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June 6 in German History
June 6, 1134
Death of St. Norbert von Xanten (ca. 1080 -
1134) St. Norbert was born in about 1080 in Xanten, Germany. He was ordained a priest when he was 35.
He gave away all his many properties and dedicated his life
to God. In 1119 at the direction of Pope Calixtus II, Norbert
founded a religious order at Prémontré (modern France).
After success there, Norbert returned to Germany and founded
abbeys in Westphalia. The order of St. Norbert grew quickly.
In 1125 he traveled to Rome to obtain reconfirmation of his
order from the new Pope, Honorius II. The confirmation of the
order is dated February 27, 1126. Soon thereafter he would be
made the Archbishop of Magdeburg. He died in 1134 and was entombed in the
Norbertine Abbey in Magdeburg.
June 6, 1436
Birth of Regiomontanus (Johann Müller) (1436-1476) in Königsberg (now
Kaliningrad). He was extensively responsible for the modern rediscovery of
trigonometry from Greek manuscripts on Ptolemy.
June 6, 1522
Death of Johannes Reuchlin in Bad
Liebenzell, Germany. Reuchlin was a scholar of ancient Greek
and Latin who also developed a keen interest in Hebrew
language and literature. In 1509 the Cologne Dominican,
Johannes Pfefferkorn, persuaded the Emperor to order the
destruction of Hebrew books because they were a danger to
Christianity. Reuchlin's principles could not tolerate this
and he actively protested the ruling. As a result he was
brought before the inquisition. Due to an outcry by a wide
segment of intellectuals of the day, however, he was
acquitted of heresy. This experience did not drive Reuchlin
from the church. When his nephew Philip Melanchthon joined
with Martin Luther in the Reformation Reuchlin sided with the
church against his nephew.
June 6, 1819
Birth of Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke in
Berlin. Brücke was a physiologist who was one of those early
researchers who led the way in introducing physical and
chemical methods into medical research.
June 6, 1825
Birth of Friedrich Bayer in Barmen,
Germany. He was the founder of the Bayer chemical company.
(Not to be confused with Adolf Baeyer, a great chemist at the
University of Munich, 1835-1917)
June 6, 1872
Birth of Alexandra (Alix, Princess von
Hesse-Darmstadt) (1872-1918), wife of Russian Emperor Nicholas II. Born
in Darmstadt. Alexandra was Empress consort of Russia as spouse of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of the Russian Empire. Born a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, she was given the name Alexandra Feodorovna upon being received into the Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer in 2000.
Alexandra is best remembered as the last Tsarina of Russia, as one of the most famous royal carriers of the haemophilia disease, and for her support of autocratic control over the country. Her friendship with the Russian mystic, Grigori Rasputin, was also an important factor in her life.
June 6, 1875
Birth of Thomas Mann (1875-1955) in Lübeck, Germany.
Thomas Mann was certainly one of the greatest German
novelists of the 20th Century. He won the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1929. Novels which have gained him world wide
recognition as a writer include Der Zauberberg, Der Tod in
Venedig, Lotte in Weimar, and Doktor Faustus. Mann
acknowledged a strong influence of the philosophers Arthur
Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche as well as the composer,
Richard Wagner. Early on he spoke out against the growing
Nazi party. He was on vacation in Switzerland in 1933 when
Hitler became chancellor. Mann refused to return to Germany.
In 1936 his German citizenship was revoked. He stayed in
Switzerland until 1938 when he immigrated to the United
States. After the war he refused to return to Germany. In
1952 he returned to live in Switzerland.
June 6, 1900
Birth of Manfred Joshua Sakel in Nadvorna,
Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine), educated in Vienna, worked in
Vienna and Berlin. A psychiatrist who developed insulin-shock
therapy for schizophrenia.
June 6, 1933
Birth of Heinrich Bohrer, a Swiss physicist
who received the Nobel Prize for Physics for the scanning
June 6, 1944
D-Day (landings at Normandy, France by the
Allies in World War II).
June 6, 1946
Death of Gerhardt Hauptmann in Agnetendorf,
Germany. The dramatist, poet, novelist Gerhardt Hauptmann won
the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1912. During his writing
career he moved from his beginnings in Naturalism to a kind
of mystic, neo-romanticism. Among his works are Vor
Sonnenaufgang, Die Weber, Das Friedensfest, Hanneles
Himmelfahrt and Der Biberpelz.
June 6, 1961
Death of Carl Jung in Küsnach,
Switzerland. The founder of analytic psychology. He developed
the concepts of extroverted and introverted personality,
archetypes and the collective unconscious. He worked closely
with Freud between 1907 and 1912.
June 6, 1985
The body of Dr. Joseph Mengele is exhumed
from a grave in South America to try to confirm his identity.
Mengele had performed medical experiments on prisoners in
Nazi concentration camps during World War II. He had lived
undetected by war criminal hunters for his entire life after
the war. When he was identified after his death, the
investigators wanted to be sure it was really him and not
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