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Federal Republic of Germany Europe Berlin 80,996,685 inhabitants 357,022 sq km 226.87 inhabitants/sq km euros (EUR) population evolution

Famous people from Germany

Here is a list of famous people from Germany. Curious if anybody from Germany made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc², he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory. Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the large-scale structure of the universe.

Karl Marx


Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Marx's work in economics laid the basis for the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and has influenced much of subsequent economic thought. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Born into a wealthy middle-class family in Trier in the Prussian Rhineland, Marx studied at the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians. After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism. He moved to Paris in 1843, where he began writing for other radical newspapers and met Fredrick Engels, who would become his lifelong friend and collaborator. In 1849 he was exiled and moved to London together with his wife and children where he continued writing and formulating his theories about social and economic activity. He also campaigned for socialism and became a significant figure in the International Workingmen's Association.

Friedrich Nietzsche


Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism. Nietzsche's key ideas include the Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy, perspectivism, the Will to Power, the "death of God", the Übermensch and eternal recurrence. Central to his philosophy is the idea of "life-affirmation", which involves questioning of any doctrine that drains one's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those ideas might be. His radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth has been the focus of extensive commentary and his influence remains substantial, particularly in the continental philosophical tradition comprising existentialism, postmodernism, and post-structuralism. Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist — a scholar of Greek and Roman textual criticism — before turning to philosophy. In 1869, at age twenty-four, he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, the youngest individual to have held this position. He resigned in the summer of 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life. In 1889, at age forty-four, he suffered a collapse and a complete loss of his mental faculties. The breakdown was later ascribed to atypical general paresis due to tertiary syphilis, but this diagnosis has come into question. Re-examination of Nietzsche's medical evaluation papers show that he almost certainly died of brain cancer, and researchers attribute his posthumous smear to an anti-Nazism campaign. Nietzsche lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897, after which he fell under the care of his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche until his death in 1900.

Igor Stravinsky

Opera Artist

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian, and later French and American composer, pianist and conductor. He is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. The last of these transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design. His "Russian phase" was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms. They often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, such as J.S. Bach and Tchaikovsky. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures. His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, of instrumentation and of utterance.

Martin Luther


Martin Luther OSA was a German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in 16th century Christianity, subsequently known as the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor. Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin and subsequently eternity in hell. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans.

Robert Alexander Schumann

Opera Artist

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing. Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder; four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Kinderszenen, Album für die Jugend, Blumenstück, Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded. In 1840, against the wishes of her father, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, something that led to a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

John McEnroe

Tennis Player

John Patrick McEnroe, Jr. is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States. He won seven Grand Slam singles titles, nine Grand Slam men's doubles titles, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title. McEnroe also won a record eight season ending championships, comprising five WCT Finals titles and three Masters Grand Prix titles from twelve final appearances at those two events, a record he shares with Ivan Lendl. During his career, McEnroe won 77 ATP-listed singles titles and 71 in doubles. McEnroe is known for his shot-making artistry and volleying skills; for his rivalries with Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl; and for his confrontational on-court behavior which frequently landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities. In 1984, he recorded the best single season win-loss record in the Open Era at 96.47%. In 1981, 1983 and 1984 McEnroe was the ITF World Champion for Men's singles. He was also named as the ATP player of the year in 1981, 1983 and 1984. McEnroe is often rated among the greatest tennis players of all time, especially for his touch on the volley. McEnroe is a former Captain of the United States Davis Cup team. As a player McEnroe represented the States and was part of the winning team on four occasions in the Davis Cup. McEnroe continues to play tennis and competes in senior events on the ATP Champions Tour. McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the Philippe Chatrier Award in 2007. After his tennis career McEnroe became a television commentator, a game show host and a chat show host. Additionally, McEnroe has appeared in several films and television shows as himself and has played music live.

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Art song Artist

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish banker family, although initially he was raised without religion and was later baptised as a Reformed Christian. Mendelssohn was recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his talent. Early success in Germany, where he also revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, was followed by travel throughout Europe. Mendelssohn was particularly well received in Britain as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there – during which many of his major works were premiered – form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes, however, set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz. The Leipzig Conservatoire, which he founded, became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.

Sabine Lisicki

Tennis Player

Sabine Katharina Lisicki; born 22 September 1989 is a German professional tennis player. She turned professional in 2006 and her breakthrough came in 2009 when she reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships and won her first WTA title, the Family Circle Cup, against Caroline Wozniacki. In March 2010, she suffered an ankle injury at the Indian Wells Masters that kept her out of competition for five months and saw her fall out of the top 200. She rebounded in 2011 and won the Aegon Classic before entering the Wimbledon Championships as a wildcard and going on to reach the semifinals, where she lost to Maria Sharapova. In doing so she became only the second woman in Wimbledon history to make it to the semifinals while entering the tournament as a wildcard. She followed that two months later by winning her third WTA tournament, the Texas Open. In 2012, she achieved her career-highest ranking, 12th, and again reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships. Again, in 2012 she suffered from another ankle injury that prevented her from having better results on tour. Lisicki reached the final of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, losing to Marion Bartoli. In doubles, Lisicki won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2011 with Samantha Stosur and in 2013 with Mona Barthel. She also reached the doubles final at Wimbledon in 2011 with Stosur and came fourth in the mixed doubles event at the 2012 London Olympics with Christopher Kas.

Steffi Graf

Tennis Tournament Champion

Stefanie Maria "Steffi" Graf is a former World No. 1 German tennis player. In total, Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, second among male and female players only to Margaret Court's 24. Her 22 singles titles mark the record for most Grand Slam wins by a tennis player since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968. In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player to achieve the Calendar Year Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Graf was ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association for a record 377 total weeks—the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings. She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA's all-time list after Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. A notable feature of Graf's game was her versatility across all playing surfaces, having won each of the four Grand Slams at least four times, the only player to do so, and she is best known for her great footwork and for her powerful forehand drive. Graf won six French Open singles titles and seven Wimbledon singles titles. She is the only singles player to have achieved a Calendar Year Grand Slam while playing on four different types of tennis courts, as the Calendar Year Grand Slams won by other players before her occurred when the Australian and US Opens were still played on grass. Graf reached thirteen consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, from the 1987 French Open through to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won 5 consecutive Grand Slams, and 7 Grand Slams out of 8, in 2 calendar years. She reached a total of 31 Grand Slam singles finals, third overall behind Evert and Navratilova.

Sebastian Vettel

Racing driver

Sebastian Vettel is a German Formula One racing driver, currently driving for the Austrian racing team Red Bull Racing. He is the current World Champion, having won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. In his first year driving for Red Bull in 2009, Vettel finished the season as the youngest-ever World Drivers' championship runner-up. The following year he went on to become the youngest driver ever to win the World Drivers' Championship. In the same year he helped Red Bull win the team's first World Constructors' Championship. He followed up his first championship with a second in 2011, becoming the youngest double world champion in the history of the sport, as well as a third in 2012 and a fourth in 2013 to become the sport's youngest triple and quadruple champion, respectively. Vettel holds numerous other "youngest" Formula One records, among them: the youngest driver to have taken part in an official practice session of a Grand Prix, to score championship points, to lead a race, to secure pole position, and to win a race. He is also currently third in the overall tally of pole positions behind fellow German Michael Schumacher and three-time world champion Ayrton Senna.

Boris Becker

Tennis Player

Boris Franz Becker is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. He is a six-time Grand Slam singles champion, an Olympic gold medalist in doubles, and the youngest-ever winner of the men's singles title at Wimbledon at the age of 17. Becker also won five major indoor championship titles including three ATP Masters World Tour Finals and one WCT Finals and one Grand Slam Cup. He also won five Masters 1000 series titles and eight Championship Series titles. Tennis Magazine put Becker in 18th place on its list of the 40 greatest tennis players from 1965 to 2005.

Heidi Klum


Heidi Klum is a German model, television host, businesswoman, fashion designer, television producer, and occasional actress. In 2008, she became an American citizen while maintaining her native German citizenship. Klum became internationally known for her appearances on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 1997 she became the first German model to become a Victoria's Secret Angel. Following a successful modeling career, Klum garnered acclaim as the host and judge of the reality show Project Runway which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008 and a win in 2013 for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. She has worked as a spokesmodel for Dannon and H & M, and has appeared in numerous commercials for McDonald's, Volkswagen and others. In 2009, Klum became Barbie's official ambassador on Barbie's 50th anniversary. As an occasional actress, she had supporting roles in movies including Blow Dry, Ella Enchanted, and made cameo appearances on The Devil Wears Prada and Perfect Stranger. She has also appeared on TV shows including Sex and the City and How I Met Your Mother. Currently, Klum is a judge on the NBC reality show America's Got Talent.

Tommy Haas

Tennis Player

Thomas Mario "Tommy" Haas is a German professional tennis player. He has competed on the ATP Tour since 1996. After breaking into the world top 100 in 1997, and reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 2 in May 2002, Haas's career was interrupted by injuries: he has twice dropped out of the world rankings due to being unable to play for twelve months. His first period of injury saw him miss the whole of the 2003 season, and he did not return to the world's top 10 until 2007. He also missed over a year's tennis between February 2010 and June 2011, but has since returned to play on the tour. He returned to World No. 11 in 2013 after reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open for the first time in his career. Although Haas has never won a Grand Slam tournament, he has reached the semifinals of the Australian Open three times, and Wimbledon once. He is one of few players to have reached the quarterfinal stage of each of the Grand Slams. He has won 14 career titles in singles and doubles, including one Masters tournament, and has a silver medal from the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Richard Strauss

Opera Artist

Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, An Alpine Symphony, and other orchestral works, such as Metamorphosen. Strauss was also a prominent conductor throughout Germany and Austria. Strauss, along with Gustav Mahler, represents the late flowering of German Romanticism after Richard Wagner, in which pioneering subtleties of orchestration are combined with an advanced harmonic style.

Anne Frank


Annelies "Anne" Marie Frank is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her autobiography The Diary of a Young Girl has been the basis for several plays and films. Born in the city of Frankfurt am Main in Weimar Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Born a German national, Frank lost her citizenship in 1941. She gained international fame posthumously after her diary was published. It documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. The Frank family moved from Germany to Amsterdam in 1933, the year the Nazis gained control over Germany. By the beginning of 1940, they were trapped in Amsterdam by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the family went into hiding in some concealed rooms in the building where Anne's father worked. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Anne Frank and her sister, Margot Frank, were eventually transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died of typhus in March 1945. Otto Frank, the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that Anne's diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl. It has since been translated into many languages. The blank diary, which was given to Anne on her thirteenth birthday, chronicles her life from 12 June 1942 until 1 August 1944.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, and a major figure in German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism. Hegel developed a comprehensive philosophical framework, or "system", of Absolute idealism to account in an integrated and developmental way for the relation of mind and nature, the subject and object of knowledge, psychology, the state, history, art, religion, and philosophy. In particular, he developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. Examples of such contradictions include those between nature and freedom, and between immanence and transcendence. Hegel influenced writers of widely varying positions, including both his admirers and his detractors. Karl Barth compared Hegel to a "Protestant Aquinas." Michel Foucault has contended that contemporary philosophers may be 'doomed to find Hegel waiting patiently at the end of whatever road we travel.' Hegel's influential conceptions are those of speculative logic or "dialectic", "absolute idealism". They include "Geist", negativity, sublation, the "Master/Slave" dialectic, "ethical life" and the importance of history.

Heinrich Himmler


Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party of Nazi Germany. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler later appointed him Commander of the Replacement Army and General Plenipotentiary for the administration of the entire Third Reich. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and one of the persons most directly responsible for the Holocaust. As a member of a reserve battalion during World War I, Himmler did not see active service. He studied agronomy in college, and joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and the SS in 1925. In 1929, he was appointed Reichsführer-SS by Hitler. Over the next 16 years, he developed the SS from a mere 290-man battalion into a powerful group with its own military, and, following Hitler's orders, set up and controlled the Nazi concentration camps. He was known to have good organisational skills and for selecting highly competent subordinates, such as Reinhard Heydrich in 1931. From 1943 forward, he was both Chief of German Police and Minister of the Interior, overseeing all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo.

Henry Kissinger


Henry Alfred Kissinger is a German-born American statesman and political scientist. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, he served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. After his term, his opinion was still sought by some subsequent US presidents and other world leaders. A proponent of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger is still considered an influential public figure. He is the founder and chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm.

Charles Bukowski


Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski's appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."

Angela Merkel


Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany and the head of the political party CDU in Germany. In addition to being the first female German Chanchellor, she is also considered by Forbes magazine to be the most powerful woman in the world.

Joseph Goebbels


Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous orations and deep and virulent antisemitism, which led him to support the extermination of the Jews and to be one of the mentors of the Final Solution. Goebbels earned a PhD from Heidelberg University in 1921, writing his doctoral thesis on 19th century literature of the romantic school; he then went on to work as a journalist and later a bank clerk and caller on the stock exchange. He also wrote novels and plays, which were rejected by publishers. Goebbels came into contact with the National Socialist German Worker's Party or Nazi Party in 1923 during the French occupation of the Ruhr and became a member in 1924. He was appointed Gauleiter of Berlin. In this position, he put his propaganda skills to full use, combating the Social Democratic Party of Germany and Communist Party of Germany and seeking to gain their working class supporters. Goebbels despised capitalism, viewing it as having Jews at its core, and he stressed the need for the Nazis to emphasise both a proletarian and national character. By 1928, he had risen in the party ranks to become one of its most prominent members.

Mario Gomez


Mario Gómez García is a German footballer who plays as a striker for Fiorentina in the Serie A and the German national team. Gómez joined Fiorentina after spending four seasons with Bayern Munich, which he joined after six years playing for VfB Stuttgart. The fee was a record for a player transferred in the Bundesliga, estimated to be €30–35 million, surpassing previous holder Márcio Amoroso. The fee is currently the third highest, after former Bayern teammates Mario Götze and Javi Martínez, respectively. When Stuttgart became champions in 2006–07, Gómez contributed 14 goals and seven assists at the age of 21 and was selected as German Footballer of the Year.

Marlene Dietrich


Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German-born American actress and singer. Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as "Lola-Lola" in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US. Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalised on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, and throughout World War II she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. Although she still made occasional films in the post-war years, Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a successful show performer. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth-greatest female star of all time.

Otto von Bismarck


Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs with his conservative policies from the 1860s to his dismissal in 1890 by Emperor Wilhelm II. In 1871, after a series of short victorious wars, he unified most of the German states into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. He then created a balance of power that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914. As Minister President of Prussia 1862–90, Bismarck provoked wars that made Prussia dominant over Austria and France, and lined up the smaller German states behind Prussia. In 1867 he also became Chancellor of the North German Confederation. Otto von Bismarck became the first Chancellor of a united Germany after the 1871 Treaty of Versailles and largely controlled its affairs until he was removed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1890. His diplomacy of Realpolitik and powerful rule gained him the nickname the "Iron Chancellor". As Henry Kissinger has noted, "The man of 'blood and iron' wrote prose of extraordinary directness and lucidity, comparable in distinctiveness to Churchill's use of the English language."

Martin Heidegger


Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being". Heidegger is known for offering a phenomenological critique of Kant. He wrote extensively on Nietzsche and Hölderlin in his later career. Heidegger's influence has been far reaching, influencing fields such as philosophy, theology, art, architecture, artificial intelligence, cultural anthropology, design, literary theory, social theory, political theory, psychiatry, and psychotherapy. His best known book, Being and Time, is considered one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. In it and later works, Heidegger maintained that our way of questioning defines our nature. He argued that philosophy, Western civilization's chief way of questioning, had lost sight of the being it sought. Finding ourselves "always already" fallen in a world of presuppositions, we lose touch with what being was before its truth became "muddled". As a solution to this condition, Heidegger advocated a return to the practical being in the world, allowing it to reveal, or "unconceal" itself as concealment.

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz


Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a German mathematician and philosopher. He occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. Leibniz developed the infinitesimal calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematical notation has been widely used ever since it was published. It was only in the 20th century that his Law of Continuity and Transcendental Law of Homogeneity found mathematical implementation. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is at the foundation of virtually all digital computers. In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, e.g., his conclusion that our Universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence.

Werner Heisenberg


Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key creators of quantum mechanics. He published his work in 1925 in a breakthrough paper. In the subsequent series of papers with Max Born and Pascual Jordan, during the same year, this matrix formulation of quantum mechanics was substantially elaborated. In 1927 he published his uncertainty principle, upon which he built his philosophy and for which he is best known. Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1932 "for the creation of quantum mechanics". He also made important contributions to the theories of the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows, the atomic nucleus, ferromagnetism, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles, and he was instrumental in planning the first West German nuclear reactor at Karlsruhe, together with a research reactor in Munich, in 1957. Considerable controversy surrounds his work on atomic research during World War II. Following World War II, he was appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, which soon thereafter was renamed the Max Planck Institute for Physics. He was director of the institute until it was moved to Munich in 1958, when it was expanded and renamed the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics.

Georg Philipp Telemann


Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He held important positions in Leipzig, Sorau, Eisenach, and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of the city's five main churches. While Telemann's career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died only a few months after their marriage, and his second wife had extramarital affairs and accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving Telemann. Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in history and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. Telemann's music incorporates several national styles and is even at times influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies and his music is an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles.

Hermann Göring

Military Commander

Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party. A veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, he was a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as the "Blue Max". He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron". A member of the NSDAP from its early days, Göring was wounded in 1923 during the failed coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. He became permanently addicted to morphine after being treated with the drug for his injuries. After helping Adolf Hitler take power in 1933, he became the second-most powerful man in Germany. He founded the Gestapo in 1933. Göring was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe in 1935, a position he held until the final days of World War II. By 1940 he was at the peak of his power and influence; as minister in charge of the Four Year Plan, he was responsible for much of the functioning of the German economy in the build-up to World War II. Adolf Hitler promoted him to the rank of Reichsmarschall, a rank senior to all other Wehrmacht commanders, and in 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices.

Erwin Rommel

Military Commander

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, popularly known as the Desert Fox, was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He earned the respect of both his own troops and his enemies. Rommel was a highly decorated officer in World War I and was awarded the Pour le Mérite for his exploits on the Italian Front. In World War II, he further distinguished himself as the commander of the 7th Panzer Division during the 1940 invasion of France. His leadership of German and Italian forces in the North African campaign established him as one of the most able commanders of the war, and earned him the appellation of the Desert Fox. He is regarded as one of the most skilled commanders of desert warfare in the conflict. He later commanded the German forces opposing the Allied cross-channel invasion of Normandy. His assignments never took him to the Eastern Front. Rommel is regarded as having been a humane and professional officer. His Afrika Korps was never accused of war crimes, and soldiers captured during his Africa campaign were reported to have been treated humanely. Orders to kill Jewish soldiers, civilians and captured commandos were ignored. Late in the war, Rommel was linked to the conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Because Rommel was a national hero, Hitler desired to eliminate him quietly. He forced Rommel to commit suicide with a cyanide pill, in return for assurances that Rommel's family would not be persecuted following his death. He was given a state funeral, and the cause of his death was announced as a heart attack, following a car crash.

Jackson Browne

Folk rock Artist

Clyde Jackson Browne is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States alone. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as "These Days", "The Pretender", "Running on Empty", "Lawyers In Love", "Doctor My Eyes", "Take It Easy", "For a Rocker", and "Somebody's Baby". In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

Dirk Nowitzki

Basketball Player

Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. An alumnus of Röntgen Gymnasium and the DJK Würzburg basketball club, Nowitzki was taken as the ninth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately traded to the Mavericks, where he has played since. A 7 ft 0 in power forward, he has the athleticism and shooting ability to play either center or small forward. He is considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. Nowitzki has led the Mavericks to 12 consecutive NBA Playoffs, including the franchise's first Finals appearance in 2006 and only championship in 2011. He is an 11-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA Team member, and the first European-born player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. He is the first Maverick voted onto an All-NBA Team and holds several all-time Mavericks franchise records. Nowitzki is the only NBA player to get 100 blocks and 150 3-pointers in a single season, and one of four to average more than 25 points and 10 rebounds in the NBA playoffs, only Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recording four consecutive 30-point, 15-rebound post-season games. Nowitzki was the 17th player to score +25,000 points in his NBA-career.

Jupp Heynckes


Josef "Jupp" Heynckes is a former German football manager and former footballer. As a player, he spent the majority of his career as a striker for Borussia Mönchengladbach in its golden era of the 1960s and 1970s, where he won many national championships and the DFB-Pokal, as well as the UEFA Cup. During this period the team also played in its only European Cup final in 1977, losing to Liverpool. He is the third highest goalscorer in the history of the Bundesliga, with 220 goals. He was a member of the West German national squad that won the European Championship and the World Cup in the first half of the 1970s. As manager he won three Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich and two UEFA Champions Leagues; with Real Madrid in 1997–98 and Bayern in 2012–13.


Hip hop Artist

Anis Mohamed Youssef Ferchichi, better known as Bushido, is a German rapper. The word Bushido is Japanese and means "Way of the Warrior". He also uses the pseudonym Sonny Black, based on Dominic Napolitano. As of 2009, he sold more than 1.5 million albums in Germany alone. He is the owner of the record label ersguterjunge and entrepreneur in the real estate industry.

Michael Fassbender


Michael Fassbender is a German-Irish actor. He played Lt. Archie Hicox in the film Inglourious Basterds, Magneto in the superhero film X-Men: First Class, and the android David in the science fiction film Prometheus. In 2014, Fassbender will reprise his role as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Fassbender will also star in Assassin's Creed in 2015. His other credits include the fantasy action film 300; the drama film Fish Tank; the romantic drama film Jane Eyre; the historical film A Dangerous Method; the biographical film Hunger and the drama film Shame, both directed by Steve McQueen. For his role in Shame, he won the Volpi Cup best actor award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival held in August 2011, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA.

Werner Herzog

Film Director

Werner Herzog Stipetić, known as Werner Herzog, is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor; and an opera director. Herzog is considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. Herzog's films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog "has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular."

Michael Ballack


Michael Ballack is a retired German footballer. He is among the top goal scorers in the history of his international team. Ballack has worn the number 13 shirt for every team he has played for except for Kaiserslautern. He was selected by Pelé as one of FIFA's 125 Greatest Living Players, and as the UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year in 2002. He has won the German Footballer of the Year award three times – in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Ballack was known for his passing range, scoring ability, ball skills, and commanding presence in midfield. Ballack began his career as a youth at Chemnitz, his local team, and made his professional debut in 1995. On 26 March 1996, Ballack made his debut for Germany's Under-21 side. Although the team were relegated in his first season, his performances in the Regionalliga the following season led to a transfer to 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1997. He won the Bundesliga in his first season at the club; his first major honour. He became a first team regular in 1998–99 season and also earned his first senior national cap for Germany. He moved to Bayer Leverkusen for €4.1 million in 1999. The 2001–02 season saw him win a slew of runners-up medals: Bayer Leverkusen finished second in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, UEFA Champions League and Germany lost to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup Final.

Hannah Arendt


Johanna "Hannah" Arendt was a German-American political theorist. Though often described as a philosopher, she rejected that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular" and instead described herself as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world." Her works deal with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, direct democracy, authority, and totalitarianism. The Hannah Arendt Prize is named in her honour.

Max Richter

Film score Artist

Max Richter is a British composer.



Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, was a 10th-century German secular canoness, as well as a dramatist and poet who lived and worked at Gandersheim Abbey in modern-day Bad Gandersheim, Lower Saxony, established by the Ottonian dynasty. She wrote in Latin, and is considered by some to be the first person since antiquity to compose drama in the Latin West. She has also been called "the most remarkable woman of her time." Each writer who has mentioned Hrotsvitha had his own way of writing her name. Some variations include Hrosvite, Hroswitha, Hroswithe, Rhotswitha, Roswit and modernized Roswitha. Even this long list is not complete. The meaning of this name has been a focus for disagreement. Her name, as she herself attests, is Old Saxon for "strong voice."

Dominic Smith

Drum and bass Artist

Dynamite MC, is an MC from Gloucester, England. He originally gained prominence in jungle/drum and bass, working with Roni Size and Reprazent, but has also released hip hop material.

Maren Meinert


Maren Meinert is a retired German football midfielder/striker and currently the coach for the German U-20 Women's squad. She played for FCR Duisburg, FFC Brauweiler Pulheim, and the Boston Breakers. Meinert also played for the German national team between 1991 and 2003, making appearances at three FIFA Women's World Cup finals and the 2000 Summer Olympics. She was the first player inducted in the Breaker's Pillars of Excellence, during a ceremony held at half-time of the 17 May 2009 game between the Breakers and Washington Freedom.

Arthur Alexander

TV Producer

Arthur Alexander was an American independent film producer. Alexander was born in Germany. He began his Hollywood career in 1934 and produced about 50 films through 1949, many westerns, all with low budgets and with no connection to the established Hollywood studios. With his brother Max, Alexander founded Beacon Productions, Colony, and Max Alexander Productions. He was active as producer at the short-lived Grand National Pictures from 1936 through 1939, and released through Producers Releasing Corporation afterward. Much of his work is in public domain today and accessible online.

Eckhard Pfeiffer

Organization leader

Eckhard Pfeiffer is a businessman of German ancestry, who served as President and CEO of Compaq from 1991 to 1999. He was named as one of TIME's "Cyber Elite Top 50" for 1998.

Torsten Voges


Torsten Voges is an actor.

DJ Tarkan

House Artist

DJ Tarkan was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He is Turkey's No.1 DJ, charted number 78 in the world by DJ Magazine's most important poll for dance music in 2006.

Miriam Buether


Miriam Buether is an award-winning German stage designer who primarily works in London theatre. She was born in Germany and studied stage design at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, and costume design at the Akademie für Kostüm Design in Hamburg. Her awards include ⁕2012 - Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Wild Swans ⁕2010 - Evening Standard Award for Sucker Punch and Earthquakes in London, ⁕2008 - Hospital Club Creative Award for Theatre ⁕2004-05 - Critics' Award for Theatre in Scotland for The Wonderful World of Dissocia ⁕1999 - Linbury Prize for Stage Design

Mona Lee Fultz


Mona Lee Fultz is an actress and acting coach.

Wiebke von Carolsfeld

Film Producer

Wiebke von Carolsfeld is a film editor, film director and screenwriter.

Empress Elisabeth of Austria

Noble person

Elisabeth of Austria was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, as wife of Franz Joseph I. Although born into the Bavarian nobility, Elisabeth had enjoyed quite an informal upbringing, before marrying the Emperor at sixteen, and being suddenly absorbed into Habsburg court life, which she found excessively stifling. She was also at odds with her interfering mother-in-law, Princess Sophie, who took over the rearing of her daughters, one of whom died in infancy. The birth of a male heir Rudolf improved her standing at court, but her health was suffering under the strain, and she would often visit Hungary for its more relaxed environment. She came to develop a deep kinship with Hungary, and helped to bring about the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867. The death of her only son in a murder-suicide tragedy at his hunting lodge at Mayerling was a shock from which she never recovered. She withdrew from court duties, and travelled widely, unaccompanied by her family. In the palace, she was seen to be obsessively concerned with her health and beauty, having to be sewn into her leather corsets and spending two or three hours a day on her coiffure.

Jacques Offenbach

Opera Artist

Jacques Offenbach was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss, Jr. and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st. The Tales of Hoffman remains part of the standard opera repertory. Born in Cologne, the son of a synagogue cantor, Offenbach showed early musical talent. At the age of 14, he was accepted as a student at the Paris Conservatoire but found academic study unfulfilling and left after a year. From 1835 to 1855 he earned his living as a cellist, achieving international fame, and as a conductor. His ambition, however, was to compose comic pieces for the musical theatre. Finding the management of Paris's Opéra-Comique company uninterested in staging his works, in 1855 he leased a small theatre in the Champs-Élysées. There he presented a series of his own small-scale pieces, many of which became popular.

Josef Mengele

Military Person

Josef Mengele was a German SS officer and a physician in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. He earned doctorates in anthropology from Munich University and doctorates in medicine from Frankfurt University. He initially gained notoriety for being one of the SS physicians who supervised the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced laborer, but is far more infamous for performing human experiments on camp inmates, including children, for which Mengele was called the "Angel of Death". In 1940, he was placed in the reserve medical corps, after which he served with the 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division Wiking in the Eastern Front. In 1942, he was wounded at the Soviet front and was pronounced medically unfit for combat. He was then promoted to the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer for saving the lives of three German soldiers. He survived the war and, after a period of living incognito in Germany, he fled to South America, where he evaded capture for the rest of his life, despite being hunted as a Nazi war criminal.

Albrecht Dürer

Painting Artist

Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His high-quality woodcuts established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since. His vast body of work includes altarpieces, religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings. The woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series, retain a more Gothic flavour than the rest of his work. His well-known prints include the Knight, Death, and the Devil, Saint Jerome in his Study and Melencolia I, which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolours also mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium. Dürer's introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective and ideal proportions.


Trance Artist

André Tanneberger, under the stage name of ATB, is a German DJ, musician, and producer of trance music. According to the official world DJ rankings governed by DJ Magazine, ATB was ranked #11 in 2009. as well as in 2010 and went down to #15 in 2011. In 2011, he was ranked as world number 1 according to "The DJ List". He is best known for his 1998 single "9PM" which was a number one single in the United Kingdom.


Turkish pop Artist

Tarkan Tevetoğlu, simply known as Tarkan, is a World Music award winning Turkish pop singer. He was born in Alzey, West Germany, and raised in Turkey. Tarkan has been known for the use of romantic themes in his work and has been nicknamed the "Prince of Pop" by the media. He has released several platinum-selling albums during his career, with an estimated 29 million albums and singles sold. He also produces music through his company HITT Music, which he established in February 1997. One of a few European singers who has managed to span chart success over three continents without singing in English, the artist is also noted for his live stage performances. Tarkan's effect on Turkey has been compared by The Washington Post as analogous to Elvis Presley in the US around 1957 and Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegün described him as one of the best live performers he had ever seen. He has also been listed by Rhapsody as a key artist in the history of European pop music, with his signature song "Şımarık" as a keystone track that moved the genre forward.

Carl Friedrich Gauss


Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and physical scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, algebra, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy, and optics. Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum and "greatest mathematician since antiquity", Gauss had a remarkable influence in many fields of mathematics and science and is ranked as one of history's most influential mathematicians.

Jürgen Klinsmann


Jürgen Klinsmann is a German football manager and former player who is currently the head coach of the United States national team. As a player, Klinsmann played for several prominent clubs in Europe and was part of the West German team that won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the unified German team that won the 1996 UEFA European Championship. One of Germany's premier strikers during the 1990s, Klinsmann scored in all six major international tournaments he participated in, from Euro 1988 to 1998 World Cup. He managed the German national team to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup. On 12 July 2006, Klinsmann officially announced that he would step down as Germany's coach after two years in charge and be replaced by assistant coach Joachim Löw. He took over as coach of Bundesliga club Bayern Munich in July 2008 when Ottmar Hitzfeld stepped down. On 27 April 2009 he was released early, even though he had won five of the previous seven league games and was only three points behind league leader VfL Wolfsburg. In the jointly initiated reforms at Bayern it emerged there was a severe clash of opinions between coach and club management. On 29 July 2011, the US Soccer Federation, named Klinsmann the coach of the USMNT. In 2013 he won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the United States. Outside of his professional football life he earned a diploma as a baker in 1984, runs a Children Charity foundation in four countries and is a certified Helicopter Pilot.

Adolf Eichmann

Military Person

Otto Adolf Eichmann was a German Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. Because of his organizational talents and ideological reliability, Eichmann was charged by SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich with the task of facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe. After World War II, he fled to Argentina using a fraudulently obtained laissez-passer issued by the International Red Cross. He lived in Argentina under a false identity, working a succession of different jobs until 1960. He was captured by Mossad operatives in Argentina and taken to Israel to face trial in an Israeli court on 15 criminal charges, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was found guilty and executed by hanging in 1962. He is the only person to have been executed in Israel on conviction by a civilian court.

Alexander von Humboldt


Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian geographer, naturalist and explorer, and the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt. Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in Latin America, exploring and describing it for the first time from a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. He was one of the first to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined. Later, his five-volume work, Kosmos, attempted to unify the various branches of scientific knowledge. Humboldt supported and worked with other scientists, including Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, Justus von Liebig, Louis Agassiz, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Georg von Neumayer, and most notably, Aimé Bonpland, with whom he conducted much of his scientific exploration.

Johannes Gutenberg


Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. Gutenberg was the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system which allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.

Heinrich Heine


Heinrich Heine was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose are distinguished by their satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Organization leader

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect. He is commonly referred to, and was addressed, as Mies, his surname. He served as the last director of Berlin's Bauhaus, and then headed the department of architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he developed the Second Chicago School. Along with Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post-World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential twentieth-century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings "skin and bones" architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design, but he was always concerned with expressing the spirit of the modern era. He is often associated with his quotation of the aphorisms, "less is more" and "God is in the details".

Friedrich Engels


Friedrich Engels was a German social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research. In 1848 he co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organized Marx's notes on the "Theories of Surplus Value" and this was later published as the "fourth volume" of Capital. He has also made important contributions to family economics.

Karl Lagerfeld

Fashion Designer

Karl Lagerfeld is a German fashion designer, artist and photographer based in Paris. He is the head designer and creative director for the fashion house Chanel as well as the Italian house Fendi, in addition to having his own label fashion house. Over the decades he has collaborated on a variety of fashion and art related projects. He is well recognized around the world for his trademark white hair, black glasses, and high starched collars.

Bernard Tomic

Tennis Player

Bernard Tomic is an Australian professional tennis player who as of August 2013 is ranked World No. 52 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. As a junior, Tomic enjoyed a successful career in which he won three Orange Bowl titles and two junior grand slam singles titles at the 2008 Australian Open and 2009 US Open respectively. In January 2009, he competed in his first ATP main draw event at the Brisbane International. Highlights of Tomic's career include winning the 2013 Apia International Sydney and a quarterfinal appearance at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

Benjamin Becker

Tennis Player

Benjamin Becker is a German professional tennis player. Becker's primary weapon is a very big serve that he can hit at up to 220 km/h, along with powerful groundstrokes. Becker was born at Merzig, Saarland, then part of West Germany. He won the 2004 NCAA singles title while helping Baylor University to the team title. A rarity in men's tennis, Becker attended college for four years before turning professional.

Xavier Naidoo

Pop Artist

Xavier Kurt Naidoo, also known by his stage name Kobra, is a German Soul and R&B singer/songwriter, record producer, and occasional actor.

Johann Pachelbel


Johann Pachelbel was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era. Pachelbel's music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, as well as the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations. Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. He preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

Holy Roman Emperor

Frederick I Barbarossa was a German Holy Roman Emperor. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March 1152. He became King of Italy in 1155 and was finally crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155. Two years later, the term "sacrum" first appeared in a document in connection with his Empire. He was then also formally crowned King of Burgundy at Arles on 30 June 1178. He got the name Barbarossa from the northern Italian cities he attempted to rule. Barbarossa is "red beard" in Italian—a mark of both their fear and respect. In German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart which has the same meaning. Before his royal election, he was by inheritance Duke of Swabia. He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. His mother was Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival House of Welf, and Frederick therefore descended from Germany's two leading families, making him an acceptable choice for the Empire's prince-electors.

Hildegard of Bingen


Saint Hildegard of Bingen, O.S.B., also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play. She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias. Although the history of her formal recognition as a saint is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by parts of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church.

Marco Reus


Marco Reus is a German professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Germany national football team. Reus is known for his versatility, speed and technique. Reus spent his youth career at Borussia Dortmund, prior to leaving for Rot Weiss Ahlen. He has played for three clubs in his senior career, most notably, and with most influence, in Borussia Mönchengladbach of the German Bundesliga. Reus plays primarily as a left attacker for BVB; however, he is capable of playing on the right also and through the middle, due to his ability to control the ball with both feet and brilliant close control. 2012 was his most successful season when, scoring 18 and assisting 8, he helped Borussia Mönchengladbach secure a place in the following season's UEFA Champions League. Reus agreed a move to his home club Borussia Dortmund at the end of that season. Reus wears number 11, previously worn by Mario Götze, who left the shirt for Reus when he joined. Franz Beckenbauer spoke about Reus, along with Mario Götze, saying, " a classic duo there is nobody better than the prolific Reus and Götze." In 2013, Reus was ranked as the fourth best footballer in Europe by Bloomberg.

Mario Götze

Soccer Midfielder

Mario Götze is a German footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga and the German national team. In addition to his favoured role as a number 10, Götze is capable of playing as either a left or right winger and also as a false 9. Götze is considered to be an up-and-coming player, possessing high speed, excellent technical and dribbling skill, and play-making capabilities. Former German Football Association's technical director Matthias Sammer describes Götze as "one of the best talents that [Germany's] ever had." Götze represented Borussia Dortmund between 2001 and 2013, winning the Bundesliga title in 2010–11 and the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in 2011–12, and was a member of the team which reached the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final. In April 2013, a €37 million bid from Bayern Munich triggered a release clause in Götze's contract, making Götze the second-most expensive German player to date, behind Mesut Özil.

Franz Beckenbauer


Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz", and his dominance on the football pitch. He is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated footballers in the history of the game. Beckenbauer was a versatile player who started out as a midfielder but made his name as a defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper or libero. Twice selected the European Footballer of the Year, Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three World Cups. He is one of only two footballers, along with Brazil's Mário Zagallo, to have won the World Cup both as a player and as a coach. He is the only one to win it as captain and coach: He lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and repeated the feat as a manager in 1990. He is also one of only two players, along with Brazil's Djalma Santos, to make three FIFA World Cup All-star teams. With the club Bayern Munich, he won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967 and three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976. The latter feat made him the only player to win three European Cups as captain of his club. He went on to become coach and later president of Bayern Munich. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Max Planck


Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, FRS was a German theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics, but his fame rests primarily on his role as originator of the quantum theory. This theory revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, just as Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity revolutionized the understanding of space and time. Together they constitute the fundamental theories of 20th-century physics.

Kevin-Prince Boateng

Soccer Midfielder

Kevin-Prince Boateng is the brother of Jérôme Boateng.

Urszula Radwańska

Tennis Player

Urszula Radwańska is a Polish professional tennis player. She reached her career high ranking of world No. 29 on 8 October 2012. She is the younger sister of Agnieszka Radwańska, who is also a professional tennis player.

Albert Speer


Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office. As "the Nazi who said sorry", he accepted moral responsibility at the Nuremberg trials and in his memoirs for complicity in crimes of the Nazi regime. His level of involvement in the persecution of the Jews and his level of knowledge of the Holocaust remain matters of dispute. Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931, launching him on a political and governmental career which lasted fourteen years. His architectural skills made him increasingly prominent within the Party and he became a member of Hitler's inner circle. Hitler instructed him to design and construct a number of structures, including the Reich Chancellery and the Zeppelinfeld stadium in Nuremberg where Party rallies were held. Speer also made plans to reconstruct Berlin on a grand scale, with huge buildings, wide boulevards, and a reorganized transportation system. In February 1942, Hitler appointed Speer Minister of Armaments and War Production. Under his leadership, Germany's war production continued to increase despite considerable Allied bombing. After the war, he was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime, principally for the use of forced labor. He served his full sentence, most of it at Spandau Prison in West Berlin.

Philipp Lahm


Philipp Lahm is a German footballer who plays for and captains both Bayern Munich and the German national team. Lahm is considered one of the best full-backs in the world, and was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010, the UEFA Team of the Tournament in 2008 and 2012 and in the UEFA Team of the Year 2006, 2008, and 2012. Although Lahm is right-footed, he is able to play on both sides of the pitch. He often cuts from the flank to the inside of the pitch to either shoot or pass. He is well known for his pace, dribbling and precise tackling abilities as well as his small stature, giving him the nickname the "Magic Dwarf".

Jürgen Habermas


Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere. Global polls consistently find that Habermas is widely recognized as one of the world's leading intellectuals. Associated with the Frankfurt School, Habermas's work focuses on the foundations of social theory and epistemology, the analysis of advanced capitalistic societies and democracy, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, and contemporary politics, particularly German politics. Habermas's theoretical system is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, and rational-critical communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and pursue rational interests. Habermas is known for his work on the concept of modernity, particularly with respect to the discussions of rationalization originally set forth by Max Weber. He has been influenced by American pragmatism, action theory, and even poststructuralism.

Kurt Weill


Kurt Julian Weill was a German composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his best-known work The Threepenny Opera, which included the ballad "Mack the Knife". Weill held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose. He also wrote a number of works for the concert hall, as well as several Judaism-themed pieces.

Z. Ray Wakeman


Z. Ray Wakeman is an actor.

Alexandra Schiffer


Alexandra Schiffer is an actress.

Godehard Giese


Godehard Giese is an actor.

Lilian Schiffer


Lilian Schiffer is an actress.

Matthias Menck

Record producer

Matthias Menck is an audio engineer, house and trance producer and DJ.

Patrick Finger


Patrick Finger is an actor.

Max Alexander

TV Producer

Max Alexander was a film and television producer.