Today in History
Travel to Germany
Facts About Germany
Thirty Years' War
German Chocolate Cake
How To in Germany
4 in German History
October 4, 1472
The painter Lucas Cranach is born in
October 4, 1797
Birth of Jeremias Gotthelf in Morat,
Switzerland. Jeremias Gotthelf was a pseudonym chosen by the
writer Albert Bitzius. His books were intended to extend his
duties as a pastor and stress religion and conservative
values. Noted works by Gotthelf include Die schwarze
Spinne, Uli der Knecht, and Leiden und Freuden eines
October 4, 1859
Death of Karl Baedeker in Koblenz, Germany.
Karl Baedeker founded the publishing company which publishes
the archetypal guidebooks for Germany. The name Baedeker has
become synonymous with "guidebook". Baedeker
founded his company in 1827 and bought and published his first
guidebook in 1829. The company was moved from Koblenz to
Leipzig, in 1872, to Hamburg in 1948 and to Freiburg in 1956.
The red bindings and gilt lettering soon became the familiar hallmark of Baedeker's guides, and the content became famous for its detail and accuracy. While the travel guide was not a new form (Baedecker followed the model of English guide books instituted by John Murray), Baedeker's innovation was to include specific details of transportation, accommodations, prices, and so forth. Starting in 1844, he augmented this with star ratings for attractions. Baedeker was famous for his careful work; when visiting Milan Cathedral in 1847, he was observed to drop a pea at every twenty steps of the staircase to the roof, so as to be able to report the number of steps accurately. Eventually his guide books were issued in English and French as well as in German.
October 4, 1877
Death of Eduard Devient in Karlsruhe,
Germany. Devient was an actor, director, manager in German
theater of the 19th century. He translated Shakespeare into
German. He is noted also for his history of German theater, Geschichte
der deutschen Schauspielkunst.
October 4, 1892
Birth of Engelbert Dollfuss in Texing,
Austria. Dollfuss became chancellor of Austria in 1932. He
worked closely with the Italian, Mussolini, and worked to
restructure Austria after the Fascist model. He abolished
parliament in 1933. With a new constitution in 1934 he
achieved dictatorial power. He was assassinated by members of
a Nazi insurgency in 1934.
October 4, 1903
Birth of Ernst Kaltenbrunner in Ried im
Innkreis, Austria-Hungary. Kaltenbrunner was the leader of
the Austrian SS. In 1942 he was called to Berlin to
administer the Gestapo and the concentration camps. He was
executed in Nürnberg in 1946.
October 4, 1903
Suicide of Otto Weininger in Vienna,
Austria. Weininger, the son of a Jewish family, became a
Christian immediately upon his receipt of a doctorate from
the University of Vienna in 1902. The following year he
published a book Geschlecht und Charakter (1903) in
which he attributed positive, productive and moral
characteristics to what he called "masculine
character" and negative, unproductive and amoral
characteristics to what he called "feminine
character". He went on to describe Judaism as feminine
and thus negative, unproductive, and amoral as opposed to
Christianity with its very positive characteristics. Needless
to say the anti-Semites were quite fond of his book.
Weininger committed suicide at age 23 soon after his book was
October 4, 1940
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at
the Brenner Pass for a conference.
October 4, 1989
A second train is allowed to bring an
additional 7,600 East Germans from Prague to West Germany.
The first train had brought 6,000.
Back to Today in German History Calendar