German Female Intellectuals & Academics

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 1 Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt
Famous As: Philosopher
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 Karen Horney

Karen Horney
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
Birthdate: September 16, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Blankenese, Hamburg, Germany
Died: December 4, 1952

Remembered for her pioneering work on feminist psychology, Karen Horney studied medicine at a time when women weren’t allowed in universities. Going against Sigmund Freud’s concept of penis envy, she suggested the idea of womb envy. She believed psychological differences weren’t rooted in gender but rather depended on the socio-cultural influences.

 3 Edith Stein

Edith Stein
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 12, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: August 9, 1942

Edith Stein was a German Jewish philosopher who studied at the University of Freiburg and completed her dissertation on empathy. Always interested in Catholicism, she read the autobiography of the mystic Teresa of Ávila and converted to Christianity, and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She was killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp and is canonized as a martyr.

 4 Friedrich Engels

Friedrich Engels
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: August 4, 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.

 5 Maria Sibylla Merian

Maria Sibylla Merian
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: April 2, 1647
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Free City of Frankfurt, German
Died: January 13, 1717

 6 Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: November 30, 1098
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bermersheim vor der Höhe, Germany
Died: September 17, 1179

Hildegard of Bingen was a German writer, composer, Christian mystic, visionary, philosopher, polymath, and Benedictine abbess of the High Middle Ages. Apart from being the most-recorded composers of sacred monophony in modern history, Hildegard of Bingen is also widely regarded as the founder of scientific natural history.

 7 Lou Andreas-Salomé

Lou Andreas-Salomé
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
Birthdate: February 12, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 5, 1937

Russian-born German author Lou Andreas-Salomé apparently rejected renowned philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s marriage proposal and then married a professor instead. A skilled psychoanalyst, she was also close to Rainer Maria Rilke and Sigmund Freud. She was one of the first to offer a psychoanalytic perspective to female sexuality.

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 8 Selma Ergeç

Selma Ergeç
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamm, Germany

 9 Sahra Wagenknecht

Sahra Wagenknecht
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jena, Germany

Apart from being an economist and a politician, Sahra Wagenknecht has also proved herself as a fine journalist and author, with books such as Capitalism in a Coma. She has previously represented, Die Linke, or the Left Party, as its leader in the German Bundestag, and has been the leader of the opposition.

 10 Sabine Hossenfelder

Sabine Hossenfelder
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 18, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

 11 Maria Reiche

Maria Reiche
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 15, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: June 8, 1998

 12 Eva Justin

Eva Justin
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: August 23, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: September 11, 1966

 13 Mildred Harnack

Mildred Harnack
Famous As: Literary historian
Birthdate: September 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 16, 1943

 14 Julia Shaw

Julia Shaw
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: January 20, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany

 15 Marie d'Agoult

Marie d'Agoult
Famous As: French author
Birthdate: December 31, 1805
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: March 5, 1876

 16 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
Famous As: Biologist, Researcher
Birthdate: October 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is a German developmental biologist. She studied at the University of Tübingen where she earned a Ph.D. for her research on protein–DNA interactions. Together with biologist Eric Wieschaus and geneticist Edward B. Lewis, she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995. She is also a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. 

 17 Elisabeth of the Palatinate

Elisabeth of the Palatinate
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 26, 1618
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Electorate of the Palatinate
Died: February 11, 1680

 18 Christina Pagel

Christina Pagel
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: London, England

 19 Annemarie Schimmel

Annemarie Schimmel
Famous As: Orientalist
Birthdate: April 7, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: January 26, 2003

 20 Esther Vilar

Esther Vilar
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Born to German-Jewish immigrants in Argentina, Esther Vilar studied medicine before she moved to Germany to study psychology and sociology. After taking up scores of odd jobs, she soared to international fame with her bestselling book The Manipulated Man, which argues that women aren’t oppressed but control men in relationships.

 21 Hrosvitha

Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 0935 AD
Birthplace: Saxony, Germany
Died: 1002 AD

Considered the first German female poet and historian Hrosvitha was a Benedictine nun for most of her life. Her writings provided a woman’s perspective of the history of her era. Her works include narrative poems on Christian legends and comedies with Christian themes written in Latin.

 22 Uta Frith

Uta Frith
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: May 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rockenhausen, Germany

 23 Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann

Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: December 19, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 25, 2010

 24 Dorothee Sölle

Dorothee Sölle
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: September 30, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: April 27, 2003

 25 Jutta Rudiger

Jutta Rudiger
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: June 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 13, 2001

 26 Anna Maria van Schurman

Anna Maria van Schurman
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 5, 1607
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: May 4, 1678

 27 Marianne Weber

Marianne Weber
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: August 2, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oerlinghausen, Germany
Died: March 12, 1954

 28 Lydia Benecke

Lydia Benecke
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: October 31, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bytom, Poland

 29 Halet Cambel

Halet Cambel
Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: August 27, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin, German Empire
Died: January 12, 2014

 30 Marion Dönhoff

Marion Dönhoff
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 2, 1909
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Friedrichstein Castle
Died: March 11, 2002

 31 Fiona Kolbinger

Fiona Kolbinger
Famous As: Cyclist
Birthdate: May 24, 1995
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Germany

Fiona Kolbinger is a cyclist who created history by becoming the first woman to win the Transcontinental Race in 2019. She took a time of ten days, two hours, and 48 minutes to complete the race with an advance of around six hours over the second closest. She beat over 224 men and 40 women to achieve this feat.

 32 Tanja Stadler

Tanja Stadler
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1981 AD
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany

 33 Aparna Rao

Aparna Rao
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
Died: June 28, 2005

 34 Anneli Ute Gabanyi

Anneli Ute Gabanyi
Famous As: Political scientist, Philologist
Birthdate: October 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

 35 Felicitas Rombold

Felicitas Rombold
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: 1988 AD

Former model Felicitas Rombold is better known as the wife of Spanish-German actor Daniel Brühl of Good Bye, Lenin! fame. The two are parents to two sons and had tied the knot after the birth of their first child. Felicitas is a psychotherapist and boasts of a PhD in psychology.