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July 28 in German History

July 28, 1750

Death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) in Leipzig. He was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque Period. He enriched many established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach wrote much music that was revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty.

Bach’s abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognized as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.

July 28, 1796

Birth of Ignaz Bösendorfer in Vienna, Austria. Bösendorfer was a piano maker. He founded the Bösendorfer piano company which still produces some of the world’s finest pianos. This quote says it all: “The perfection of a Bösendorfer exceeds my most ideal expectations…” Franz Liszt.

July 28, 1804

Birth of Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach in Landshut, Germany. Feuerbach was a philosopher who had a far-reaching influence on the thought of the 19th and 20th centuries.

July 28, 1808

Birth of Solomon Formstecher in Offenbach, Germany. Formstecher was a philosopher and rabbi in Offenbach. His most noted book is Die Religion des Geistes, published in 1841.

July 28, 1874

Ernst Cassirer was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) on July 28, 1874. Cassirer studied at the University of Marburg where his intellectual direction was set by Hermann Cohen, the founder of Neo-Kantianism at Marburg. In 1919, Cassirer became a professor of philosophy at the University of Hamburg and rector there after 1930. As a Jew, Cassirer was forced to leave his work at Hamburg after Hitler came to power. He taught at Oxford University from 1933-1935, in Sweden from 1935-1941, at Yale from 1941-1944 and at Columbia from 1944 until his death on April 13, 1945. In his academic career he continued to develop the thought of Immanuel Kant to suit developments in the modern world. Major works by Cassirer include Die Philosophie der symbolischen Formen (1923-1929), Sprache und Mythos (1925), Die Philosophie der Aufklärung (1932) and The Myth of the State (1946).

July 28, 1882

First performance of Richard Wagner‘s opera, Parsifal, in Bayreuth.

July 28, 1914

Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, thus starting WWI.

July 28, 1948

An I. G. Farben chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, explodes and kills 182.

July 28, 1968

Death of Otto Hahn in Göttingen, Germany. Hahn and his colleagues discovered and named the process of nuclear fission in 1938. Hahn continued his research in Germany during the war. Only after the end of the war did he learn that he had been given the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1944. After the war he became an active opponent of the further development of nuclear weapons.

July 28, 1997

Death of Hedi Oplesch in St. Paul, MN (born in Munich, Germany.) Oplesch taught German in the school system of Robbinsdale, Minnesota. She created a long-lasting television series teaching German to children. After retirement she directed the Minnesota/Baden-Württemberg exchange program for high school students.

July 28, 2005

In a surprise move, Jürgen Schrempp, who had been head of DaimlerChrysler for 10 years, resigns his position. His successor was designated as Dieter Zetsche, who had been the very successful head of DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler division in the USA.

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