home but she remained in Belgium. Even
though she knew that helping soldiers escape from German-occupied
territory meant the death penalty, Cavell agreed when asked to
participate in an escape ring that helped more than 200 fugitive
Allied soldiers return home after the British Expeditionary Force's
retreat from Mons. Such a large conspiracy could not long remain a
secret and in August 1915, Cavell and 35 other members of her
organization were arrested. At her hasty trial, she was condemned to
death for "conducting soldiers to the enemy." Although their action
may have been justified under the rules of war, the Germans
seriously blundered when they shot Edith Cavell. Within days of her
death, the selfless nurse was elevated to martyr status and the
Germans were internationally condemned as "murdering monsters." A
statue in St. Martin's Place, just off London's Trafalgar Square, is
dedicated to Cavell. In 2010 Diana Souhami authored “Edith Cavell."
1915 Oct 28, Richard Strauss'
Alpine Symphony premiered in Berlin.
1915 Nov 25, Albert Einstein
first presented his "General Theory of Relativity" to a group of
scientists in Berlin. General Relativity was presented to the
Prussian Academy of Sciences over the course of four lectures. In
2000 David Bodanis authored "E=MC²: A Biography of the World’s Most
p.A7)(SFEC, 10/22/00, Par p.23)(Econ, 11/28/15, p.70)
1915 Dec 3, The U.S. expelled
German attaches on spy charges.
1915 Dec 9, Elisabeth
Schwarzkopf, soprano (Der Rosenkavalier), was born in Jarotschin,
1915 Dec 19, Alvis Alzheimer
(b.1864), German neurologist (Alzheimer Disease), died.
1915 Dec 31, The Germans
torpedoed the British liner Persia without any warning; 335 are
1915 Hans Leip, in training for
the Prussian Guard, authored the poem “Song of a Young Sentry." It
reflected his recent meetings with two women named Lili and Marlene.
In 1938 Norbert Schultze of Berlin put it to music. The composition
was recorded in 1939 by cabaret chanteuse Lale Anderson and became
hugely popular as the song “Lili Marlene." In 2008 Liel Leibovitz
and Matthew Miller authored “Lili Marlene: The Soldier’s Song of
World War II."
1915 Alfred Wegener, German
scientist, published his evidence for the theory of continental
drift in his book: "Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane" (The
Origin of Continents and Oceans). This expanded on his theory that
continents had drifted to their present positions from the break-up
of a single primeval super-continent, Pangaea. He acknowledged the
work of F.B. Taylor in 1908.
(DD-EVTT, p.188)(ON, 9/04, p.8)
1915 Germany lost control of
South West Africa to the British after brutally suppressing the
(SFEC, 4/30/00, p.T4)
1915 Germany banned commercial
baking on Sunday to limit bread sales due to WW I.
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.A12)
1915 Ingush and Chechen
regiments led "the Brusilov breakthrough" on the Russian-German
front. Their horse cavalry attacked an enemy force armed with heavy
1916 Jan 2, The U.S. instructed
Ambassador Sharp to tell the Entente in Paris that America would
reject the German peace offer.
1916 Jan 14, British
authorities seized German attaché von Papen’s financial records
confirming espionage activities in the U.S.
1916 Jan 29, 1st bombings of
Paris by German Zeppelins took place.
1916 Feb 6, Germany admitted
full liability for Lusitania incident and recognized the United
State's right to claim indemnity.
1916 Feb 8, Demonstrators
protested against food shortages in Berlin.
1916 Feb 21, The World War I
Battle of Verdun began in France with an unprecedented German
artillery barrage of the French lines; the French were able to
prevail after 10 months of fighting. German Gen’l. Erich von
Falkenhayn launched the attack.
(AP, 2/21/98)(HN, 2/21/01)(Sm, 2/06, p.38)
1916 Feb 26, Germans sank the
French transport ship Provence II, killing 930.
1916 Mar 1, Germany began
attacking ships in the Atlantic.
1916 Mar 14, In the Battle of
Verdun Germans attacked on Mort-Homme ridge, West of Verdun.
1916 Mar 18, On the Eastern
Front, the Russians countered the Verdun assault with an attack at
Lake Naroch. The Russians lost 100,000 men and the Germans lost
1916 Mar 9, Germany declared
war on Portugal.
1916 Apr 2, German troops
overtook Bois de Caillette.
1916 Apr 6, German government
OK’d unrestricted submarine warfare.
1916 Apr 9, The German army
launched its third offensive during the Battle of Verdun.
1916 Apr 20, German-British sea
battle off Belgian coast.
1916 May 4, Responding to a
demand from President Wilson, Germany agreed to limit its submarine
warfare, averting a diplomatic break with Washington.
1916 May 11, Einstein's paper
“The Basis of the General Theory of Relativity" was published.
1916 May 11, Max [Johann BJM]
Reger (43), German composer, pianist, organist, died.
1916 May 18, US pilot Kiffin
Rockwell shot down German aircraft.
1916 May 22, French troops
occupied parts of Fort Douaumont, Verdun. They surrendered to German
forces after two days of fighting.
1916 May 24, US pilot William
Thaw shot down a German Fokker.
1916 May 31, During World War
I, British and German fleets fought the Battle of Skagerrak at
Jutland off Denmark and 10,000 were left dead. There was no
clear-cut victor, although the British suffered heavier losses.
1916 Jun 26, Russian General
Aleksei Brusilov renewed his offensive against the Germans.
1916 Jul 1, In France at
7:30AM, a 5 day, continuous, British artillery bombardment of German
lines stopped, and 11 British divisions (100,000 men) went "over the
top" toward the Germans. By 9AM 22,000 were dead & another
40,000 were wounded in what became known as the Battle of the Somme.
Some 57,500 British soldiers were killed or wounded on the first day
of the battle. These attacks continued for another five months,
costing the British over one million killed & wounded. Field
Marshal Douglas Haig commanded the British forces. 4 months of
stalemate cost 420,000 British casualties. In 2014 Joe Sacco
authored “The Great War: July 1, 1916 – The First Day of the Battle
of the Somme.
(AP, 7/15/09)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.93)(Econ, 1/4/14,
1916 Jul 15, A series of
engagements in the Battle of the Somme began at Delville Wood and
continued to September 3 between the armies of the German Empire and
the British Empire. A brigade of South Africans held the wood until
19 July at a cost of four-fifths of its men injured or killed.
1916 Jul 19, In the WWI Battle
at Fromelles, France, German machine guns and artillery left over
5,500 Australians and over 1,500 British killed, wounded or missing
in less than 24 hours.
(SFC, 7/20/10, p.A2)
1916 Jul 30, German saboteurs
blew up a munitions pier on Black Tom Island, Jersey City, NJ. 7
people were killed. Damages totaled about $20-25 million. After much
legal maneuvering a commission in 1939 ruled that Germany was guilty
of sabotaging Black Tom and another plant in Kingsland, NJ, and
awarded$50 million to the claimants. In 1953 the new Federal
Republic of Germany began making payments. The last payment was made
(AH, 10/04, p.36,77)
1916 Aug 11, The Russia army
took Stanislau, Poland, from the Germans.
1916 Aug 27, Italy declared war
1916 Aug 28, Germany declared
war on Romania.
1916 Aug 28, Italy's
declaration of war against Germany took effect during World War I.
1916 Aug 29, Gen Von Hindenburg
became German Chief of Staff.
1916 Sep 3, The German Somme
front was broken by an Allied offensive. Allies turned back the
Germans in the Battle of Verdun.
(HN, 9/3/98)(MC, 9/3/01)
1916 Oct 5, Corporal Adolf
Hitler was wounded in WW I.
1916 Oct 25, German pilot
Rudolf von Eschwege shoot down his first enemy plane, a Nieuport 12
of the Royal Naval Air Service over Bulgaria.
1916 Nov 3, On the Baltic off
of Finland a German U-boat under Captain Bruno Hoppe ordered Captain
E.B. Eriksson of the Swedish schooner Jonkoping to halt for an
inspection. Beverages headed for the Russians were discovered and
the ship was evacuated and sunk. In 1998 some 1,000 bottles of 1907
Heidsieck Monopole champagne were recovered, of which 500 were
preserved in drinking condition. Hoppe later sank the schooner Akir.
The 66-ton Joenkoeping was sunk in the Baltic Sea by a German
U-boat. It carried 44 creates of champagne, 67 barrels of cognac,
and 17 barrels of port wine intended for the Russian army. Divers
planned to recover the cargo in 1998.
(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A14)(SFC, 9/21/98, p.A19)(AP,
1916 Nov 8, Peter Ulrich Weiss,
German novelist and dramatist, was born. His work included
"Marat/Sade" and "The Investigation."
1916 Nov 27, The German
submarine UB-29 departed on its final mission with 22 sailors and
soon went missing. In 2017 Belgian divers investigated the
submarine's wreck off the coast of Belgium. Officials were able to
identify it after finding the tag of the U-boat.
1916 Nov 28, The first (German)
air attack on London.
(DT internet 11/28/97)
1916 Dec 18, The French
defeated the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun. The
302-day Battle of Verdun ended with the French and Germans each
having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months.
1916 Albert Einstein published
his book “Relativity: The Special and the General Theory," in an
effort to make relativity understandable to the layman. His work
predicted the existence of pulsars, which were first discovered in
1916 The opera "Die Toten
Augen" (The Dead Eyes) by composer Eugen D'Albert (b.1864 in
Glasgow) was first performed in Dresden under Fritz Reiner.
(SFEC, 1/30/00, DB p.33)
1916 Germany reduced its
retirement age from 70, which was fixed by Bismarck, to 65.
(Econ, 11/26/05, p.16)
1916 Germany adopted daylight
(SSFC, 3/27/05, Par p.15)
1916 The German firm BMW began
life assembling aircraft engines.
(Econ, 3/12/15, p.64)
1916 Oskar Dressel and Richard
Kothe of Bayer, Germany, developed the drug suramin. For a long time
it was used to treat the sleeping sickness spread by tsetse flies.
In 2014 research suggested that the drug could alleviate the
symptoms of autism in mice.
1916 Cameroon was a German
colony until this year, when British and French troops forced the
Germans out. The two countries divided it into separate spheres of
influence that were later formalized by the League of Nations, the
forerunner to the UN.