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Famous People from Berlin
(1901-12-27 - 1992-05-06 )
, Address in Berlin: Leberstraße 65
She was the most magnetic actress, singer and a nightclub performer of the 1930s and 1940s and one of the most glamorous film stars ever. After appearing in a number of supporting roles, Dietrich got her first break when she was featured in Germany's first talking film 'The Blue Angel' (1930) directed by Josef von Sternberg. Then she worked her way to Hollywood, where she played the ultimate femme fatales in such films as 'Shanghai Express' (1934), 'The Scarlett Empress' (1934), 'The Devil is a Woman' (1935), 'Desire' (1936) and 'Destry Rides Again' (1939). In 1930 she got her first and only Oscar nomination for 'Morocco' . She became an American citizen in 1937. Dietrich later expanded her repertoire in the serious dramas 'Witness for the Prosecution' (1957), 'Touch of Evil' (1958) and 'Judgment at Nuremberg' (1961).
(1899-04-22 - 1977-07-02 )
, Address in Berlin: Kurfürstendamm
Nabokov was a Russian-born American novelist, critic, poet, translator and an acknowledged butterfly expert. He wrote masterfully in Russian as well as in English. 'Mashenka' or Mary
, his first novel, was published in 1926. He is also the author of novels such as 'Laughter in the Dark' (1933), 'nvitation to a Beheading' (1938), 'Look at the Harlequins!' (1974) and 'Strong Opinions' (1974). Though Nabokov's most popular book, 'Lolita' (1955), offended a lot of people, its literary style was critically acclaimed. The novel's obsessive protagonist Humbert Humbert and the maneuvering nymphet Lolita have come to be famous characters in 20th Century literature.
(1927-10-16 - )
While best known as a writer of novels, Grass is the author of essays, a couple of plays and tomes of poetry and is also a highly skilled lithographer. He is considered to be a prominent literary figure in post war Germany. It was with his first novel, 'The Tin Drum' which appeared in 1959, that he gained international attention. The novel, which was exquisitely adapted to film by Volker Schlondorff in 1979, is the first volume of the Danzig Trilogy which also contains 'Cat and Mouse' (1961) and 'Dog Years' (1963). Most of his work deals with the aftermath of Nazism and the ambiguities riddling his nation's past. In 1999 Grass received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his "frolicsome black fables" which "portray the forgotten face of history".
(1861-02-25 - 1925-03-30 )
, Address in Berlin: Bernadottestr 90/92, Zehlendorf
An Austrian philosopher, educator, literary scholar, architect and playwright, Steiner is referred to as the founder of Anthroposophy, which he himself described as a "spiritual science" that guides "the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe." He is also known to many teachers as the man who developed Waldorf School movement – arguably the world's most extensive independent schooling system. Steiner's books bear titles like 'Investigations in Occultism' , 'How to Know Higher Worlds' and 'Ahrimanic Deception'. He generated an organic style of architecture for some seventeen buildings; the most representative of these are the two Goetheanums in Domach, Switzerland, designated as cultural centres. It was also in Domach where Steiner passed away in 1925.
(1863-12-12 - 1944-01-23 )
Berlin will not be a city of artists for long in any case.
This Norwegian painter and printmaker is considered to be his country's most gifted artist. The painter's profound treatment of emotional themes significantly influenced development of German Expressionism in the early 20th Century. Munch's obsession with humanity’s' dark side, which is reflected in his artwork, has its roots in his traumatic childhood experiences (the death of his mother and sister). His painting 'The Cry or The Scream' (1893) is often described as an image of existential torment and one of the world's greatest works of art. Other classic paintings by Munch include 'The Sick Child' (1886), 'Death in the Sickroom' (1893), 'Vampire' (1893-94), 'Ashes' (1894), 'The Kiss' (1895), 'Frieze of Life' (1897) and 'The Dance of Life' (1899-1900).
(1786-02-24 - 1859-12-16 )
Wilhelm Carl Grimm was born in Hanau in 1786, and followed his brother's Jacob's steps to the University of Marburg, where, from 1803, he studied law. In 1825 he married Henriette Dorothea Wild. After moving to the town of Göttingen in 1929, he became a junior librarian, and in 1837, he joined Wilhelm and five other university professors, known altogether as The Göttingen Seven, in the protest against the King of Hanover. Banned from the kingdom, the brothers eventually settled in Berlin. Wilhelm was an active lecturer as a professor. The Brothers Grimm started gathering German folk tales as early as 1803, and their first collection of 86, known as 'Children's and Household Tales', was published in 1812. Wilhelm died in Berlin and he is buried with his brother at the St. Matthäus Kirchhof Cemetery in Schöneberg. Before the Euro was introduced, the Grimms were depicted on the 1,000 Deutsche Mark banknote.
(1858-03-01 - 1918-09-28 )
, Address in Berlin: A house in the corner of Leipzigerstrasse and Friedrichstrasse
I love Germany, and therefore want it to live – to hell with all 'objective' justification of this will in terms of culture, ethics, history, or God knows what else.
Simmel was a representative of the first generation of German sociologists. Even today he remains famous as the author of 'The Philosophy of Money', 'The Metropolis and Mental Life' and 'The Stranger'. Although born in Berlin to a large Jewish family, he was raised,a Catholic. He studied philosophy and history at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where he received a title and the position of 'privatdozent in 1885'. His lectures on philosophy, ethics, psychology and sociology attracted Berlin's intellectual elite. In 1903, along with Max Weber, Ferdinand Tönnies and Rudolf Goldscheid, he founded the German Society for Sociology. His works served as the core of the future theory of symbolic interactionism, in that he claimed that a society is a web of multiple human relations between individuals who are in constant interaction with each other. In 1890, Simmel married Gertud Kinel, who, writing under the pseudonym of Marie-Luise Enckendorf, was a philosopher herself, and the couple had a son. It wasn't until 1914 that he received a full professorship from the University of Strasbourg. Simmel was the author of hundreds of articles and about twenty books.He died from cancer in September of 1918, shortly before the end of World War I.
(1785-01-04 - 1863-09-20 )
Jacob Ludwig Carl was the elder of the famous Brothers Grimm. He was born at Hanau, Hesse-Kassel. In 1802, he enrolled at the University of Marburg to study law. In 1808, he had the honour of becoming a librarian in the service of Jerome Bonaparte, the king of Westphalia, and in 1813, he was appointed secretary to the Elector of the Kingdom of Hesse, which gave him an opportunity to attend the Congress of Vienna 1814–1815. In 1829, Jacob and his brother Wilhelm moved to Göttingen, where Jacob became a librarian and professor at the local university. However, when in 1837, he signed the protest against the King of Hanover's abolition of the state's constitution, he was banished from the kingdom, and returned to Kassel. In 1840, the brothers moved to Berlin, and both became professors and members of the Academy of Sciences. Jacob seldom lectured, concentrating more on writing the German Dictionary and other scholarly works concerning the history and grammar of the German language. Above all, he is remembered for collecting and publishing fairy tales and folk stories, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow-White and Rumpelstiltskin. He and Wilhelm began work on this project in 1812, and continued to publish new volumes throughout their lives. Jacob Grimm died in Berlin at the age of 88.