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Famous Germans/Austr

Famous Germans/Austrians, Swiss

Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) First chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915) Discoverer of the brain disease named for him - Web > German Alzheimer bio
Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) Daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph who married the French king Louis XVI - Web > M. Antoinette Bio (in English)
Arminius (Hermann der Cherusker) Defeated the Romans in the Battle of the Teutoburger Forest Web > Arminius bio (Wikipedia)
Fred Astaire (1899-1988) The famous dancer's real name was Frederick Austerlitz; his father was born in Linz, Austria. Web > Astaire - German-Hollywood Connection
Nadja Auermann (1970- ) German fashion model
Melissa Auf der Maur (1972- ) Canadian-born rock singer whose family comes from Switzerland. Web > Auf Der Maur - laut.de (Deutsch) and Auf Der Maur (English)
Andreas Baader (1943-1977) was a key member of the infamous Baader-Meinhof gang, a German terrorist group (Red Army Faction, RAF) in the 1970s. Web > Baader-Meinhof | Baader Biographie - DHM
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) German composer - Web > Bach's life (with map)
Karl Baedeker (1801-1859) invented the first travel guides and created the field of travel writing. Web > German Baedeker bio | Baedeker Verlagsgeschichte (German)
Boris Becker (1967- ) German tennis star, first German and youngest ever to win at Wimbleton (1985) - Web > German Becker bio (Rasscass)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) German composer - Beethoven bio (in English)
Peter Behrens (1868-1940) German architect - Web > German Behrens bio (DHM)
Karl Benz (1844-1929) and Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) Inventors of the first motor car (1885), although the two never met!
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) German political figure (Prussia), first chancellor of the German Reich (1871) - Web > Bismarck bio (German Wikipedia)
Heinrich Böll (1917-1985) German author, Nobel Prize winner (1972) - Web > Heinrich Böll Foundation (Ger., Engl., Span.)
Robert Bosch (1861-1942) German scientist, inventor
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) German composer - Web > Brahms bio (Johannesbrahms.org)
Willy Brandt (Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm, 1913-1992) German chancellor and mayor of Berlin - Web > Brandt bio (Brandt-Stiftung) - Willy Brandt (Wikipedia)
Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) German rocket scientist who helped put Americans on the moon
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German author, dramatist, best known for his "Dreigroschenoper" ("Threepenny Opera") co-authored with composer Kurt Weill - German bio (DHM)
Alfred Edmund Brehm (1829-1884) was a German zoologist, explorer, and author whose Thierleben lexicon (1864-69) and animal stories for children helped popularize a more sympathetic understanding of animals and their environment. Web > German bio (MDR)
Elias Canetti (1905-1994) Jewish writer often claimed by the Austrians. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. Born in Bulgaria, Canetti was educated in Vienna, wrote in German, but was a British subject when he died in Switzerland. - Web > Canetti (Nobelprize.
Charlemagne (Karl der Große, 742-814) The first European unifier - Web > Charlemagne | Karl der Große (German Wikipedia)
Adolf (Adi) Dassler (1900-1959)founder of Adidas shoe company
Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913) German engineer and inventor of the diesel engine
Otto Dix (1891-1969) German expressionist painter and graphic artist
Ruth Dreifuss (1940- ) Swiss political figure, first woman president of Switzerland
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) German artist
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990) Swiss writer of crime stories, dramas, and other German literature (Der Besuch der alten Dame)
Rudi Dutschke (1940-1979) Sociologist, former student rebellion leader in the late 1960s (APO and SDS)
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German scientist and theoretician
Elisabeth (1837-1898), better known as Sisi. Austrian royalty
Ludwig Erhard (1897-1977) German economist, first German chancellor after Adenauer, from 1963 to 1966
Erik H. Erikson (Homburger, 1902-1994) German-American psychoanalyst and university professor who coined the term "identity crisis"
Max Ernst (1891-1976) Dadaist/surrealist painter, sculptor, and graphic artist born in Brühl, Germany, now home to a new Max Ernst Museum - Web > Ernst bio (Guggenheim) | Artchive - Max Ernst | Max Ernst paintings (CSU Hayward)
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) German physicist who developed an improved mercury-in-glass thermometer and invented the temperature scale that bears his name (and is now used only in the USA!) - Web > Fahrenheit - Wikipedia | D.G. Fahrenheit - BBC
Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) German artist
Joseph (Joschka) Fischer (1948- ) German politician, foreign minister under chancellor Gerhard Schröder (1998 to present)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Austrian inventor of psychoanalysis (with photos)
Friedrich der Große (Frederick the Great, 1712-1786) King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786.
Anton Fugger (1493-1560) Member of an important German banking family
Hans Geiger (1882-1945) German physicist, inventor of the Geiger counter (Geiger-Müller-Zählrohr)
H.R. Giger (1940- ) Swiss-German artist who designed the Alien creature - WEB > Giger - German-Hollywood Connection
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, writer; the German "Shakespeare"
Stefanie (Steffi) Maria Graf (1969- ) German tennis star (Grandslam winner 1988) now married to Andre Agassi
Günter Grass (1927- ) German writer, Nobel Prize winner
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1785-1863/1786-1859) German authors and linguistic researchers - WEB > Grimm Brothers
Read some Grimm Fairy Tales (blank)
Walter Gropius (1883-1969) German-American architect
Johannes Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg (ca. 1397-1468) Inventor of movable type and modern printing
Peter Handke (1942- ) Austrian novelist and playwright
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Austrian composer
Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976) German physicist, co-founder of quantum mechanics
Hermann der Cherusker (Arminius in Latin, ca. 18B.C.-19A.D.) Germanic warrior who defeated the Romans at the Battle of the Teutoburger Forest
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857-1894) German physicist who did research into radio waves and frequency (see Erfinder/Inventors)
Roman Herzog (1934- ) President of Germany from 1994 to 1999
Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) German writer (Siddharta, Der Steppenwolf), poet, and artist
Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) German army officer and politician who was the chancellor who gave in to the Nazi takeover in 1933
Martina Hingis (1980- ) Swiss tennis player
Andreas Hofer (1776-1822) Austrian patriot (Tyrol)
E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) Writer, painter, composer
Erich Honecker (1912-1994) Leader of East Germany when the Wall fell
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) German researcher, botanist, and explorer who traveled in the Americas
Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) German academic and statesman, founder of the Humboldt University in Berlin, brother of Alexander (above)
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Friedrich Stowasser, 1928-2000) Austrian artist and architect >
Helmut Jahn (1940- ) German-American architect with offices in Chicago
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychoanalyst
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian writer born in Prague
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher
Karl der Große (Charlemagne, 747-814) The first unifier of Europe, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (800-814)
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German astronomer and mathematician who calculated the planetary orbits
Henry A. Kissinger (1923- ) German-American politician, Secretary of State under Nixon
Paul Klee (1879-1940) Swiss artist
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) Austrian artist
Robert Koch (1843-1910) German medical researcher, inventor of TB vaccine, Nobel Prize 1905
Helmut Kohl (1930- ) Former German Kanzler (1982-1998)
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) Austrian artist
Karl Lagerfeld (1938- ) German fashion designer
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) German philosopher and mathematician
Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) German aviator and glider pilot whose pioneering work inspired the Wright Brothers
"Mad" Ludwig II (King of Bavaria, 1864-1886) > Web Link
Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Ernst Mach (1838-1916) Austrian physicist
Heinrich Mann (1871-1950) German writer
Thomas Mann (1875-1955) German writer, Nobel Prizze
Maria Theresia (1717-1780) Habsburg Austrian empress (1745-80) who had 16 children
Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) Daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph who married the French king Louis XVI
Karl Marx (1818-1883) German philosopher and co-founder of the communist movement (Marxism)
Kurt Masur (1927- ) German musical director, Leipzig (1970-1996), New York (1991-2000)
Paul (1838-1914) and Wilhelm Mauser (1834-1882) German gun inventors, weapons manufacturers
Karl May (1842-1912) German author of westerns and other adventure stories
Lise Meitner (1878-1968) Austrian physicist who coined the term "nuclear fission" (Kernspaltung)
Phillip Melanchthon (Phillip Schwartzerd, 1497-1560) German religious reformer
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) German-American writer, journalist
Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884) Austrian biologist and genetics researcher (Mendel's Laws)
Felix Mendelsohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) German composer and musical director (Leipzig)
Ulf Merbold (1941- ) German physicist who flew on missions aboard the American Columbia (1983) and Discovery (1992) space shuttles as well as the Russian Mir space station (1994)
Gerhard Mercator (Kremer, 1512-1594) German cartographer, inventor of the Mercator projection for sea charts and maps
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899) German-american inventor of the Linotype typesetting system (1886)
Matthäus Merian (1593-1650) Swiss engraver who began publishing "Topographia" in Frankfurt in 1642, a 30-volume collection of European city view etchings
Angela Merkel (1954- ) German politician, chairperson of the CDU party since 2000, current German chancelor
Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) German inventor of magnetotherapy and source of the term "mesmerize"
Willy Messerschmidt (1898-1978) German aircraft designer
Rheinhold Messner (1944- ) Italian (South Tyrol) mountain climber, first to climb all 14 peaks above 8000 meters
Prince Metternich (Klemens Wenzel Lothar Fürst von M., 1773-1859) Austrian chancellor (1810-48), leading figure at the Congress of Vienna in 1815
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) German architect considered one of the most influential in modern history; went to the U.S. in 1937
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Austrian composer
Robert Musil (1880-1942) Austrian writer
Anne-Sophie Mutter (1963- ) Internationally recognized German violinist
Thomas Nast (1840-1902) German-American journalist, political cartoonist; see The 'Nasty' Myth
Richard Josef Neutra (1892-1970) Austrian-American architect
Helmut Newton (Neustädter, 1920-2004) Internationally recognized German fashion and glamour photographer; born in Berlin as Helmut Neustädter, died in an auto accident in Los Angeles on January 24, 2004
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German writer and philosopher
Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854) German physicist (Ohm's Law, 1826)
Carl Orff (1895-1982) German composer ("Carmina Burana")
Otto Many Germanic princes, kings, and emperors have borne this name, from Otto I (der Große, 912-973) to Otto I (Bavaria, 1848-1916)
Nikolaus August Otto (1832-1891) German engineer, inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion (Otto) engine (1862), which was used for the first motor cars invented by Benz and Daimler.
Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) German composer and organist
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) Austrian physicist, one of the developers of the quantum theory, discoverer of the Pauli principle for electrons in an atom
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) Swiss educational reformer
Wolfgang Petersen (1941- ) German film director (Das Boot, In the Line of Fire, Air Force One, The Perfect Storm) WEB > Petersen
Phillip Many Germanic counts, dukes and kings have borne this name, from Phillip von Schwaben (1178-1208) to Phillip I (der Großmütige, 1504-1567)
Max Planck (1858-1947) German physicist, quantum theory, Nobel prize 1918
Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger, 1927- ) German cardinal who became pope on April 19, 2005.
Louis Prang (1824-1909) German-American printer born in Breslau, Silesia (then in Prussia, now Wroclaw, Poland) to a French Huguenot father and a German mother. Considered the "father of the American Christmas card," Prang founded a printing company (L. Prang Co.) in
Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) Austrian-American journalist and newspaper publisher
Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) German historian who developed the basic tenets of modern, scientific historical research
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI, 1927- ) German cardinal who became pope on April 19, 2005.
Johannes Rau (1931- ) German politician (SPD), president of Germany since 1999
Marcel Reich-Ranicki (ra-nitz-key, 1920- ) German writer and influential literary critic
Philipp Reis (1838-1874) German inventor of a telephone prototype (1861)
Erich Maria Remarque (Remark) (1898-1970) German writer (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Paul Julius Baron von Reuter (Israel Beer Josaphat, 1816-1899) German-British publisher, founder of the first worldwide news agency (Reuters)
Rainer Maria Rilke (René Karl Wilhelm Johann Joseph Maria Rilke, 1875-1926) Austrian poet who lived in Switzerland after 1919
John (Johann) August Roebling ( 1806-1869) German-American engineer, designer/builder of the Brooklyn Bridge
Erwin Rommel (Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, 1891-1944) German general known as the "Desert Fox"
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923) German physicist who discovered x-rays and whose name means "x-ray" in German, Nobel Prize 1901
Mayer Anselm Rothschild (Meyer Amschel R., 1743-1812) German-Jewish banker, founder of the Rothschild banking house in Frankfurt am Main
Heinz Rühmann (1902-1994) German film and stage actor ("Ship of Fools")
Ernst Ruska (1906-1988) German scientist and engineer who co-invented the electron microscope, Nobel Prize for physics in 1986
Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Austrian artist
Claudia Schiffer (1971- ) Fashion model
Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) German poet and writer
Max Schmeling (1905-2005) German boxer who fought the American Joe Louis twice.
Helmut Schmidt (1918- ) German politician and publisher (Die Zeit) who was chancellor of Germany from 1974 to 1982
Romy Schneider (1938-1982) Austrian actress (The Cardinal, Good Neighbor Sam)
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1869) German philosopher
Gerhard Schröder (1944- ) Elected German chancellor (SPD) in September 1998
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Austrian composer of nine symphonies and over 600 "Lieder"
Carl Schurz (1829-1906) German-American politician, U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1877-81)
Karl von Schuschnigg (1897-1977) Austrian politician who resisted the Nazi takeover of his country in 1938 and was imprisoned by the Nazis during the war; later a professor in the U.S. (1948-67) > Web Link (DHM)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947- ) Austrian-American movie superstar and politician
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) German physician and theologian who set up and ran a hospital in Africa (1913), also known for his organ music; Nobel Peace Prize in 1952
Aloys Senefelder (Aloys Johann Nepomuk Franz Senefelder, 1771-1834) Failed Bavarian actor who invented the lithographic printing technique in 1797. Senefelder was born to a Bavarian father (an actor) in Prague; he died in Munich.
Heidi Simonis (1943- ) First woman governor of a German Bundesland (Schleswig-Holstein)
Elke Sommer (Elke Schletz, 1940- ) German actress (The Victors, A Shot in the Dark, Zeppelin) - WEB > Elke Sommer - German-Hollywood
Alexander Spoerl (1917-1978) German writer
Claus Spreckels (1828-1908) German "sugar baron" in California and Hawaii
Friedrich St. Florian (1933- ) Austrian-born architect who designed the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC; his firm's design was selected from 400 entries. WEB > St. Florian.com
Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923) German physicist who did important work on alternating current and lightning
Franz Josef Strauß (1915-1988) German politician (CSU) who was the governor of Bavaria (1978-88) and an unsuccessful candidate for Bundeskanzler (1980); involved in the "Spiegel affair" scandal of 1962, forcing his resignation as foreign minister
Johann Strauß (father, 1804-1849) Austrian composer and director of Vienna's "Hofball"
Johann Strauß (son, 1825-1899) Austrian composer and director of Vienna's "Hofball," known as the "Waltz King" ("The Blue Danube," "The Emperor Waltz"); also composed marches, polkas, and operettas ("Die Fledermaus")
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) German composer ("Rosenkavalier") and orchestra director (Munich, Weimar, Berlin), director of the Vienna State Opera (1919-24)
Rita Süßmuth (1937- ) First woman president of the German Bundestag (legislature), 1988-1998
Johann August Sutter (1803-1880) Swiss immigrant who founded Neu-Helvetien (Sutter's Mill) in 1839, now Sacramento, California
Bertha von Suttner (1814-1914) Austrian pacifist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905
Edward Teller (1908- ) Physicist of Austro-Hungarian background who developed the hydrogen bomb
Gerhard Thiele (1953- ) German physicist who was on board the Endeavour misson for NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mapping Mission (SRTM) in February 2000
Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935) German writer, satirist
Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862) German lawyer, politician, and poet from Tübingen
Walter Ulbricht (1893-1973) Head of East Germany when the Berlin Wall was built
Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) German rocket scientist who helped put Americans on the moon
Richard Wagner (1813-1883) German composer
Bruno Walter (B.W. Schlesinger, 1876-1962) German-American orchestra director
Walter von der Vogelweide (ca. 1170-1229) German "Minnesänger" and poet
Felix Wankel (1902-1988) German inventor of the rotary cylinder engine (Kreiskolbenmotor)
August Paul von Wassermann (1866-1925) German bacteriologist who did important work in the field of immunization
Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) German geophysicist who developed the theory of continental drift (Kontinentalverschiebung)
Richard von Weizsäcker (1920- ) German politician (CDU) who was the mayor of West Berlin (1981-84) and Bundespräsident from 1984 to 1994
Franz Werfel (1890-1945) Austrian novelist (The Song of Bernadette) and poet who had a brief Hollywood career during his California exile years
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) Austrian-British philosopher
Carl Zeiss (1816-1888) German founder of the Zeiss-Werke in Jena (1846), a manufacturer of optical and precision equipment
Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917) German inventor of the rigid air ship in 1900
Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) German inventor of the first programmable digital computer (Z3)
Created by: ldecker