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25 in German History
December 25, 800
Karl der Große (Charlemagne) crowned Emperor of the empire which
would come to be called the Holy Roman Empire.
December 25, 1046
Enthronment of Suidiger (Pope Clement II), the second German pope. Suidiger
had been the bishop of Bamberg. He was installed as pope by the German
king, Heinrich III on December 25, 1046. There had been three rivals claiming
the office of pope when Heinrich III arrived in Rome. He deposed all three
and installed Suidiger as Clement II.) Clement II is most noted for his
efforts to eliminate simony (the buying and selling of church offices).
He convoked the council of Rome in 1047. He died in 1047. He was buried
at Bamberg and is the only pope to be buried in Germany.
December 25, 1617
Birth of Christian Hofmann von Hofmannswaldau in Breslau, Silesia (now
Poland). Hofmannswaldau was one of the leading poets of the Baroque period
in German literature.
December 25, 1728
Birth of Johann Adam Hiller in Wendisch-Ossig, Germany. Hill was the
creator of the "Singspiel", a form of operetta. Hiller conducted
the Gewandhaus Orchestra (1771-85) and was cantor at the Church of St.
Thomas (1789-1800) in Leipzig. Among his compositions are Die Liebe auf
dem Lande and Die Jagd.
December 25, 1742
Birth of Frau Charlotte von Stein (1742-1827) in Eisenach, Germany. Von Stein was
a very close friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. She inspired the characters
Iphigenie in Iphigenie auf Tauris and Natalie in Wilhelm Meister.
After 1788 when Goethe met and later married Christiane Vulpius, the
"Seelenbund" with Frau von Stein weakened and dissolved.
December 25, 1811
Birth of Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler in Munster, Germany.
Ketteler was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1844 and was named Bishop
of Mainz in 1850. He was deeply concerned about social issues, especial
that of the well being of the working class. He was a member of the Frankfurt
Assembly in 1848 and the Reichstag from 1871-72. At the First Vatican
Council of 1869-70 he opposed the doctrine of the infallibility of the
Pope. His views on the working class are expressed in the book Die
Arbeiterfrage und das Christenthum (1864).
December 25, 1837
Birth of Cosima Wagner (born, Liszt) in Bellagio, Lombardy (then Austrian
Empire, now Italy). She was the extra-marital daughter of the composer,
Franz Liszt and Countess Marie d'Agoult. In 1857 she married the conductor,
Hans von Bülow. During visits with Richard Wagner, whose new music
von Bülow conducted, Cosima and Richard fell in love. The first of
their children were born while Cosima was still married to von Bülow.
In 1870 Cosima and Richard married. Friedrich Nietzsche, who was also
a frequent visitor at the Wagner household, felt at one time that he was
in love with Cosima. After Richard's death, Cosima managed the Bayreuth
Festivals until 1908.
December 25, 1851
Birth of Herman Frasch in Gaildorf, Germany. Frasch immigrated to the
USA as a youth. He became involved in oil and sulfur mining and invented
a process for the economic mining of sulfur, called the Frasch process.
He was the president of the Union Sulfur Company, the world's largest
December 25, 1875
Birth of Theodor Innitzer in Weipert, Austro-Hungarian Empire. Innitzer
was the Archbishop of Vienna and a cardinal at the time that Germany annexed
Austria. He embraced the annexation with enthusiasm and supported the
Nazi party. After his palace had been attacked by Nazi mobs and he had
been rebuked by Pope Pius XI, however, he ceased to support the Nazi party.
December 25, 1876
Birth of Adolf Windaus in Berlin, Germany. Windaus won the Nobel Prize
for Chemistry in 1928 for his research on vitamin D. Windau was a professor
at the University of Gottingen.
December 25, 1904
Birth of Gerhard Herzberg in Hamburg, Germany. Herzberg won the Nobel
Prize for chemistry in 1971 for his work in determining the electronic
structure and geometry of molecules, especially free radicals. Herzberg
had been a Privatdozent at the Darmstadt Institute of Technology, but
fled to Canada after the Nazis came to power.
December 25, 1906
Birth of Ernst Ruska in Heidelberg, Germany. Ruska won the Nobel Prize
for Physics in 1986 for his invention of the electron microscope. He built
his first electron microscope in 1933. He was a researcher at Siemens
December 25, 1925
Death of Karl Abraham in Berlin, Germany. The psychoanalyst, Abraham,
studied with Eugen Bleuler in Zurich. He then opened a practice in Berlin.
He specialized in the role of infant sexuality in mental development.
He defined 6 stages in child libido development, oral, oral-sadistic,
anal expulsive, anal retentive, phallic, and adult genital. He proposed
that development may be arrested in any of those stages, leading to adult
December 25, 1933
Joachim Meisner was born in Breslau, Germany (now Poland). He was ordained
a priest in 1962. He was named a Bishop by Pope Paul VI in 1975. In 1980
he was named the Bishop of Berlin. He was named a Cardinal by Pope John
Paul II in 1983 and Archbishop of Cologne in 1988.
December 25, 1936
Death of Carl Stumpf in Berlin, Germany. Stumpf was a philosopher and
psychologist who did work on the psychology of music and tone, Ton
Psychologie (2 vols. 1833-90) He was a professor at the universities
of Wurzburg, Prague, Halle, Munich and Berlin. While in Berlin, he founded
the journal Beiträge zur Akustik und Musikwissenschaft.
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