Intellectuals are individuals who influence the way society thinks and approaches an issue. Intellectuals can hail from a varied range of professions, be it a scientist, writer, philosopher, doctor, lawyer or even a sportsperson. These individuals voice their opinion on a platform be it global or national and implore others to think and act. They are the light-bearers of the society like the academicians who impart knowledge to different sections of the society and mold their thoughts and personality. Academicians and intellectuals have always played a significant part in shaping the society. Germany like any other country has had its share of famous intellectuals and academics. Their philosophers like Immanuel Kant and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz have laid the foundations of western philosophy. The writers, poets and essayists in the country have published books which have made great impact on the minds of readers world-wide. One cannot miss the name of legendary scientist Albert Einstein while remembering famous German intellectuals, whose works on theory of relativity and electromagnetism changed the face of science and technology forever. We present to you a collection of biographies of some of the famous German intellectuals and academics. Read on to know more about their life stories, timelines and also some interesting facts & trivia related to them.

Friedrich NietzscheFriedrich Nietzsche

15 October 1844

Martin LutherMartin Luther

10 November 1483

Immanuel KantImmanuel Kant

22 April 1724

Hannah ArendtHannah Arendt

14 October 1906

Arthur SchopenhauerArthur Schopenhauer

22 February 1788

Martin HeideggerMartin Heidegger

26 September 1889

Rosa LuxemburgRosa Luxemburg

05 March 1871

Friedrich EngelsFriedrich Engels

28 November 1820

Hildegard of BingenHildegard of Bingen

16 September 1098

Erik EriksonErik Erikson

15 June 1902

Alexander von HumboldtAlexander von Humboldt

14 September 1769

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Walter BenjaminWalter Benjamin

15 July 1892

Friedrich SchillerFriedrich Schiller

10 November 1759

Anita Bose PfaffAnita Bose Pfaff

29 November 1942

Rudolf VirchowRudolf Virchow

13 October 1821

Edith SteinEdith Stein

12 October 1891

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Paul TillichPaul Tillich

20 August 1886


02 May 1772

Emil KraepelinEmil Kraepelin

15 February 1856

Carl RitterCarl Ritter

07 August 1779

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Lord ActonLord Acton

10 January 1834

Jürgen HabermasJürgen Habermas

18 June 1929

Carl von ClausewitzCarl von Clausewitz

01 July 1780

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Theodor W. AdornoTheodor W. Adorno

11 September 1903

Erich FrommErich Fromm

23 March 1900

Max StirnerMax Stirner

25 October 1806

Herbert MarcuseHerbert Marcuse

18 July 1898

Martin NiemöllerMartin Niemöller

14 January 1892

Adam WeishauptAdam Weishaupt

06 February 1748

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Carl SchmittCarl Schmitt

11 July 1888

Edmund HusserlEdmund Husserl

08 April 1859

Ulrike MeinhofUlrike Meinhof

07 October 1934

William of OckhamWilliam of Ockham

1285 AD

Helmuth von Moltke the ElderHelmuth von Moltke the Elder

26 October 1800

Hjalmar SchachtHjalmar Schacht

22 January 1877

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Helmut SchmidtHelmut Schmidt

23 December 1918

Leo StraussLeo Strauss

20 September 1899

Oswald SpenglerOswald Spengler

29 May 1880

Kurt LewinKurt Lewin

09 September 1890

Magnus HirschfeldMagnus Hirschfeld

14 May 1868

German nobilityGerman nobility

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Georg SimmelGeorg Simmel

01 March 1858

Max MüllerMax Müller

06 December 1823

Gottlob FregeGottlob Frege

08 November 1848

Lutz Graf Schwerin von KrosigkLutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

22 August 1887

Johann Gottfried HerderJohann Gottfried Herder

25 August 1744

Johann Gottlieb FichteJohann Gottlieb Fichte

19 May 1762

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Gunther von HagensGunther von Hagens

10 January 1945

Johann Georg FaustJohann Georg Faust

1480 AD

Hans-Hermann HoppeHans-Hermann Hoppe

02 September 1949

Peter SloterdijkPeter Sloterdijk

26 June 1947

Ludwig FeuerbachLudwig Feuerbach

28 July 1804

Karl JaspersKarl Jaspers

23 February 1883

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Hans MorgenthauHans Morgenthau

17 February 1904

Heinrich Cornelius AgrippaHeinrich Cornelius Agrippa

14 September 1486

Hermann EbbinghausHermann Ebbinghaus

24 January 1850

Max HorkheimerMax Horkheimer

14 February 1895

Ludwig ErhardLudwig Erhard

04 February 1897

Wilhelm von HumboldtWilhelm von Humboldt

22 June 1767

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Moses MendelssohnMoses Mendelssohn

06 September 1729

Houston Stewart ChamberlainHouston Stewart Chamberlain

09 September 1855

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph SchellingFriedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

27 January 1775

Friedrich SchleiermacherFriedrich Schleiermacher

21 November 1768

Gotthold Ephraim LessingGotthold Ephraim Lessing

22 January 1729

Hans-Georg GadamerHans-Georg Gadamer

11 February 1900

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Martin WinterkornMartin Winterkorn

24 May 1947

Eduard BernsteinEduard Bernstein

06 January 1850

Otto OhlendorfOtto Ohlendorf

04 February 1907

Niklas LuhmannNiklas Luhmann

08 December 1927

Leopold von RankeLeopold von Ranke

21 December 1795

Thomas à KempisThomas à Kempis

1380 AD

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Hermann WeylHermann Weyl

09 November 1885

Johann Joachim WinckelmannJohann Joachim Winckelmann

09 December 1717

Walther FunkWalther Funk

18 August 1890