March 30, 1858
Birth of Lassa Francis Lawrence Oppenheim in Windecken, Germany. Oppenheim, a jurist, immigrated to London in 1895 to teach at the London School of Economics. In 1908 he became a professor at Cambridge University. He specialized in international law. He based his concept of international law on adherence to specific agreements and customs between nations. His most significant book is International Law: A Treatise (2 vols. 1905-1906).
March 30, 1879
Birth of Bernhard Voldemar Schmidt (1879-1935) who was a German optician. In 1930 he invented the Schmidt telescope which corrected for the optical errors of spherical aberration, coma, and astigmatism, making possible for the first time the construction of very large, wide-angled reflective cameras of short exposure time for astronomical research.
March 30, 1882
Birth of Melanie Klein in Vienna, Austria. Klein specialized in the psychoanalysis of children using free play with toys as a method of analysis. She held a position at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute before immigrating to England in 1926. Klein wrote, The Psychoanalysis of Children (1932), Envy and Gratitude (1957) and Narrative of a Child Analysis (1961).
March 30, 1892
Birth of Erwin Panofsky in Hannover, Germany. Panofsky was an art historian, who made significant contributions to iconography. He was educated at the University of Freiburg and taught at the University of Hamburg. He immigrated to the United states in 1931. In America he taught at New York University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Among his works are, Studies in Iconology (1939), The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer (1955), and Tomb Sculpture (1964). Panofsky died on March 14, 1968 in Princeton, NJ.
March 30, 1912
Death of Karl May in Radebeul, Germany. Since the turn of the century German youth have encountered the American frontier through the wild west novels of Karl May. The novels of Karl May are among the all time best-sellers as ever new generations read of Winnetou and the other adventurous May characters. Some of the best known of the novels are Der Schatz im Silbersee (1894), Durch die Wüste (1892) and Winnetou (1893).
March 30, 1949
Death of Friedrich Bergius (1884-1949) in Buenos Aires (born in Goldschmieden, Germany). Bergius was a German chemist who discovered how to convert coal dust and hydrogen into gasoline. For this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1931. He also did some work on the conversion of wood into sugar.
March 30, 1954
Death of Fritz Wolfgang London in Durham, North Carolina (born in Breslau, Germany (now in Poland). The physicist, London gained his education at the universities of Bonn, Frankfurt, Göttingen, Munich and Paris. He immigrated to the United States in 1939 and was a professor of theoretical chemistry at Duke University. He introduced the quantum mechanical treatment of the hydrogen molecule. He developed the phenomenological theory of superconductivity and published two books on superfluids in 1950 and 1954.
March 30, 1966
Death of Erwin Piscator (1893-1966) in Starnberg, Germany. Piscator was a theater producer/director in Berlin during the period of the Weimar Republic. He introduced a variety of technological innovations into the theater. He was socially engaged and concerned about the situation of the worker. During WWII he went into exile in the United States, where he headed the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research in New York City. He returned to Berlin after the war and continued to produce controversial works such as Rolf Hochhuth’s Der Stellvertreter and Die Ermittlung by Peter Weiss.
March 30, 1970
Death of Heinrich Brüning in Norwich, Vermont, U. S. A. (born in Münster, Germany). Brüning, a member of the Catholic Centre Party, became chancellor of the Weimar Republic in 1930. Although he was considered an economics expert, the world depression along with the reparation payments of the Versailles Treaty made economic stability in Germany impossible. Unemployment increased dramatically and there was a drastic fall in the standard of living. As the situation grew more and more chaotic, he made use of Article 48 in the constitution and governed by presidential emergency decree. Hoping to bring about a more workable situation, he dissolved parliament (Reichstag) and called for new elections in September, 1930. The plan was a disaster, for it was in that election that the Nazi party gained considerably in the new parliament. In 1932 Brüning resigned. He left Germany in 1934 and found his way to the United States where he taught political science at Harvard University from 1937 to 1952.
March 30, 1984
Death of Karl Rahner in Innsbruck, Austria (born in Freiburg, Germany). Rahner, a Jesuit priest, introduced existentialist elements into Thomistic philosophy. He was a professor of theology at the universities of Innsbruck, Munich and Münster. Noted books by Rahner include, Geist in Welt (1937), Sendung der Gnade (1966), Grundkurs des Glaubens (1976) and Über die Sakramente der Kirche (1974).
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