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May 3 in German History
May 3, 996
The first German Pope, Gregory V, was
consecrated on this date. (There had been an earlier Gothic
Pope, Boniface II, who had reigned from 530-532. Gregory V
was the first Pope with West Germanic origins.) Gregory V's
name was Bruno von Kärnten. We are not certain of the exact
date and specific location of his birth. Like his East
Germanic predecessor, Boniface II, Gregory too struggled with
an anti-pope who was elected by an opposing faction. Gregory
V's benefactor and protector the Emperor Otto had the
anti-pope captured and deported. Gregory V in his role of
Pope had crowned Otto Emperor on May 21, 996.
May 3, 1662
Birth of Daniel Matthäus Pöppelmann (1662-1737) in
Herford, Germany. Pöpplemann, the state architect in
Dresden, is most noted for his design of the Zwinger in
Dresden. The Zwinger is one of the best examples of Baroque
design. His Elbe Bridge is one of the most attractive bridges
May 3, 1704
Death of Heinrich Biber in Salzburg,
Austria. Biber was a composer and violinist who worked as
court musician for the Archbishop of Salzburg.
May 3, 1761
Birth of August Kotzebue (1761-1819) in Weimar,
Germany. Kotzebue was a dramatist who wrote over 200 plays.
Among his plays are Spanier in Peru (1796), Der
Wildfang (1798), and Die deutschen Kleinstädter (1803).
In addition to his plays, Kotzebue was engaged in politics
during his entire life which caused him much trouble. He was
exiled from Germany in 1781. He held political positions in
Russia and in the end was assassinated by a member of a
radical student group, Karl Sand, in Mannheim.
May 3, 1849
Birth of Bernhard Fürst von Bülow in
Altona, Germany. Von Bülow was the chancellor of the German
Empire from October 17, 1900 through July 14, 1909. (Kaiser
May 3, 1854
Birth of Otto Benhagel in Karlsruhe,
Germany. Benhagel was a professor of German at the
universities of Heidelberg, Basel, and Giessen. His most
noted work is the compilation of a four volume work on German
language usage from the 8th through the 20th centuries, Deutsche
Syntax (1923-1932). He also wrote Die deutsche Sprache
(1886) and Geschichte der deutschen Sprache
May 3, 1877
Birth of Karl Abraham in Bremen, Germany.
The psychoanalyst, Abraham, studied with Eugen Bleuler in
Zürich. 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 mental problems.
May 3, 1900
Birth of Hans Frank in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Frank joined the Nazi party in 1921. In the early years he
served as Hitler's personal attorney. When the Nazis came to
power he became the minister of justice. In 1939 after the
conquest of Poland, Frank was appointed governor of Poland.
He directly ordered the execution of hundreds of thousands in
that position. He was captured in 1945, tried at Nürnberg
May 3, 1902
Birth of Walter Slezak in Vienna, Austria.
He emigrated to the United States and became a comedian and
actor. We remember him perhaps most today as a star in
"Bedtime for Bonzo", a film which would be totally
forgotten except it also starred a future American President,
May 3, 1926
Death of Oscar Solomon Straus in New York
(born in Otterberg, Germany). Straus was the first Jew to
serve in a United States presidential cabinet. He was
appointed secretary of commerce and labor by President
Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Straus's father and brothers had
founded a merchandising company in New York which grew to be
R. H. Macy and Company. Straus attended the Versailles Peace
conference in 1919 as an advisor to President Wilson.
May 3, 1936
Death of Robert Michels in Rome (born in
Cologne, Germany). Michels, a political sociologist and
economist developed the thesis that all organizations
inevitably develop into authoritarian oligarchies. His most
noted book is Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens in der
modernen Demokratie (1911). After his studies in Germany
he moved to Italy where he held academic posts in Turin, and
May 3, 1971
In East Germany (The German Democratic
Republic) Walter Ulbricht is replaced by Erich Honecker as
head of the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei, the communist
party of East Germany).
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