Famous German Critics & Connoisseurs

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 1 
Friedrich Nietzsche
(German Philosopher, Cultural Critic and Philologist)
Friedrich Nietzsche
4
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 
Walter Benjamin
(German Jewish Philosopher, Cultural Critic and Essayist)
Walter Benjamin
4
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.

 3 
Theodor W. Adorno
(Philosopher)
Theodor W. Adorno
4
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.

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 4 
Heinrich Heine
(German Poet & Literary Critic Know for His Works 'Germany. A Winter's Tale' and 'Buch der Lieder')
Heinrich Heine
4
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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 5 
E. T. A. Hoffmann
4
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.

 6 
Johann Gottfried Herder
(Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, and Literary Critic)
Johann Gottfried Herder
4
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.

 7 
Georg Simmel
(One of the First Generation of German Sociologists and Neo-Kantian Philosopher)
Georg Simmel
4
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. 

 8 
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
(German Writer, Dramatist, Art Critic and a Spokesperson of the Enlightenment Era)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
3
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.

 9 
Wolfgang Iser
(Literary critic)
Wolfgang Iser
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marienberg, Germany
Died: January 24, 2007
 10 
Erich Auerbach
(Literary critic)
Erich Auerbach
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 13, 1957
 11 
Gottfried Semper
(Architect)
Gottfried Semper
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Altona, Hamburg, Germany
Died: May 15, 1879
 12 
Friedrich Schlegel
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1772
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: January 12, 1829
 13 
Alfred Kerr
(Theatre critic)
Alfred Kerr
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: October 12, 1948
 14 
Willi Schmid
(Music Critic)
Willi Schmid
2
Birthdate: April 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany
Died: June 30, 1934
 15 
Boris Groys
(Art Critic)
Boris Groys
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm
2
Birthdate: December 26, 1723
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: December 19, 1807
 17 
Marcel Reich-Ranicki
(Literary critic)
Marcel Reich-Ranicki
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wloclawek, Poland
Died: September 18, 2013
 18 
Wilhelm Uhde
(Art dealer)
Wilhelm Uhde
2
Birthdate: October 28, 1874
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Strzelce Krajeńskie, Poland
Died: August 17, 1947
 19 
Eva Figes
(Author)
Eva Figes
2
Birthdate: April 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 28, 2012
 20 
Geoffrey Hartman
(Literary theorist)
Geoffrey Hartman
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: March 14, 2016
 21 
Johann Christoph Gottsched
(German Philosopher, Author and Critic of the Age of Enlightenment)
Johann Christoph Gottsched
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1700
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Juditten, Kaliningrad, Russia
Died: December 12, 1766

Johann Christoph Gottsched was a German author, philosopher, and critic. Although he exercised an undisputed literary dictatorship for about 30 years in Germany, Gottsched had become a personification of foolish pedantry during his later years. Nevertheless, Gottsched played a major role in the development of German literature. He also served as the editor of many journals dedicated to literary criticism.

 22 
Ernst Robert Curtius
(Literary Critic)
Ernst Robert Curtius
0
Birthdate: April 14, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thann, France
Died: April 19, 1956
 23 
Eugen Drewermann
(German Theologian, Peace Activist, Church Critic, and Former Catholic Priest)
Eugen Drewermann
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berghamen, Germany
 24 
Ludwig Quidde
(Former politician and pacifist who is mainly remembered today for his acerbic criticism of German Emperor Wilhelm II)
Ludwig Quidde
2
Birthdate: March 23, 1858
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bremen, Germany
Died: February 4, 1941
 25 
Kuno Fischer
(Philosopher)
Kuno Fischer
1
Birthdate: July 23, 1824
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: German Confederation
Died: July 5, 1907
 26 
August Immanuel Bekker
1
Birthdate: May 21, 1785
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 7, 1871
Friedrich Theodor Vischer
1
Birthdate: June 30, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: September 14, 1887
 28 
Julius Meier-Graefe
1
Birthdate: June 10, 1867
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Romania
Died: June 5, 1935
 29 
Johann Cochlaeus
1
Birthdate: January 10, 1479
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wendelstein, Germany
Died: January 10, 1552
 30 
Johann Salomo Semler
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1725
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saalfeld, Germany
Died: March 14, 1791
 31 
Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg
1
Birthdate: November 21, 1718
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wendemark, Germany
Died: May 22, 1795
Johann Jakob Griesbach
1
Birthdate: January 4, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Butzbach, Germany
Died: March 24, 1812
 33 
Walter Jens
(HIstorian)
Walter Jens
0
Birthdate: March 8, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: June 9, 2013
 34 
Hans Mayer
(Scholar)
Hans Mayer
1
Birthdate: March 19, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: May 19, 2001
 35 
Friedrich Chrysander
1
Birthdate: July 8, 1826
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lübtheen, Germany
Died: September 3, 1901
 36 
Otto Brahm
(Literary Critic)
Otto Brahm
1
Birthdate: February 5, 1856
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 28, 1912
Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg
0
Birthdate: January 3, 1737
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tønder, Denmark
Died: November 1, 1823
 38 
Johann Elias Schlegel
0
Birthdate: January 17, 1719
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Meissen, Germany
Died: August 13, 1749
 39 
Friedrich Bouterwek
0
Birthdate: April 15, 1766
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Germany
Died: August 9, 1828
 40 
Adolf Müllner
0
Birthdate: October 18, 1774
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Langendorf, Weißenfels, Germany
Died: June 11, 1829