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17 in German History
October 17, 1707
Shortly after accepting a position as organist at St. Blasius's in Germany, composer Johann Sebastian Bach marries his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach. The pair had seven children together, but only four survived to adulthood.
October 17, 1778
Death of Johann Hummel in Weimar, Germany.
The composer, Hummel, studied in Vienna with Mozart. During
his studies he lived for two years in Mozart's house. He also
took further instruction later with Haydn and Salieri. He
composed 9 operas, 3 masses, piano works and chamber music.
October 17, 1813
Birth of Georg Büchner in Goddelau,
Germany. In his short life (death in 1837) and relatively
small number of works, Büchner achieved a central position
in the history of German literature. His radical political
pamphlet, Der hessische Landbote (1934), produced
while still a student, necessitated his flight from Germany.
His drama, Dantons Tod (1835), and his comedy, Leonce
und Lena (1836) are filled with a unique social
criticism. His fragment, Woyzeck (1836), likewise rich
in social criticism, became the text of the opera by Alban
Berg, Wozzeck (1925) and a film by Werner
October 17, 1815
Birth of Emanuel von Geibel in Lübeck,
Germany. Geibel was a poet and member of the
"Gesellschaft der Krokodile", a society of writers
assembled in Munich by Maximilian II of Bavaria. Titles of
characteristic poetry by Geibel include Der Mai ist
Gekommen, Wer recht in Freuden wandern will, Und dräut der
Winter noch so sehr and Heroldsrufe.
October 17, 1887
Death of Robert Gustav Kirchhoff in Berlin,
Germany. The physicist, Gustav Kirchhoff, with Robert Bunsen,
developed the theory of spectrum analysis. He is also the
originator of "Kirchhoff's laws" in electricity.
Kirchhoff and Bunson worked together as professors at the
University of Heidelberg. Kirchhoff ended his career as
professor of mathematical physics at the University of
October 17, 1900
Kaiser Wilhelm II appoints Bernhard Fürst
von Bülow as imperial chancellor.
October 17, 1933
Albert Einstein, a German Jew, arrives in
the United States.
October 17, 1938
Death of the Social Democrat and Marxist,
Karl Kautsky, in Amsterdam. He had fled to the Netherlands
due to the rise of the Nazis in his native Austria.
October 17, 1951
Death of Bernhard Kellermann in Potsdam,
Germany. Kellermann was a journalist and novelist. Among his
novels are, Das blaue Band (1938) which tells the
story of the Titanic, Der 9. November (1921) which
narrates the insurrection of 1918 and his best known novel, a
novel of a technological utopia, Der Tunnel (1913).
October 17, 1977
West German commandos take back a hijacked
Lufthansa plane in Mogadishu, Somalia, free all 86 hostages
and kill 3 of the 4 hijackers.
October 17, 1996
Death of Berthold Goldschmidt in London,
(born in Hamburg, Germany). He had just begun to establish a
reputation as a composer when the Nazis came to power and his
work was banned. He fled to England where he was relegated to
obscurity until the 80's when there was renewed interest in
October 17, 1998
Elfriede Jelinek, a feminist writer in
Austria, is presented with the Büchner-Prize from the German
Academy for Language and Literature (Deutsche Akademie für
Sprache und Dichtung). Noted works by Jelinek include
"Lust", "Die Kinder der Toten" and
"Sportstück" (reported at the time of selection in
October 17, 1999
The historian Fritz Stern is given the Peace
Prize of the German Book Association. The ceremony is held at
the Church of St. Paul in Frankfurt am Main.
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