April 20 in German History
April 20, 1494
Birth of Johann Agricola (1494-1566) (original name:
Johann Schneider) in Eisleben, Germany (He was a friend and
supporter of Martin Luther). Agricola became a strong
proponent of the concept that Christian grace replaces the
Ten Commandments, which would no longer, then, have force.
These views led to a cooling of relations with Luther. In
1584 Agricola was called upon to draft the Augsburg
agreement, which for a time settled difficulties between
Protestants and Catholics.
April 20, 1707
Death of Johann Christoph Denner (1655-1707) in
Leipzig, Germany. Denner was a musical instrument maker who
invented the clarinet.
April 20, 1805
Birth of Franz Aver Winterhalter in
Menzenschwand, Germany. Winterhalter was a portrait painter
who did many portraits of royalty. He was active in France
and England as well as Germany.
April 20, 1869
Death of Carl Loewe in Kiel, Germany. Loewe
is remembered primarily for his Lieder (artistic
songs). Noted among his Lieder are, "Erlkönig",
"Edward", "Herr Oluf" and "Archibald
April 20, 1889
Birth of Adolf Hitler in Braunau, Austria.
April 20, 1913
Birth of Willi Hennig (1913-1976) in Dürrhennersdorf,
Germany. He was a leader of the cladistic school of
phylogenetic systematics (a system of biological
classification). Hennig worked at the German entomological
Institute in East Berlin. He resigned in 1961 in protest at
the construction of the Berlin Wall. He then moved
immediately to West Germany and later found a research
position at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart.
April 20, 1927
Birth of Karl Alexander Müller in Basel,
Switzerland. In 1927 Müller won the Nobel Prize for Physics
for his work in superconductivity in 1987. Müller did
research at the IBM Zürich Research Laboratory beginning in
1963. He became an IBM fellow in 1982.
April 20, 1980
Death of Helmut Käutner in Castellina,
Italy (born in Düsseldorf, Germany). Käutner was a film
director who started his directing career in film during
World War II. His first film Romanze in Moll (1943)
had the distinction of being designated by Joseph Goebbels as
"decadent and defeatist". Subsequent films include In
jenen Tagen (1947), Des Teufels General (1955),
and two films he made in Hollywood The Wonderful Years
(1957) and A Stranger in My Arms (1957).
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