Famous German Non-Fiction Writers

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 1 
Hannah Arendt
(One of the Most Influential Political Theorists of the 20th Century)
Hannah Arendt
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Linden - Mitte, Hanover, Germany
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 2 
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.

 3 
Friedrich Engels
(German Philosopher Who Developed 'Marxism' Together With Karl Max)
Friedrich Engels
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: August 5, 1895

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, political scientist, and revolutionary socialist. Along with Karl Marx, Engels helped develop Marxism, which has had a profound impact on fields like philosophy and anthropology. Engels is credited with helping Marx publish Das Kapital, a foundational theoretical work in politics, economics, and materialist philosophy. He also co-authored influential political documents like The Communist Manifesto.

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 4 
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
(German Polymath and Occult Writer Known for His Book 'Three Books of Occult Philosophy')
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1486
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: February 18, 1535

Sixteenth-century German scholar Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was known for his expertise in philosophy and the occult. He also taught at the universities of Pavia and Dôle. His De occulta philosophia suggested magic as a way to reach God. He was eventually branded a heretic and imprisoned.

 5 
Jacob Grimm
(Discoverer of ‘Grimm’s Law of Linguistics' and Co-author of the Largest German Dictionary 'Deutsches Wörterbuch')
Jacob Grimm
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1785
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hanau, Germany
Died: September 20, 1863

Part of the legendary folklorist duo known as the Brothers Grimm, Jacob Grimm gave to the world Grimm’s Fairy Tales, along with his younger brother, Wilhelm Grimm. The son of a lawyer, he, too, had initially studied law. He also contributed immensely to Germanic linguistics, with his Grimm's law.

 6 
Ernst Jünger
(German Soldier and Author Known for His World War I Memoir 'Storm of Steel')
Ernst Jünger
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Died: February 17, 1998

Though Ernst Jünger was part of the German Army in both the World Wars, he was against the Nazi dictatorship and was accused of being involved in a plot to kill Hitler. He authored the diary-novel The Storm of Steel and also made a mark as an entomologist.

 7 
Martin Schulz
(German Politician)
Martin Schulz
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eschweiler
 8 
Thomas à Kempis
(German-Dutch Canon and Author of 'The Imitation of Christ')
Thomas à Kempis
3
Birthdate: 1380 AD
Birthplace: Kempen, Germany
Died: July 25, 1471

German-Dutch clergy Thomas à Kempis is largely believed to be the author of Imitatio Christi, or Imitation of Christ. Part of the Devotio Moderna, or the Modern Devotion movement, he was the son of a blacksmith and had moved from Rhineland to the Netherlands, where he was inspired by Gerard Groote’s followers.

 9 
Heinrich Böll
(One of Germany’s Foremost Post-World War II Writers)
Heinrich Böll
3
Birthdate: December 21, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: July 16, 1985

Nobel Prize-winning German author Heinrich Böll refused to join the Nazi youth wing and became a bookseller’s apprentice instead. However, he fought for the German Army later. He is best remembered for his works such as The Clown and The Silent Angel, revolving around themes of war.

 10 
Katrin Himmler
(Author)
Katrin Himmler
3
Birthdate: 1967 AD
Birthplace: Dinslaken, Germany
 11 
Theodor Mommsen
(German Historian and Writer Famous for His Masterpiece 'Römische Geschichte')
Theodor Mommsen
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1817
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Garding, Germany
Died: November 1, 1903

One of the most influential 19th-century classicists, Theodor Mommsen donned many hats and was at the same time a historian, a philologist, a legal scholar, and an archaeologist. His legendary A History of Rome won him a Nobel Prize in Literature. He had also fathered 16 children.

 12 
Ursula Kuczynski
(German Communist Activist Who Worked as a Spy for the Soviet Union)
Ursula Kuczynski
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: July 7, 2000

Ursula Kuczynski was a German Communist activist. She is best remembered for her work as a spy for the Soviet Union. She coordinated with Klaus Fuchs, a German atomic spy, who started passing information on the British atomic bomb project through Ursula Kuczynski to the Soviet Union.

 13 
Georg Büchner
(German Dramatist and Writer of Prose and Poetry)
Georg Büchner
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1813
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Riedstadt, Germany
Died: February 19, 1837

Part of the Young Germany movement, German dramatist and author Georg Büchner was a revolutionary and a master of Expressionist plays. Born to an army doctor, he studied medicine but also simultaneously participated in pamphleteering for social issues. He is remembered for works such as Danton’s Death and Woyzeck.

 14 
Thomas Gottschalk
(Radio host)
Thomas Gottschalk
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 15 
Karl Haushofer
(German Professor, General, Geographer, and Politician)
Karl Haushofer
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich
Died: March 10, 1946
 16 
Kurt von Tippelskirch
(Military personnel, Military historian, Non-fiction writer)
Kurt von Tippelskirch
2
Birthdate: October 9, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlottenburg
Died: May 10, 1957
 17 
Joschka Fischer
(Politician, Non-fiction writer, Lobbyist, Athletics competitor, Business consultant, University teacher)
Joschka Fischer
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gerabronn
 18 
Max Scheler
(German Philosopher Known for His Work in Phenomenology, Ethics, and Philosophical Anthropology)
Max Scheler
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 19, 1928

Max Scheler was a German philosopher best known for his work in ethics, phenomenology, and philosophical anthropology. He developed the philosophical method of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology. He had a deep influence on the theology of Pope John Paul II. For many years, Scheler taught philosophy and sociology at the University of Cologne.  

 19 
Felix Hoffmann
(German Chemist and Inventor)
Felix Hoffmann
2
Birthdate: January 21, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: February 8, 1946

Felix Hoffmann was a German chemist best remembered for re-synthesizing diamorphine, which was later popularized as heroin. Hoffmann is also known for synthesizing aspirin, although it is still unclear whether he synthesized it on his own or under the direction of Arthur Eichengrün. In 2002, Felix Hoffmann was inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame. 

 20 
Bruno Taut
(Expressionist architect who became known for the Glass Pavilion at the Cologne Werkbund Exhibition of 1914)
Bruno Taut
2
Birthdate: May 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Konigsberg, Germany
Died: December 24, 1938
 21 
Julius Wellhausen
(German Biblical Scholar and Orientalist Best Known for His Analysis of the Structure and Dating of the 'Pentateuc/Torah')
Julius Wellhausen
2
Birthdate: May 17, 1844
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamelin, Germany
Died: January 7, 1918

German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen is best remembered for best known for his work on the Pentateuch. Born to a pastor, he followed in his father’s footsteps and studied theology. He also taught oriental languages. His New Testament studies were criticized, though his analysis of the Old Testament was well-received.

 22 
Alexander von Kluck
(General)
Alexander von Kluck
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1846
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingdom of Prussia, German Confederation
Died: October 19, 1934
 23 
Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz
(Military officer)
Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivanovka, Russia
Died: April 19, 1916
 24 
Jan Assmann
(Egyptologist)
Jan Assmann
2
Birthdate: July 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Langelsheim, Germany
 25 
Dietrich von Hildebrand
(German Roman Catholic Philosopher and Religious Writer)
Dietrich von Hildebrand
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 26, 1977

Named the 20th Century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII, Dietrich von Hildebrand was a well-known Catholic philosopher who criticized the Second Vatican Council’s church reforms. Known for works such as Transformation in Christ: On the Christian Attitude, he was part of the phenomenological and continental philosophical school.

 26 
Hermann Detzner
(German Explorer and Engineer Who Explored German New Guinea as a Schutztruppe Member)
Hermann Detzner
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Speyer, Bavarian Palatinate, German Empire
Died: December 1, 1970

The son of a German dentist, Hermann Detzner grew up to be an engineer, topographer, and surveyor. He was also part of the German colonial troops in Cameroon and German New Guinea. Refusing to surrender to Australian troops, he and his forces explored the interiors of German New Guinea for 4 years.

 27 
Hildebrand Gurlitt
(Historian)
Hildebrand Gurlitt
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden, German Empire
Died: November 9, 1956
 28 
Peter Binsfeld
(Theologian)
Peter Binsfeld
2
Birthdate: 1545 AD
Birthplace: Binsfeld, Germany
Died: November 24, 1598

Born to a farmer, Peter Binsfeld grew up to be a bishop. He was also a witch hunter and was known for his classification of demons, which paired each of the seven deadly sins with a particular demon. He was one of the main figures behind the Trier witch trials.

 29 
Wilhelm Schickard
(Professor)
Wilhelm Schickard
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1592
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Herrenberg, Germany
Died: October 24, 1635
 30 
Adolf Franz Friedrich, Freiherr von Knigge
(Writer)
Adolf Franz Friedrich, Freiherr von Knigge
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1752
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bredenbeck, Germany
Died: May 6, 1796
 31 
Heinrich Suso
(German Dominican Friar and the Most Popular Vernacular Writer of the Fourteenth Century)
Heinrich Suso
2
Birthdate: March 21, 1295
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Überlingen, Germany
Died: January 25, 1366

German mystic Heinrich Suso was a significant leader of the Friends of God movement. Best known for his work Little Book of Eternal Wisdom, he faced a lot of issues for his support of mystic Meister Eckhart. He apparently practiced austerity by wearing a shirt with 150 nails inside it.

 32 
Paul Schmidt
(Interpreter)
Paul Schmidt
2
Birthdate: June 23, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 21, 1970
 33 
Friedrich Hund
(Physicist, University teacher, Non-fiction writer)
Friedrich Hund
2
Birthdate: February 4, 1896
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Karlsruhe
Died: March 31, 1997
 34 
Claus Schilling
(Former tropical medicine specialist who participated in the Nazi human experiments at the Dachau concentration camp during World War II)
Claus Schilling
2
Birthdate: July 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 28, 1946
 35 
Heinrich Zimmer
(Linguist)
Heinrich Zimmer
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greifswald, German Empire
Died: March 20, 1943
 36 
Willi Schmid
(Music Critic)
Willi Schmid
2
Birthdate: April 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany
Died: June 30, 1934
 37 
Edward Lasker
(American-German Chess Player)
Edward Lasker
0
Birthdate: December 3, 1885
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kepno, Poland
Died: March 25, 1981
 38 
Sybille Bedford
(Writer)
Sybille Bedford
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charlottenburg, Germany
Died: February 17, 2006
 39 
Eugen Dühring
(Philosopher, Political Economist, Prolific Writer, and a Leading German Adherent of Positivism)
Eugen Dühring
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1833
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 21, 1921

A strong supporter of positivism and a critic of Marxism, German philosopher Eugen Dühring was also a qualified lawyer. An eye ailment which took away his sight in the end made him quit law and focus on philosophy instead. A fine writer, too, he penned books such as Capital und Arbeit.

 40 
Hans-Werner Sinn
(Economist)
Hans-Werner Sinn
2
Birthdate: March 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brake, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Hans-Werner Sinn is a German economist best known for his association with the Ifo Institute for Economic Research where he served as the president from 1999 to 2016. Apart from serving on the advisory council of the German economy ministry, Hans-Werner Sinn is also currently serving as Professor Emeritus of Public Finance and Economics at the University of Munich.   

 41 
Franz Mehring
(Politician)
Franz Mehring
2
Birthdate: February 27, 1846
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slawno, Poland
Died: January 28, 1919
 42 
Rudolf Erich Raspe
(Librarian)
Rudolf Erich Raspe
2
Birthdate: 1736
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: November 1, 1794
 43 
Artur Yusupov
(German Chess Player)
Artur Yusupov
2
Birthdate: February 13, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
 44 
Alfred Kerr
(Theatre critic)
Alfred Kerr
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: October 12, 1948
 45 
Friedrich von Mellenthin
(German General)
Friedrich von Mellenthin
2
Birthdate: August 30, 1904
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Breslau, German Empire
Died: June 28, 1997
 46 
Ferdinand Christian Baur
(Theologian)
Ferdinand Christian Baur
2
Birthdate: June 21, 1792
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schmiden, Germany
Died: December 2, 1860
 47 
Karl Richard Lepsius
(Egyptologist)
Karl Richard Lepsius
2
Birthdate: December 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naumburg, Germany
Died: July 10, 1884
 48 
Uschi Glas
(Actress)
Uschi Glas
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Landau an der Isar, Bavaria, Germany
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 49 
Andreas Osiander
(Theologian)
Andreas Osiander
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1498
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gunzenhausen, Germany
Died: October 27, 1552
 50 
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler
(Art historian)
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler
2
Birthdate: June 25, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: January 11, 1979