[[caption-width-right:300:The "Dichterfürsten" Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller.]]

->''"Der liebe Gott hat am Anfang den Franzosen die Herrschaft des Landes gegeben; den Englischen die Herrschaft des Meeres; aber den Deutschen die Herrschaft der Wolken"''.

->''"In the beginning, the good God gave to the French the dominion of the land, to the English the dominion of the seas, and to the Germans the dominion of the clouds."''
-->-- Jean Paul Richter

'''''"Das Land der Dichter und Denker"''''' ("The land of poets and thinkers") is a common nickname Germans give their country. The German self-identity has always laid emphasis on a shared culture and language, due to [[AllTheLittleGermanies Germany not being a unified country at the time nationalism became the latest craze in Europe]]. And because of certain events during the [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany years 1933 - 1945]], [[PatrioticFervor seeking patriotic feelings in military accomplishments (or, as is often the case, even expressing any patriotism at all)]] is [[OldShame no longer]] ''[[OldShame en vogue]]'' in Germany. This fact has perhaps even strengthened the traditional German [[ProudScholarRaceGuy emphasis on cultural and scientific achievements]].

It's worth noting that even some Allied wartime propaganda acknowledged this, portraying the Nazis as crushing Germany's widely-admired cultural output with their unsophisticated militarism (this is in contradistinction with most other propaganda both in UsefulNotes/WW2 and UsefulNotes/WW1, when German ''Kultur'' was depicted as ''being'' brutal Prussian militarism).

As can be easily seen from the list below, or from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country this little list here]], the Germanies and later unified Germany indeed ''was'' a powerhouse especially in natural sciences (and in that field, again especially in physics). After 1945, not so much. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo No prizes for]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust guessing the reason.]] (About a third of the leading researchers were Jewish, another third opponents to the Nazis and the rest [[HerrDoktor were scooped up by the Allies and Soviets after the war]].)

The expression was coined by literary critic Wolfgang Menzel in 1836. According to economic historian Eckhard Höffman, [[http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/no-copyright-law-the-real-reason-for-germany-s-industrial-expansion-a-710976.html as quoted by the magazine ''Der Spiegel'']], Menzel didn't have in mind the actual "thinkers and poets" Germany is famous for, but rather a "strange" (for the time) predilection for reading books; as there was no copyright law in Germany at the time, there was no monopoly on the individual books they published, so the publishers had to mass produce those books at cheap prices (alongside deluxe editions for the rich) to recover the money they invested; this led to an increased interest in reading (as already mentioned) and, as some of those books were of a technical, practical or scientific nature, Höffman argues that this mass readership led to the rise of Germany as an industrial power.

And so without further ado, we present you a list of some famous German "Dichter und Denker":


[[folder: Dichter ]]


[[folder: Actual Poets and Other Writers ]]

* Otfrid of Weißenburg (died ca. 875) -- As the first named author to write in the (Old High) German language, he is sometimes called the "Father of German literature". He was a monk in Weißenburg (French: Wissembourg) in Alsace; his major work is the ''Liber Evangeliorum'', a biblical epic poem that introduced the Romance end-rhyme into German literature to replace the traditional Germanic alliterative rhyme.
* Hrotsvit (Roswitha) of Gandersheim (ca. 935 - after 975) -- Considered the first female German poet, this nun wrote in Latin. Her works include a history of the life of Emperor Otto the Great in classical hexameters and some of the first new dramas since Roman antiquity. Her ''Theophilus'' is considered the first literary treatment of a DealWithTheDevil.
* Hartmann von Aue (died between 1210 and 1220) -- Together with Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Straßburg (died ca. 1215, the writer of ''Tristan'') this knight forms the "big three" of epic poetry in the middle ages. Two of his works - ''Erec'' and ''Iwein'' - are Arthurian romances in the tradition of Creator/ChretienDeTroyes; he also wrote ''Gregorius'' and ''Der arme Heinrich''.
* Wolfram von Eschenbach (died ca. 1220) -- A knight who became one of the greatest poets of his day, even though Gottfried and Hartmann looked down on him for his lack of (clerical) education. His ''{{Literature/Parzival}}'', a translation and completion of a work by Creator/ChretienDeTroyes, has been handed down in more manuscripts than any other medieval poem. He also wrote ''Willehalm'' and the unfinished ''Titurel''.
* Walther von der Vogelweide (ca. 1170 - ca. 1230) -- The most famous Minnesänger, considered the greatst German poet of the middle ages. Besides poems dealing with matters of love, he also wrote and sang about the political issues of the day and his own life.
* Ulrich von Hutten (1488 - 1523) -- A [[UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance Humanist scholar and writer]], he is today best remembered for his poem ''Ich hab's gewagt'' ("I dared") and his participation in the ''Epistolae virorum obscurorum'', a satire of Scholasticism.
* Hans Sachs (1494 - 1576) -- Shoemaker and poet in Nuremberg. His carnival comedies haven't aged well (as is to be expected with 500 year old jokes), but he is still famous, if only as the central character of Richard Wagner's ''Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg''.
* Andreas Gryphius (1616 - 1664) -- Born Andreas Greif, the most famous exponent of the Silesian School of poetry which reshaped German literature durin the early Baroque. Is best remembered for his sonnets, especially the ones reflecting the horrors of the ThirtyYearsWar. He also was a playwright of both tragedies (like ''Carolus Stuardus, König von Groß Britannien'') and comedies, one of which has the delightful title ''Horribilicribrifax''.
* Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (ca. 1622 - 1676) -- Soldier and the first important German novelist. His picaresque novels ''[[Literature/{{Simplicissimus}} Der abentheuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch]]'' and ''Lebensbeschreibung der Ertzbetrügerin und Landstörtzerin Courasche'' (the latter via Brecht's dramatic treatment) continue to shape the way we see the ThirtyYearsWar.
* Salomon (Salomo) Franck (1659 - 1725) -- Scientist, lawyer, and poet. Best known for writing the librettos for some of J.S. Bach's greatest cantatas.
* Barthold Hinrich Brockes (1680 - 1747) -- Senator of the Free City of Hamburg and poet. Writing on the turn from Baroque to UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, Brockes sang the praises of God in his magnum opus ''Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott'' ("Earthly delight in God") - as a hobby gardener, he saw the beauty of nature as a manifestation and proof of God's greatness - and in a passion that was set to music by four great composers of the day, Keiser, Telemann, Händel, and Mattheson.
* Christian Friedrich Henrici (1700 - 1764) -- Also known as Picander. Civil servant and poet; like Salomon Franck, best known for writing some of J.S. Bach's cantata librettos. Writer of the librettos for the great ''[[AwesomeMusic St. Matthew Passion]]'' and the quirky Coffee Cantata.
* Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724 - 1803) -- Today mainly familiar to literary historians, he was one of the most famous poets of his day, especially for his magnum opus, the epic poem ''Der Messias''. An exponent of the Enlightenment and a freemason, he was made an honorary French citizen during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, which he continued to support long after most of his colleagues had turned away from it. His funeral in Ottensen near Hamburg was attended by about 20,000 people and is still reckoned to be the greatest any German poet ever got.
* Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729 - 1781) -- Poet, dramatist, critic and journalist. One of the most important writers of UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment in Germany. A pioneer of German drama, he wrote, among others, the ''bürgerliches Trauerspiel'' (bourgeois tragedy) ''Emilia Galotti'', the comedy ''Minna von Barnhelm'', and the "dramatic poem" ''Nathan the Wise'', the title character of which is a thinly-veiled portrait of his friend, the Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786). His criticism and works in artistical theory had a great influence, making Shakespearean drama more important than Classic French drama as the model to emulate.
* Christoph Martin Wieland (1733 - 1813) -- Together with Herder, Goethe and Schiller forms the tetralogy of the ''Weimarer Klassik'', as he and the other three lived together for a time in that small town, the residence of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Notable enough as a writer in his own right that Napoleon invited him to see him in 1808, Wieland is also important as a translator of Shakespeare's works. Heinrich Heine still preferred Wieland's prose translations over the blank verse versions of Schlegel and Tieck.
* Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815) -- As a writer and journalist he also called himself Asmus. He left a relatively small oeuvre, but it includes some of the most beloved poems in German literature, e. g. the ''Abendlied'' ("Der Mond ist aufgegangen") and ''[[Webcomic/DeathAndTheMaiden Der Tod und das Mädchen]]'' (scored by Schubert). His ''Kriegslied'' ("War Song") with its line "Sadly it's war, and I desire that it isn't through my fault" was originally written in 1778 at the beginning of the now-forgotten [[SuccessionCrisis War of the Bavarian Succession]], but has been quoted a much more urgently with reference to more recent military conflicts.
* Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799) -- A mathematician and first German professor for experimental physics, he is still considered the greatest writer of aphorisms in the German tongue.
* Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 - 1803) -- Theologian and writer. Best known for his theories on the origin of language, his historic writings and for his translations of folk songs and ballads from all over Europe. Born in East Prussia, he was a bit of a Slavophile, which accounts for his popularity in Eastern Europe. For the conspiracy-minded: He was both a freemason and a member of the Illuminati.
* Gottfried August Bürger (1747 - 1794) -- A member of the ''Hain'' group of poets in the university town of Göttingen, he is remembered primarily for his version of Baron von Münchhausen's adventures and for his ballads, especially the seminal ''Literature/{{Lenore}}''.
* [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]] (1749 - 1832) -- Often claimed to be most important German language author. Wrote many poems, ''Literature/TheSorrowsOfYoungWerther'' and ''Theatre/{{Faust}}''. Many phrases originating in his works found their way into everyday German language. Because he [[RenaissanceMan dabbled a bit in botany, anatomy, colour theory, and geology]], he could technically also be listed under ''Scientists'' here. Appeared on the East German 20-Mark banknote.
* Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805) -- Best buddy of Goethe. Wrote plays like ''Myth/WilliamTell'', ''Mary Stuart'', ''Theatre/{{Wallenstein}}'' and ''Theatre/TheRobbers''. [[BreadEggsMilkSquick Also you can eat]] [[http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schillerlocken his hair.]] The lyrics to Music/LudwigVanBeethoven's ''Music/OdeToJoy'' were lifted almost word-for-word from one of his poems.
* Jean Paul (1763 – 1825) -- Born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter. He was noted for his [[GermanHumour humorous]] novels and stories, as well as for essays expounding the spirit of German romanticism. Known to his admirers as ''[[FanNickname Der Einzige]]'' ("the unique" or "the one and only") because he was so hard to categorize. His works were translated and popularized in English by Thomas Carlyle. Jean Paul provides the page quote.
* Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843) -- One of the greatest lyric poets in the German language. Hölderlin went to school with [[EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling]]. His verse celebrated Ancient Greek and Roman culture, and he translated Greek tragedy into German. Several of his lyrics were set to music. His personal life was colourful, having fallen in love with a married woman, spending time in a sanatorium and then spending the final, peaceful, years of his life in the house of a kindly carpenter. On his death, neither his family and friends attended his LonelyFuneral but later poets have paid tribute to his influence.
* Creator/ETAHoffmann (1776 - 1822) -- Born Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, he changed his third name to Amadeus out of admiration for Mozart. A writer, music critic and composer whose [[Theatre/TheTalesOfHoffmann tales]] epitomized "Dark Romanticism" and had a huge influence in and outside Germany that his life and works were turned into an opera by Jacques Offenbach. Well-known works include the early crime novella ''Das Fräulein von Scudery'', ''Literature/TheNutcrackerAndTheMouseKing'', and ''Literature/TheSandman''.
* Heinrich von Kleist (1777 - 1811) -- Kleist was a highly popular playwright, whose characters taken from classical and medieval world nonetheless had a modern, psychological contemporary spirit. His short stories were much loved by Creator/FranzKafka, who cited ''Literature/MichaelKohlhaas'' as one of his favorites. His writings are still shocking for their violence and sexuality, which makes him a major Romantic writer even if he was highly ironic in spirit. He died with his lover, Henriette Vogel in a murder-suicide pact first by shooting her and then himself. No one who had read his works was surprised in the least.
* Adelbert von Chamisso (1781 - 1838) -- Born Louis-Charles-Adélaïde de Chamissot de Boncourt, he came from an aristocratic family that fled to Prussia during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution. He became fluent in German and wrote several well-known ballads as well as the influential novel ''Peter Schlemihl'', about a man who sells his shadow, which became a European best-seller. Chamisso was also a naturalist of note - he accompanied a Russian circumnavigation of the Globe[[note]] Chamisso Island in the Bering Strait and several species of plants and animals are named after him.[[/note]] and later became the director of Berlin's botanical garden - and wrote the first grammar of the Hawaiian language. A prize for writers who write in German but who learned German as a second language is named in his honour.
* Bettina von Arnim (1785 - 1859) -- Born Elisabeth Brentano; sister of one romantic poet (Clemens Brentano), she married his friend and colleague Achim von Arnim. As a writer in her own right she started as a Goethe fangirl and only really went public after her husband's death in 1831. She also took up social causes like Jews and women getting equal rights with Christian men, and though she remained a monarchist she came close to early socialism. Her face appeared on the 1990 5-Mark banknote.
* Jacob (1785 - 1863) and Wilhelm (1786 - 1859) Grimm, [-AKA-] Creator/TheBrothersGrimm -- The Grimm Bros. are famous for a number of things, among them: 1) Their collection of FairyTales, and 2) the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsches_Wörterbuch Deutsches Wörterbuch]]'', a ''reallllllly'' big German dictionary, begun in 1838 -- the last volume of the first edition was published as late as 1961, with the addition of a source volume in '71.! (It isn't a 'simple' dictionary but, like the ''OxfordEnglishDictionary'', one which contains detailed information about the etymology and history of the words and language. A 'simple' dictionary more likely to be known by people who speak or learn German would be the ''Duden''.) The Brothers Grimm were portrayed on the [[TheBerlinRepublic '90s-version]] of the 1000 Deutsche Mark banknote. Also, Jacob Grimm was a famous linguist (the term was philologist at the time), who discovered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm%27s_Law Grimm's Law]], which details the transformation from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic.
* Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856) -- Among other writings, author of the poem ''Germany. A Winter's Tale'', in which Heine describes satirically his tour through Germany (he emigrated to UsefulNotes/{{France}} in 1831). Centuries later, the title of Sönke Wortmann's movie ''Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen'' (''Germany. A Summer's Tale'') is a ShoutOut. [[IsntItIronic Quite ironic]], [[FridgeLogic if you think about it for a moment]], given that Wortmann's movie is rather positive, while Heine portrays [[AllTheLittleGermanies the political atmosphere in his contemporary Germany]] in rather a negative way.
* Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797 - 1848) -- One of Germany's most important ''female'' authors. Her most famous work is the murder mystery ''The Jew's Beech''. Also authored the awesomely creepy poem ''[[SwampsAreEvil The Lad on the Moor]]''. Droste-Hülshoff was portrayed on the [[TheBerlinRepublic '90s-version]] of the 20 Deutsche Mark banknote.
* Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798 - 1874) -- August Heinrich Hoffmann added the [[TheVonTropeFamily von Fallersleben]] (after his home town) to his name, in order to distinguish himself from all the other people who had the [[OneSteveLimit rather common surname]] Hoffmann. He is known for writing the ''Deutschlandlied'' (''Song of Germany''). Only the third stanza is the NationalAnthem of Germany today, due to the rest of the song being prone to be misinterpreted in a very UnfortunateImplications way - especially the first stanza, the one containing the notorious phrase: "Deutschland über alles!" ("Germany above all!") Originally though, the song was supposed to promote the unification of UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies, not expansionism. And if you want to hear some other works by Fallersleben? Then you should go e.g. to a German kindergarten. Because HeAlsoDid a whole bunch of children's songs, many of them being still popular to this very day.
* Georg Büchner (1813 - 1837) -- Until Brecht in the 20th Century, Büchner was the bad-boy playwright and revolutionary writer. Seen as the last of the classic Weimar generation of Goethe and Schiller, Büchner, a scientist and political revolutionary, often wrote on political themes and subjects. He died young at 24, but his plays - ''Danton's Death, Leonce and Lena, Woyzeck'' and his short story ''Lenz'' are regarded as masterpieces of German literature. ''Danton's Death'' is performed across the world and generally considered the greatest play about UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution.
* Creator/TheodorFontane (1819 - 1898) -- generally considered the greatest German novelist of the 19th century, mostly for books like ''Literature/EffiBriest'' and ''Literature/DerStechlin''. Also beloved for his ballads and his ''Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg'', a series of originally journalistic descriptions of the landscapes, historic buildings and places in Brandenburg collected into five volumes.
* Creator/WilhelmBusch (1832 - 1908) -- Told his stories using a sequence of pictures. Thus he was one of the pioneers of comics, although he didn't use speech bubbles yet, and the accompanied text was still quite descriptive. His most well known work is the story ''Literature/MaxAndMoritz'', which [[ForeignRemake directly inspired]] ''ComicStrip/TheKatzenjammerKids'' on the other site of the Big Pond.
* Gerhart Hauptmann (1862 - 1946) -- Naturalist dramatist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1912. His ''Die Weber'', a drama about the weavers' revolt of 1844 in Hauptmann's native Silesia (which he first wrote in Silesian dialect), caused a major scandal at its first performance in 1893, and is still one of the most famous social dramas. A number of his other plays are still regularly performed, especially ''Die Ratten'' and the comedy ''Der Biberpelz''. Hauptmann arranged himself too well with the Nazis, which is why despite entreaties from East Germany and the Soviet Union the new Polish authorities in Silesia insisted that he be buried in Germany after he died in his home in Agnetendorf (Agnieszków).
* Heinrich Mann (1871 - 1950) -- Elder brother of Thomas, went into exile in 1933 and died in Santa Monica. His most well-known works are his novels ''Professor Unrat'' (on which ''Film/TheBlueAngel'' is based), ''Der Untertan'' (a scathing indictment of authoritarian patterns in German bourgeoisie) and the ''Henri Quatre'' two-parter.
* Creator/RainerMariaRilke (1875 - 1926) -- Regarded as the greatest German language poet of the 20th Century, Rilke was actually born in the Austrian Empire and spent several years in Switzerland. His works are filled with visionary metonyms, references to antiquity as well as visions of angels. Some of his non-fiction works, ''Letters to a Young Poet'' are popular among readers of self-help books and he still ranks as one of the most widely read poets in the world. One of his verses ''Archaic Torso of Apollo'' was given a ShoutOut in Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Another Woman'' and Wim Wenders' ''Film/WingsOfDesire'' borrows the angel motif from his ''Duino Elegies''.
* Thomas Mann (1875 - 1955) -- Got a Nobel Prize in Literature for his epic novel ''Literature/{{Buddenbrooks}}'', in which he tells the story of a family whose members are largely based on his [[WriteWhoYouKnow own relatives]], which left several of them rather displeased. He was bi-leaning-heavily-towards-gay, but [[IfItsYouItsOkay fell hard for Katia Pringsheim]], the daughter of a Jewish industrialist, with whom he had six children. Had to flee from the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] because of his political views and possibly his past dalliances with men. (Also because, you know, his [[HappilyMarried loving wife]] was Jewish. That can't have helped.)[[note]][[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy Nope, nope, he left to open a Dairy Queen!]][[/note]] He moved to the US, at first teaching at [[IvyLeague Princeton]] before moving to LosAngeles, was naturalized as a US citizen and then settled permanently in Switzerland after the war.
* Alfred Döblin (1878 - 1957) -- An important writer (Günter Grass names him as his main influence) who began as an expressionist and is best know for his stream-of-consciousness novel ''Berlin Alexanderplatz'' (1929), which was adapted several times into films, a radio play and a television series. Had to emigrate in 1933 (he came from a family of assimilated Jews, but eventually became a Catholic); he returned shortly after the end of the war as a cultural officer in the French occupation administration, but feeling disgusted by so many Germans going into denial over the Nazi regime that he emigrated (again) to France from 1953 to 1956.
* Kurt Tucholsky (1890 - 1935) -- Journalist, critic, poet and writer. The leading satirist of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic used no less than four regular pseudonyms - [[AlliterativeName Peter Panter, Theobald Tiger]], [[NamedAfterSomebodyFamous Kaspar Hauser]], and Ignaz Wrobel - to disguise just how much of the contents of the magazine ''Die Weltbühne'' came from his pen. His novels ''Rheinsberg'' and ''Schloss Gripsholm'', which are still very popular, made him a rich man. Tucholsky, a Jew with strong left-wing political sympathies, had to flee Germany after the Nazis came to power and committed suicide in his Swedish exile.
* Creator/BertoltBrecht (1898 - 1956) -- Influential due to his plays and his theoretical works regarding theatre. Had to flee from the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] because of his pro-Communist political views and was brought up before the [[RedScare House Un-American Activities Committee]] for the same reason. Later he lived in the [[EastGermany GDR]]. After the government there violently struck down the 1953 uprising, Brecht famously [[SarcasmMode "suggested"]] that [[DeadpanSnarker the government should dissolve the people and elect another one]] ([[GermanHumour See? Germans DO have a sense of humour!]]) and [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections got away with it]].
* Erich Kästner (1899 - 1974) -- Famed as a satirical poet during the Weimar Republic and for his children's novels, many of which were adapted into movies several times over, e. g. ''Film/EmilAndTheDetectives'' and ''Das doppelte Lottchen'' (which in America became ''TheParentTrap''). His "novel for adults", ''Fabian'', has somewhat unjustly been largely forgotten.
* Heinrich Böll (1917 - 1985) -- Novelist from Cologne and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.
* Günter Grass (1927 - 2015) -- Novelist, poet, sculptor and artist. Best known for his "Danzig trilogy", in particular for ''Literature/TheTinDrum''. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.


[[folder: Musicians ]]

* Heinrich Schütz (1585 - 1672) -- Early Baroque composer, known especially for his ecclesiastical music. Latinzed his name to ''Henricus Sagittarius''.
* Johann Pachelbel (1653 - 1706) -- Baroque composer. Though he was quite prolific, writing some 500 pieces, today he is known almost entirely for his [[PachelbelsCanon Canon in D]].
* Music/GeorgPhilippTelemann (1681 - 1767) -- Baroque composer who towards the end of his long and productive life veered into early Classicism. Seen as particularly light-hearted and open to new ideas and folk music influences (e. g. from Slavic music) and was the most successful German composer of his day throughout Europe.
* [[Music/GeorgeFredericHandel Georg Friedrich Händel]] (1685 - 1759), AKA George Frideric Handel -- Baroque composer. Although born in Germany, he wrote his most important works while living in Britain (although from Saxony, he was employed by Georg, the Elector of Hanover, when fate decided to turn Elector Georg into [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfHanover George I of Great Britain]]; he came over with the newly-minted king, and unlike the King-Elector, he liked Britain enough to learn the language and stay). Most famous for composing ''Messiah''.
* Music/JohannSebastianBach (1685 - 1750) -- Baroque composer. Famous for his organ. [[ThatCameOutWrong Er, I mean organ compositions]]!
** Although he did actually have ''[[MassiveNumberedSiblings twenty]]'' children (of whom ten survived to adulthood). Admittedly this was by two wives, but each qualifies separately--his first, Maria Barbara, [[KissingCousins his second cousin]], died young, after giving him seven children; his second, Anna Magdalena, was a singer and musical copyist, and besides giving him 13 children edited his work.
* Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714 - 1787) -- Classical composer, especially of operas. Was especially [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff well-received in Paris]], where opera buffs divided into [[FandomRivalry Gluck and Piccini fans]].
* Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart (1756 - 1791) -- Classical composer and ChildProdigy, who at the age of five was composing music and performing before European royalty. Please note that while Mozart's native city Salzburg nowadays belongs to UsefulNotes/{{Austria}}, it didn't at the time, and anyways everyone was considered to be a subset of the amorphous 'German group' during his time (since there was no united Germany).
* Music/LudwigVanBeethoven (1770 - 1827) -- Ta ta ta taaa!! Classical composer. Wrote the ''Music/OdeToJoy'' (lyrics: Friedrich Schiller, ''see above''), nowadays the hymn of UsefulNotes/TheEuropeanUnion. Gradually went deaf, [[HandicappedBadass but that didn't stop him from composing more and more stuff]].
* Carl Maria von Weber (1786 - 1826) -- Famous pianist and composer of the first "national" German opera, ''[[Theatre/DerFreischuetz Der Freischütz]]''. Had a huge influence on many romantic composers, most notably Wagner; died in London.
* Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791 - 1864) -- Born Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer, he came from a Jewish family. He achieved his greatest success in Paris, where he largely defined ''grand opéra'', but still was given the honorary post of director of opera in his native Berlin in 1842 and in accordance with his last will he was buried in a Jewish cemetary in Berlin. He gave some assistance to Wagner early in his career, for which he was repaid with [[UngratefulBastard anti-semitic invective]].
* [[Music/FelixMendelssohn Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy]] (1809 - 1847) -- One of the most popular composers of his time and also the man who rediscovered Bach and made the ''Gewandhausorchster'' in Leipzig one of the leading orchestras in Europe. Best known for his "Scottish" and "Italian" Symphonies, the oratorio ''Elias'' and his incidental music to ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' with the ever-popular [[LohengrinAndMendelssohn Wedding March]]. Despite converting to Protestantism, he became the target of anti-semitic attacks which only intensified after his death. His sister Fanny Hensel (1805 - 1847) was also a highly talented musician and composer, but as [[StayInTheKitchen a woman was not allowed to fully live out her potential]].
* Music/RobertSchumann (1810 - 1856) -- Romantic composer, known for his ''Lieder'' and his Third Symphony (''Rheinische''). His wife Clara née Wieck (1819-1896) was a famous pianist who would also become Johannes Brahms' muse; her face appeared on the 1990 100-Mark banknote.
* Music/RichardWagner (1813 - 1883) -- Yet ''another'' classical composer! This one is famous for his operas. Due to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler being a big fan of Wagner (and unfortunately also due to Wagner being virulently, if inconsistently, anti-Semitic himself), the first performance of a Wagner opera in UsefulNotes/{{Israel}} was [[BannedInChina as late as 2001]]!
* Music/JacquesOffenbach (1819 - 1880) -- Born Jakob Eberst[[note]] His father changed his name to that of his original home town, Offenbach near Frankfurt.[[/note]]; the son of a Jewish cantor he had his musical education in Cologne and Paris, where he stayed and started his own genre of operetta. Thus is usually seen as a French composer, even though the [[FrancoPrussianWar Franco-German War]] the French suspected him of being Bismarck's spy.
* Creator/JohannesBrahms (1837 - 1897) -- Romantic composer born in Hamburg and known for his four symphonies and his lullaby. Worked in Vienna mostly.
* Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949) -- Composer known for a number of operas, e. g. ''Der Rosenkavalier'' and various orchestral works, e. g. the "Alpine Symphony". His most familiar work is probably the opening to his tone poem ''Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra''. No relation to Johann Strauss (of ''The Blue Danube'' fame), and in fact born in Munich.
* Music/KurtWeill (1900 - 1950) -- Wrote ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'', ''Theatre/TheRiseAndFallOfTheCityOfMahagonny'' and ''Theatre/TheSevenDeadlySins'' in collaboration with Bert Brecht. Exiled when the Nazis came to power he made his way to America where he composed musicals with Ira Gershwin.
* Ralph Siegel (born 1945) -- Or Mr. EurovisionSongContest. A major composer of ''Schlager'' and music producer, he has so far written 19 compositions that were used as entries in the fromer Grand Prix de Chanson. The most successful were ''Ein bißchen Frieden'' (winner in 1982), ''Theater'', ''Johnny Blue'' and ''Laß die Sonne in dein Herz'' (number 2 in 1980, 1981 and 1987, respectively), although you probably remember ''Music/DschinghisKhan'' (number 4 in 1975) best.


[[folder: Painters and Sculptors ]]

* Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528) -- Created many interesting pictures, showing such diverse things as the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse, praying hands, a rhino, a hare, a piece of turf (such mundane motifs were still very uncommon in his time), and a self-portrait in which he points at the spot were it hurts (it was for his physician). Motifs by Dürer could be seen on the [[TheBonnRepublic '60s-'80s-versions]] of the 5 and 20 Deutsche Mark banknotes.
* Hans Holbein (the Younger) (''ca''. 1498 - 1543) -- A great portrait-painter, perhaps most famous for his meticulously detailed paintings of a number of personalities from the [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Tudor]] court (including UsefulNotes/HenryVIII himself) in PimpedOutDress, which Holbein painted while in England.
* Gottfried Schadow (1764 - 1850) -- Sculptor and Berlin original, best known for his group of Princess (later Queen) Louise and her sister Friederike and for the quadriga that tops the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
* Caspar David Friedrich (1774 - 1840) -- A master of the Early Romantic period, which his mysterious, symbolic landscapes -- sometimes featuring Gothic ruins and often featuring human figures turned ''away'' from the viewer -- perfectly embody. His works seem to turn up frequently on the covers of {{Horror}} fictions.
* Christian Daniel Rauch (1777 - 1857) -- Schadow's prize pupil, sculptor of many monuments in Berlin, including the tomb of Queen Louise and the big equestrian statue of Frederick the Great on Unter den Linden. As Rauch (whose surname means "smoke") became more and more successful, his former master Schadow wrily commented: "Mein Ruhm verging in Rauch" (My fame went up in Smoke).
* Carl Spitzweg (1808 - 1885) -- Famous for his paintings showing [[GermanHumour humorous scenes]], making good-natured fun of his contemporaries during the conservative ''Biedermeier''-era [[AllTheLittleGermanies (the time between the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the European Revolutions in 1848)]].
* Adolph von Menzel (1815 - 1905) -- Considered the greatest German realist painter of the 19th century, he also produced some pictures that can be considered forerunners of Impressionism. A lot of his work deals with historic themes, in particular with Frederick the Great and his time, which led to Menzel being ennobled by being awarded the Order of the Black Eagle.
* Max Liebermann (1847 - 1935) -- One of the most important Impressionist painters in Germany. As the scion of a rich Jewish family he had a townhouse next to the Brandenburg Gate ("just take a left when you get into Berlin") and a villa with a beautiful garden that you still can visit today. His comment at the beginning of the Nazi era is well-known: "I can't eat as much as I'd like to vomit."
* Ernst Barlach (1870 - 1938) -- Also a writer and artist, but most famous as an sculptor between realism and expressionism. His works were regarded as "degenerate" by the Nazis.
* Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876 - 1907) -- Born Paula Becker, an early expressionist painter and member of the artists' colony in the village of Worpswede near Bremen. Probably the most important female painter of the modern era in Germany, she died young in childbed (her daughter lived until 1998).
* Franz Marc (1880 - 1916) -- Important member of the expressionist movement and co-founder (together with the Russian Wassily Kandinsky) of the artist group ''Der blaue Reiter'' (''The Blue Rider''). Most well known are probably his many paintings depicting horses. He sadly died relatively young during the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne Battle of Verdun]].
* Kurt Schwitters (1887 - 1948) -- Probably Germany's most well-known artistic and literary exponent of Dadaism, or as he himself called his personal brand of it, ''Merzkunst''. Had to flee from the Nazis and died in Britain.
* Otto Dix (1891 - 1969) -- Artist usually associated with the ''Neue Sachlichkeit'', best known for his brutal pictures of World War I and big-city life.


[[folder: Architects ]]

* Balthasar Neumann (1687 - 1753) -- Baroque and Rococo builder. His most famous work, the episcopal Residence in Würzburg (on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1981) features a huge vaulted hall (topped by a big Tiepolo fresco) that was considered "impossible" by many colleagues. As it turned out, it was built to last and even survived the air raid that flattened Würzburg at the end of World War II. Neumann appeared on the 1990 50-Mark banknote.
* Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781 - 1841) -- If you visit UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}} and you see a building that looks sorta like a Greek temple (this style is called ''[[{{Retraux}} classicism]]''), your chances are high that this building was designed by this guy.
* Leo von Klenze (1784 - 1864) -- Who also was a writer and a painter. Left his big footprint primarily in Munich, where he constructed e.g. the ''Ruhmeshalle'' beneath the ''[[http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Bavaria_2.jpg Bavaria]]'' and the ''[[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Glyptothek_1900.jpg Glyptotheque]]''. However, he also constructed the [[http://www.imagetours.de/wpblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/Staedte_Landschaften/eremitage_sankt_petersburg.jpg New Eremitage in St. Petersburg]].
* Peter Joseph Lenné (1789 - 1866) -- Germany's most famous landscape gardener. He designed gardens in the English manner, his most famous achievement is the transformation of Potsdam and its environs into a giant ensemble of parks. As a good and dutiful Prussian official, he never got around to retiring, dying of a stroke at age 77.
* Fritz Schumacher (1869 - 1947) -- City-planner and architect. He designed everything from museums, public parks and office buildings to jails and public toilets[[note]] The latter look so good that a number of them have since been converted into cafés.[[/note]]. That Hamburg by general consensus is one of the front-runners for the title of "most beautiful city in Germany" is due in no small part to his efforts as the city's public building authority from 1909 to 1933.
* Fritz Höger (1877 - 1949) -- An important example of expressionism in architecture, whose preferred material was dark red bricks. His most famous works are the ship-like ''Chilehaus'' and the ''Messberghof'' in Hamburg, the ''Anzeiger-Hochhaus'' in Hanover, and the church on the Hohenzollernplatz (nicknamed: "God's Power Station") in Berlin. He sympathized with the Nazis, but since they hated modern styles of architecture his career came to an end during their rule.
* Bruno Taut (1880 - 1938) -- Another representative of ''Neues Bauen''. He is best known for two housing estates in Berlin -- the ''Hufeisensiedlung'' and ''[[LiteraryAllusionTitle Onkel Toms Hütte]]''. Driven from Germany by the Nazis as a "cultural Bolshevist'', he died in Istanbul.
* Walter Gropius (1883 - 1969) -- Founder of the ''Bauhaus'' movement. Had an affair with the wife of the Austrian composer Music/GustavMahler, and even married her after Mahler's death. Had to flee from the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]], because they didn't like the ''Bauhaus''-style. They considered modern art in general to be ''Entartete Kunst'' (''[[{{Hatedom}} Degenerate Art]]''). Though another detractor of the Bauhaus design school was one Frank Lloyd Wright, who described Gropius' designs as "soulless".
* Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 - 1969) -- A disciple of Gropius, he didn't have much time to design anything in Germany before the Nazis forced him to leave; he was the last director of the ''Bauhaus''. He brought the ''Bauhaus'' style to America and designed some very simple, elegant buildings across UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, where he settled down. To this day, Chicago has the nicest collection of International Style buildings in the United States. His minimalist style is neatly summed up by his three-word motto, "Less is more".


[[folder: Denker ]]


[[folder: Philosophers ]]

* Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 - 1716) -- Very important philosopher, theorized that we live in the BestOfAllPossibleWorlds. Like many of his contemporaries, [[RenaissanceMan he dabbled in many fields nowadays categorized under "science"]]. Notorious is his dispute with none other than his English colleague IsaacNewton over the question of who of them invented calculus. (You know that elongated S used in calculus notation? Leibniz invented this symbol.) His philosophical view that we live in the "best of all possible worlds" made him the enemy of {{Creator/Voltaire}}, who wrote his novel ''{{Literature/Candide}}'' in response. Also important was his pioneer work in computer science. Oh, and there exists a German brand of biscuit named after him. (''[[BilingualBonus Nur echt mit 52 Zähnen!]]'')
* Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) -- Formulated the categorical imperative as part of his writings on morality. ('' Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.''[[note]]This should not be confused with the GoldenRule as it emphasizes the own gain where Kant sees the CI as a means of altruism[[/note]]) Also, spent his whole life in Königsberg ([[PleaseSelectNewCityName nowadays Kaliningrad]]).
* Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762 - 1814) -- Along with Hegel and Schelling is considered a main exponent of "German Idealism" and the first ''Rektor'' of Berlin University. Remembered most for his "Speeches to the German Nation" to awaken patriotism during [[UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars French occupation]].
* Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767 - 1835) -- Diplomat and scholar. One of the reformers of the educational system in Prussia and Germany, one of the founders of Berlin University (which is now named after him and his brother Alexander, see "Scientists"). After retiring, he became a pioneer of comparative linguistics, especially of non-Indo-European languages, having discovered that the Basque language is not related to any other language in Europe.
* Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 - 1831) -- Developed a system of thought which encompassed politics, religion, history and logic, much of it in terms that are [[LostInTranslation famously awful to translate]]. Critic of Kant. Notably, he theorized that the whole of human history is leading up to a grand awakening of spiritual unity and absolute knowledge. For a while, [[BrokenBase followers clashed on whether or not we were already there]].
* Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775 - 1854) -- Another one of those impenetrable German philosophers. According to Heinrich Heine his last words were: "Only one man understood me. And he didn't understand me either." His wife and muse Caroline (1763-1809, she got divorced in 1803 to marry him) was a writer in her own right; during her previous marriage to August Wilhelm Schlegel participated in the "standard" Schlegel-Tieck translation of the works of William Shakespeare.
* Carl von Clausewitz (1780 - 1831) -- The "Philosopher of War". As a Prussian and (from 1812 to 1814) Russian officer he fought during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and was the top student of military reformer Gerhard von Scharnhorst. Clausewitz was also well-read in the writings of Kant and Hegel. Dying of cholera at the age of 51, he did not get around to finishing his massive ''[[BigBookOfWar On War]]'' - that had to be done by his widow, the learned Marie née Countess von Brühl (1779-1836).
* Creator/KarlMarx (1818 - 1883) -- [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Father of Marxism]] (although he went on record to say that he wasn't a Marxist), which shaped socialism, social democracy and communism. Because of this, [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade some people see him in a negative light]], [[HistoricalHeroUpgrade others in a positive light]]. [[NamesTheSame Not related]] to [[MarxBrothers Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo or Gummo]]. Appeared on the East German 100-Mark banknote.
* Friedrich Engels (1820 - 1895) -- A good friend of Karl Marx and co-wrote the Manifesto with him. He also edited the 2nd and 3rd editions of ''Das Kapital'' after Marx died. Appeared on the East German 50-Mark banknote.
* Creator/FriedrichNietzsche (1844 - 1900) -- [[Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra (Dah dah dah... Tadah! Bom-bom, bom-bom...)]] Not a NietzscheWannabe, because he was the real one. His concept of the ''[[{{Ubermensch}} Übermensch]]'' was abused by the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] and also may have inspired [[ComicBook/{{Superman}} two certain young American comic authors]]. ''über'' (''over'', ''above'') has even found its way into contemporary English slang. Nietzsche also was of the opinion that [[GodIsDead the supreme Judeo-Christian entity has passed away]]. He[[note]]Nietzsche, not God[[/note]] died in a [[BedlamHouse madhouse]].
* Max Weber (1864 - 1920) -- One of the pioneers of sociology and anthropology, Max Weber wrote several influential works on the socio-political structures that create and enable the development of religion. His most famous work, ''The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism'' argued, contra Marx, that the religious values of Protestantism with its emphasis on "hard work" was a major influence for the development of capitalism and GermanicEfficiency.
* Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) -- Philosopher of history and a bit of RenaissanceMan. Strongly influenced by both Goethe and Nietzsche. Best known for his book ''Literature/TheDeclineOfTheWest'', which proposes that all the great human cultures go through a thousand-year cycle, after which they either stagnate or wilt and die. Very critical of the WeimarRepublic, but didn't like [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany The Nazis]] that much either - after meeting Hitler in 1933, he stated that [Germany doesn't need a] "heroic tenor but a real hero." [[Film/{{Ghostbusters}} Egon Spengler]] is named after him.
* Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) -- Building off of the works of Nietzsche, he ended up with a unique--and [[MindScrew impossible to describe]]--philosophy of his own. During the Nazi period, he actually became a Nazi, which he repented after [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]]. Despite the Nazism, he had quite the case of MatzoFever, having stormy affairs with his Jewish students Hannah Arendt and Elisabeth Blochmann; of course, this was justified, in that he shared Nietzsche's disdain for anti-Semitism, and he probably joined the Nazis over different matters.
* Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) -- One of the founders of the influential Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse left Germany in 1933 for America, on account of the rise of the Nazis and Jewish ancestry. During the Second World War, he worked for the Office of War Information as an analyst. As a theorist, he was famous for reconciling Freud and Marx. Like many Frankfurt philosophers he was critical of ConspicuousConsumption, conservatism in art and sexual repression in both capitalist and communist states. He was a big influence on America's New Left, and Angela Davies of the Black Panthers was one of his students.
* Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) -- A self-described political philosopher, the German-Jewish author Hannah Arendt had a complicated personal life. As a student, she had an affair with [[HotForTeacher the aforementioned Heidegger]] only to discover [[BrokenPedestal his Nazi sympathies]]. She became an exile from Germany to France, and then from France to America. Her books ''The Origins of Totalitarianism'' and ''On Revolution'' discussed how personal ethics get warped in political structures. Her reportage of Adolf Eichmann's trial, ''Eichmann on Jerusalem'' was a key book of TheSixties and remains controversial to this day for its description of "the banality of evil". She's also the sujbject of a 2013 Anglo-German biopic by Margarethe von Trotta, starring actress Barbara Sukowa.


[[folder: Theologians and Clerics ]]

* St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) -- Called the Sybil of the Rhine and Germany's First Woman Scientist, was a Catholic mystic, Benedictine abbess, author, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist, poet, and composer. She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, letters, poems, dramas, and [[OminousLatinChanting liturgical music]] which has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Long treated as a saint by the Benedictine order, this was expanded in 2012, when she (with St. John of Avila) was made the 34th Doctor of the Church.
* St. Albertus Magnus (''ca''. 1200 - 1280) -- [-AKA-] Albert the Great, Albert of Cologne, and "The Universal Doctor", was a Dominican friar, bishop of Regensburg, scholar, philosopher, and [[ReligionIsMagic reputed magician]], in which capacity he or his spell-books tend to show up in fiction. Albert was canonized and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Pope Pius XI]].
* Jan Hus (ca. 1369 - 1415) -- In his day Bohemia was part of the HolyRomanEmpire, so even though Hus was a Czech nationalist (insofar that term is applicable in the 14th century), this proto-reformator was considered one of their own by German Protestants for a long time. He was burned at the stake at the Concile of Constance.
* Nikolaus von Kues (1401 - 1464) -- [-AKA-] Nicholas Cusanus, was a Catholic cardinal, as well as a philosopher, theologian, jurist, mathematician, and an astronomer (in which capacity, he was an early advocate for heliocentrism and the elliptical orbits of the planets). He is noted as a profound writer on mysticism.
* Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466/69 - 1536) -- The great Humanist theologist, philosopher and philologist lived in the Netherlands, which in his day still unequivocally were a part of the HolyRomanEmpire. Writing in Latin and Greek, he was an enemy of abuses in the church, he nevertheless refused to go as far as his contemporary Luther. His scholarly edition of the Greek text of the New Testament formed the base for both Luther's translation and that of the ''King James Bible''.
* Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) -- His criticisms regarding the Catholic Church triggered the founding of Protestantism. Also, together with his buddy Philipp Melanchthon, he translated the Bible into German. [[TheDarkSide Unfortunately, some of his own writings are unambiguously anti-Semitic.]] His Bible translation, pamphlets, fables and chorales reshaped the German language, so he would also deserve to be listed under writers. He also set some of his own chorales to music. [[NamesTheSame Not to be confused]] with [[MartinLutherKingJr this]] other historically important Protestant minister!
* Thomas Müntzer (1489 - 1525) -- Originally a follower of Luther, he became much more radical and joined the popular rising that resulted in the Great Peasants' War. He was captured, tortured and executed after the battle of Frankenhausen. His face appeared on the East German 5-Mark banknote from 1971 onwards.
* Philipp Melanchthon (1497 - 1560) -- Born Philipp Schwarzerdt (he translated his German surname into Greek). Luther's most important collaborator, he sort of acted as the "good reformator" to Brother Martin's "bad reformator". Where Luther would rage and throw invective, Melanchthon would make peace and endeavour to build compromises. Due to his crucial role in setting up the Protestant schooling system he was known as the ''Praeceptor Germaniae'' ("teacher of Germany").
* Friedrich Spee (1591 - 1635) -- A Jesuit priest who wrote several hymns but is best remembered for the ''Cautio criminalis'', a strong-worded indictment (in Latin) of the methods used in witch-hunts, specifically the use of torture to gain "confessions".
* Paul Gerhardt (1607 - 1676) -- A Lutheran pastor and one of the most important writers of chorales, some of which are now used even by Catholics outside Germany.
* Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 - 1945) -- Lutheran pastor and German Resistance member during the time of UsefulNotes/NaziGermany and double-agent of the Abwehr. Considered by some to be a NietzscheWannabe because of his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer#Legacy ''unconventional'' views on Christian religion]]. He was executed in Flossenbürg concentration camp on 9 April, 1945, a month before the German surrender. Was an important inspiration for [[MartinLutherKingJr Dr. King]].
* Joseph Alois Ratzinger (1927 - ) -- A well established theologian, Ratzinger taught matters of Catholic theology at the University of Tübingen for years as a reformist. It's said he acquired a 'slight' conservative bent while on the job. He left after a series of promotions. He was known as [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Pope Benedict XVI]] from 2005 to 2013, when he became the first Pope to retire from the job (as opposing to dying in office) in almost six hundred years.


[[folder: [[Herr Doktor Scientists ]]
* Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630) -- Astronomer and writer. Framed the three Keplerian Laws that describe the orbits of planets and moons, invented a more advanced form of telescope and wrote the early "science-fiction" novel, ''Somnium'' ("The Dream"), which describes a trip to the moon. To make a living he also worked as an astrologer, writing horoscopes e. g. for [[ThirtyYearsWar General Albrecht von Wallenstein]].
* Otto von Guericke (1602 - 1686) -- Burgomaster of Magdeburg, famed for his experiments with vaccuum pumps, especially the "Magdeburg hemispheres", which could not be pulled apart by sixteen horses.
* Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 - 1717) -- Female naturalist [[StayInTheKitchen during a time when this was still very unusual]]. Did an expedition to Surinam and was the first to research the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies in great detail. Also showed artistic talent by drawing her objects of study. Was portrayed on the [[TheBerlinRepublic '90s-version]] of the 500 Deutsche Mark banknote.
* Alexander von Humboldt (1769 -1859) -- Naturalist, famous for his scientific expeditions, mainly to [[UsefulNotes/LatinAmerica South America]]. He's the guy they named the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_Current Humboldt Current]] after. Like Goethe, he was quite [[OmnidisciplinaryScientist omnidisciplinary]].
* Carl Friedrich Gauß (1777 - 1855) -- Nicknamed ''Prince of Mathematicians'', most famous for the ''Gaussian Distribution'' (also called ''Normal Distribution'' -- the one with the characteristic bell-shape).[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_topics_named_after_Carl_Friedrich_Gauss A lot of other mathematics-related stuff is named after him too.]] Was portrayed (with a picture of the graph of the distribution) on the [[TheBerlinRepublic '90s-version]] of the 10 Deutsche Mark banknote.
* Justus Liebig (1803 - 1873) -- One of the first professors of chemistry in Germany, also one of the first to achieve worldwide fame. Known among other things for his artificial fertilizers and his meat extract. Became a baron (Justus Freiherr von Liebig). The university of Gießen is named after him.
* Robert Koch (1843 - 1910) -- Discovered the bacteria that cause Anthrax and Tuberculosis, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1905, and together with his French rival Louis Pasteur founded bacteriology.
* Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845 - 1923) -- Physicist, discovered x-rays, which in German are named after him (''Röntgenstrahlen''). He refused to patent the machine so it would be produced and used more frequently. He was awarded the very first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901.
* Emil von Behring (1854 - 1917) -- Developed the serum to cure Diphtheria, for which he was awarded the first Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1901.
* Paul Ehrlich (1854 - 1915) -- Behring's collaborator in the development of the anti-diphtheria serum, he later developed a cure for Syphilis and started chemotherapy. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1908, he was portrayed by Edward G. Robinson in the biopic ''Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet'' (1940). Appeared on the 200-Mark note of the 1990 German series (as the only Jew and only non-Christian in that series).
* Heinrich Hertz (1857 - 1894) -- Physicist, famous for his work on the experimental proof of electromagnetic waves. Because he came from a family of Jews who had converted to Lutheranism, the Nazis for a time considered changing the unit for frequency from "Hertz" to "Helmholtz" (so they could use the same abbreviation, Hz). His nephew Gustav Hertz (1887-1975) was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1925 and worked on the Soviet and GDR nuclear programs after 1945.
* Max Planck (1858 - 1947) -- The father of quantum physics. Named after him are the ''Planck Constant'' and the ''Planck Units''. Also didn't like how the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] treated Jewish physicists, and tried to help out Fritz Haber and others. Appeared on the West German 2-Mark coin from 1958 to 1973.
* David Hilbert (1862 - 1943) -- The heir apparent to the ''Prince of Mathematicians'' throne Gauß left vacant. Widely seen by the international mathematics community to be one of the most important mathematicians of the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Known for the Hilbert space, Hilbert's axioms, mathematical logic and many other nifty things.
* Fritz Haber (1868 - 1934) -- Haber is a primary reason the 20th and 21st centuries have so many people and so many interesting ways to kill them: Haber discovered the revolutionary [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haber_process Haber process]] for synthesizing ammonia from nothing more than hydrogen (which can be obtained easily from natural gas and less easily, but still fairly cost-effectively, from the electrolysis of water) and atmospheric nitrogen (no prizes for guessing where that comes from). Ammonia can then be used to make nitrates and nitrites (ingredients in fertilizer) as well as nitric acid (a key ingredient in explosives, which is what Haber was mostly after), sparing countries the embarrassment of literally fighting wars over [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guano bird poop]][[note]]e.g. see the WarOfThePacific, in which guano was a major resource desired by the Chileans, and UsefulNotes/TheChinchaIslandsWar, fought over the same resource[[/note]] to make these vital products. He also did serious research into the military applications of chemistry, particularly during UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, leading to the unfortunate nickname ''Father of Chemical Warfare'' (although in fairness, he also helped develop the gas mask). A patriotic German decorated by the Kaiser, he was (being Jewish--although he converted to Lutheranism in his 20s and spent most of his life running away from his Jewish roots) nevertheless run out of Germany when the Nazis took over (leaving with Planck's help), and died in 1934 in Switzerland--on his way assume the directorship of a ''Jewish'' research institute in Palestine--never living to see Zyklon-B (a product of his laboratory underlings) [[{{Irony}} be used to kill thousands of Jews]], including most of his extended family. WebVideo/SciShow [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdEE5uvFhOM&list=ECC31B0C382F9585D6&index=8 encapsulates everything in 9 minutes]].
* Otto Hahn (1879 - 1968) -- Discovered nuclear fission, together with Lise Meitner and Fritz Straßmann, and later became a [[MustMakeAmends vigorous opponent]] of [[NiceJobBreakingItHero nuclear weapons]]. He later caught a lot of flack for claiming more of the discovery than some said was his due; he got a particularly bad reputation with the Jewish community, as (unlike Straßmann), he did little to protect Jewish scientists (including Meitner) when the Nazis went after them (Straßmann, for the record, is considered among the Righteous Among the Nations, so Jews, feel free to say, "Screw Otto Hahn").
* UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein (1879 - 1955) -- Did have a cool [[EinsteinHair hair style]]. His ''Theory of Relativity'' revolutionized physics. Had to flee from the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] because he was a Jew. The Nazis even denounced modern physics as "Jewish physics" and tried to replace it with their own "Aryan physics". Needless to say, this approach didn't lead anywhere.
* Alfred Wegener (1880 - 1930) -- Developed the theory of ''Continental Drift''. Sadly, Wegener's theory [[CassandraTruth wasn't widely accepted]] until after his death (during an expedition to Greenland, by the way).
* Werner Heisenberg (1901 - 1976) -- Quantum physicist. Because he was a proponent of Einsteinian physics (Why did the Nazis consider that bad? ''See above!''), some [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] considered him a "white Jew". Nevertheless, he stayed in Germany, where he had to research nuclear physics and was the leading scientist in the Nazi atomic bomb program. How close he really came to discovering the principles of a working atomic bomb is often debated, although it is generally agreed that he did not come really close. His ''Uncertainty Principle'' has become [[http://dresdencodak.com/2005/06/14/lil-werner/ a stock element of nerd humour]], right up there next to [[SchrodingersCat Schrödinger's Cat]]. Also, the [[Franchise/StarTrek Heisenberg compensator]] is named after him... but these days, most people just think of [[Series/BreakingBad Walter White]].


[[folder: [[Germanic Efficiency Engineers ]]
* UsefulNotes/JohannesGutenberg, born as Johannes Gensfleisch (1398 - 1468) -- Invented movable type printing[[note]]Or rather re-invented: it had been known in East Asia for centuries, but was rendered utterly useless by the nature of East Asian writing. A typical printer needs to keep anywhere from half a dozen to dozens of copies of each character in order to print. This is difficult enough with the Latin alphabet's 26 letters; imagine that with the 3,000+ characters of Chinese, or the ~1,000 Japanese Kanji. (Hangul doesn't count, as it was invented four years ''after'' Gutenberg's press).[[/note]] and the mechanical printing press. From now on, mass-production of books and other writings was possible.
* Alois Senefelder (1771 - 1834) -- Inventor of another printing process, lithography, that became very important for the quick mass production of pictures in the 19th and 20th century. He also was a writer and musician.
* Werner von Siemens (1816 - 1892). Inventor and one of the founders of electrical engineering and the electro-engineering industry in Germany. A neighborhood in Berlin - where he built a huge factory - and the SI unit of electric conductance are named after him.
* Philipp Reis (1834 - 1874) -- Inventor of the telephone! Well, actually, the answer to the question "Who ''exactly'' invented the telephone?" is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_of_the_telephone a bit complicated]]. Reiss' device was the first to be actually called ''Telephon''.
* Ferdinand, Graf von Zeppelin (1838 - 1917) -- [[TheVonTropeFamily An actual count]] (which is what ''Graf'' means) who invented the type of [[CoolAirship airship]] named after him. Although the popularity of airships did considerably shrink [[UsefulNotes/TheHindenburg for some reason]], the company founded by Graf von Zeppelin (after decades of producing airship-unrelated stuff) [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld has started to construct new Zeppelins since the 1990s]].
* Karl Benz (1844 - 1929) -- Added a combustion engine to a carriage and thus invented the car as it is known today, (or at least was the first to patent this contraption). The ''Daimler-Benz'' company (Gottlieb Daimler being another German automobile pioneer, and one of the competitors regarding the "Who exactly invented the car?"-issue) as well as the trademark ''Mercedes Benz'' bear his name.
* Willy Messerschmitt (1898 - 1978) -- [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons Built airplanes for the Nazis.]] The fact that his planes (along with Ferdinand Porsche's ground vehicles) were (''in their time!'') considered high-tech, probably gave rise to [[StupidJetpackHitler this trope]]. After the war, Messerschmitt was in prison for two years (put on trial for using slave labour and convicted as "fellow traveller"). After his release it was not allowed to produce airplanes, so instead his company produced sewing machines, pressing irons, prefabricated buildings -- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_KR200 little cars that looked like airplane cockpits]]! He did eventually get back into airplane business and his firm was building F-4 Phantoms for the reborn Luftwaffe by the time he died.
* Konrad Zuse (1910 - 1995) -- Inventor of the computer! Well, actually, the answer to the question "Who ''exactly'' invented the computer?" is a bit complicated, but Zuse's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z3_(computer) Z3]] is a serious competitor for the title ''World's First Computer''. The original Z3 was [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo destroyed during an Allied air raid]], but a fully functioning replica was built in the 1960's for the ''Deutsches Museum'', by a company founded by Zuse himself after the war. And it is definitely true that his computers used the [[BinaryBitsAndBytes binary system]], the floating point system and the clear seperation of RAM and hard disk before American computers did.
* Wernher "[[Music/TomLehrer Not My Department]]" von Braun (1912 -- 1977) -- Rocket pioneer who is very controversial due to his cooperating with the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] and even entering the NSDAP (the Nazi Party) and the SS. His lifelong dream was human space exploration, and apparently was of the opinion that [[ForScience the end justifies the means]]. The result was that instead of transporting people into space, his rockets were used to bombard UsefulNotes/{{London}}. More people died building the V-2 rockets than were killed by them as weapons. After [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]], he and other scientists were brought to the United States and became a key figure in its space program (as part of Operation Paperclip, in which America sought to [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar get as many Nazi scientists as they could before the Soviets did]]). The "[[NoNameGiven Program Head]]" in the film ''Film/TheRightStuff'' is based loosely on him, as is Film/DrStrangelove.