Famous German Critics & Connoisseurs

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 1 Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche
4
Famous As: German Philosopher, Cultural Critic and Philologist
Birthdate: October 15, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Röcken, Lützen, Germany
Died: August 25, 1900

German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, and poet Friedrich Nietzsche has had a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He held the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel. His work spanned philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction. He suffered from numerous health problems from a young age and died at the age of 55.

 2 Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 11, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: August 6, 1969

One of the most prominent intellectuals of the 20th century, Theodor Adorno was a pioneer of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and despised the culture industry. Born to a singer mother, the German sociologist grew up amid music and could even play Beethoven on the piano by 12.

 3 Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 13, 1797
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: February 17, 1856

Heinrich Heine was a German poet, literary critic, and writer. He is known internationally for his lyric poetry, which was popularized by composers like Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann who adapted Heine's lyric poetry into art songs. Heinrich Heine's radical political views forced the German authorities to ban his works, which only added to his popularity.

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 4 E. T. A. Hoffmann

E. T. A. Hoffmann
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 24, 1776
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1822

E. T. A. Hoffmann was a German author, jurist, artist, composer, and music critic. His stories served as an inspiration and laid the foundation for The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach. The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is also based on Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Hoffmann is among the most influential authors of the Romantic Movement.

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 5 Johann Gottfried Herder

Johann Gottfried Herder
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 25, 1744
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morąg, Poland
Died: December 18, 1803

German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder is best remembered as a significant figure of the Sturm und Drang literary movement. Born into poverty and largely self-educated till 17, he later became a disciple of Immanuel Kant and was associated with Enlightenment and Weimar Classicism. He was eventually ennobled.

 6 Georg Simmel

Georg Simmel
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Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: March 1, 1858
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 26, 1918

Georg Simmel was a German sociologist, philosopher, and critic considered a forerunner to structuralist styles of reasoning in the social sciences. He was neo-Kantian in his approach and laid the foundations for sociological antipositivism. He broadly rejected academic standards and wrote extensively on the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. He was married to philosopher Gertrud Kinel and had one son. 

 7 Carl Maria von Weber

Carl Maria von Weber
4
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: November 18, 1786
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eutin, Germany
Died: June 5, 1826

Carl Maria von Weber was a German composer, virtuoso pianist, guitarist, and conductor. A significant musical figure in the Romantic era, he played a key role in the development of the German Romantische Oper (German Romantic opera). He also made significant contributions to vocal and choral music. He was a music critic as well and wrote music journalism. 

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 8 Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 26, 1940

Walter Benjamin was a German Jewish essayist, philosopher, and cultural critic. An eclectic thinker, Benjamin made significant contributions to literary criticism, aesthetic theory, and historical materialism. Although Benjamin's work did not earn much recognition during his lifetime, it continues to be revered by academics several years after his death.

 9 Thomas Mann

Thomas Mann
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 6, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lübeck, Germany
Died: August 12, 1955
German author Thomas Mann, known for his epic novels, was part of the Hanseatic Mann family of authors. He depicted his own family in his novel Buddenbrooks. He won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. During Hitler’s reign, he fled to Switzerland and then to the U.S.

 10 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
3
Famous As: Was a German Writer, Philosopher
Birthdate: January 22, 1729
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamenz, Germany
Died: February 15, 1781

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a noted German dramatist, critic, and author, remembered especially for his contribution towards liberating German theatre from the influence of its classical and French counterpart. Known for such literary masterpieces like Miss Sara Sampson; Emilia Galotti; Minna von Barnhelm; Nathan the Wise; Laocoön; Hamburg Dramaturgy, he is now considered an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era.

 11 Wolfgang Iser

Wolfgang Iser
3
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: July 22, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marienberg, Germany
Died: January 24, 2007

 12 Erich Auerbach

Erich Auerbach
3
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 13, 1957

 13 Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 10, 1788
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Łubowice, Poland
Died: November 26, 1857

German Romantic lyricist Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff is best remembered for his epic poem Robert und Guiscard, which highlights the French Revolution. His prose works such as Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing, revolving around themes such as love, too, gained him fame. He also worked in the civil services

 14 Gottfried Semper

Gottfried Semper
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: November 29, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Altona, Hamburg, Germany
Died: May 15, 1879

 15 Friedrich Schlegel

Friedrich Schlegel
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 10, 1772
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: January 12, 1829

 16 Ludwig Tieck

Ludwig Tieck
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 31, 1773
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 28, 1853

Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, writer, and translator. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement that originated in the late 18th century. He wrote numerous short stories, poems, and plays in the early Romantic tradition. In his later years, he was active as a literary critic. Poet Sophie Tieck was his sister. 

 17 Alfred Kerr

Alfred Kerr
2
Famous As: Theatre critic
Birthdate: December 25, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: October 12, 1948

 18 Boris Groys

Boris Groys
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Famous As: Art Critic
Birthdate: March 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

 19 Willi Schmid

Willi Schmid
2
Famous As: Music Critic
Birthdate: April 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany
Died: June 30, 1934

 20 Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm

Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 26, 1723
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: December 19, 1807

 21 Marcel Reich-Ranicki

Marcel Reich-Ranicki
3
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: June 2, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wloclawek, Poland
Died: September 18, 2013

 22 Wilhelm Uhde

Wilhelm Uhde
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Famous As: Art dealer
Birthdate: October 28, 1874
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Strzelce Krajeńskie, Poland
Died: August 17, 1947

 23 Eva Figes

Eva Figes
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 28, 2012

 24 Geoffrey Hartman

Geoffrey Hartman
2
Famous As: Literary theorist
Birthdate: August 11, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: March 14, 2016

 25 Ernst Robert Curtius

Ernst Robert Curtius
0
Famous As: Literary Critic
Birthdate: April 14, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thann, France
Died: April 19, 1956

 26 Eugen Drewermann

Eugen Drewermann
2
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berghamen, Germany

 27 Luise Rinser

Luise Rinser
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 30, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pitzling, Germany
Died: March 17, 2002

Initially a teacher, Luise Rinser later joined the Frauenschaft. She was later imprisoned for not supporting the Nazis. Her experiences in the prison were collected in Prison Journal, which became a bestseller. The German author was quite politically active in her country and was well-traveled too.

 28 Ludwig Quidde

Ludwig Quidde
2
Famous As: Former politician and pacifist who is mainly remembered today for his acerbic criticism of German Emperor Wilhelm II
Birthdate: March 23, 1858
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bremen, Germany
Died: February 4, 1941

 29 Kuno Fischer

Kuno Fischer
1
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 23, 1824
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: German Confederation
Died: July 5, 1907

 30 August Immanuel Bekker

August Immanuel Bekker
1
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: May 21, 1785
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 7, 1871

 31 Friedrich Theodor Vischer

Friedrich Theodor Vischer
1
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 30, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: September 14, 1887

 32 Julius Meier-Graefe

Julius Meier-Graefe
1
Famous As: Art Critic
Birthdate: June 10, 1867
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Romania
Died: June 5, 1935

 33 Johann Cochlaeus

Johann Cochlaeus
1
Famous As: Humanist
Birthdate: January 10, 1479
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wendelstein, Germany
Died: January 10, 1552

 34 Johann Salomo Semler

Johann Salomo Semler
1
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 18, 1725
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saalfeld, Germany
Died: March 14, 1791

 35 Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg

Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg
1
Famous As: Music critic
Birthdate: November 21, 1718
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wendemark, Germany
Died: May 22, 1795

 36 Johann Jakob Griesbach

Johann Jakob Griesbach
1
Famous As: Critic
Birthdate: January 4, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Butzbach, Germany
Died: March 24, 1812

 37 Walter Jens

Walter Jens
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Famous As: HIstorian
Birthdate: March 8, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: June 9, 2013

 38 Otto Brahm

Otto Brahm
1
Famous As: Literary Critic
Birthdate: February 5, 1856
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 28, 1912

 39 Hans Mayer

Hans Mayer
1
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: March 19, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: May 19, 2001

 40 Friedrich Chrysander

Friedrich Chrysander
1
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: July 8, 1826
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lübtheen, Germany
Died: September 3, 1901

 41 Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg

Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 3, 1737
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tønder, Denmark
Died: November 1, 1823

 42 Johann Elias Schlegel

Johann Elias Schlegel
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Famous As: Critic
Birthdate: January 17, 1719
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Meissen, Germany
Died: August 13, 1749

 43 Friedrich Bouterwek

Friedrich Bouterwek
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Famous As: Critic
Birthdate: April 15, 1766
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Germany
Died: August 9, 1828

 44 Adolf Müllner

Adolf Müllner
0
Famous As: Critic
Birthdate: October 18, 1774
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Langendorf, Weißenfels, Germany
Died: June 11, 1829