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German Contributions to the World

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Presentation on theme: "German Contributions to the World"— Presentation transcript:

1 German Contributions to the World
Past and Present Prof. Albrecht Classen University of Arizona

2 Germany – a small country
With some of the greatest contributions to world culture, literature, the arts, technology, medicine, philosophy, and religion

3 Charlemagne and the Rise of Europe
First Germanic Empire north of the Alps, after the fall of the Roman Empire (8th century)

4 German and English English is a Germanic language!
Anglo-Saxon as the basis of modern English (with strong Anglo-Norman superstructure since 1066)

5 Gun Powder 14th century: Berthold Schwartz (perhaps a legend)
Radical transformation of all military operations Brought an end to medieval knighthood (ok, the first were the Chinese, then the Arabs, in late antiquity the Byzantines with their Greek Fire, and in the 13th c. Roger Bacon)

6 Printing Press: Johann Gutenberg
Gutenberg invented the movable type in Mainz ca. 1450

7 Computer Konrad Zuse: first construction in 1936, 1941 the first functioning computer

8 Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther
99 theses, Wittenberg, 1517 September Testament, 1522 Old Testament, 1532

9 Albrecht Dürer Greatest sixteenth-century artist, at least north of the Alps

10 Vacuum Otto von Guericke 1663 (Mayor of Magdeburg), discovers the principle of vacuum

11 Classical and Romantic Literature
Goethe and Schiller Heine Hölderlin Heinrich von Kleist Eichendorff Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

12 19th-21st Century German literature
Theodor Storm Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Theodor von Fontane Thomas Mann Bertolt Brecht Hermann Hesse Nelly Sachs Heinrich Böll Günter Grass Herta Müller

13 Marxism Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

14 German Music Bach Händel Telemann Pachelbel Mozart Haydn van Beethoven
Hindemith Stockhausen

15 Chemistry: Justus von Liebig
Agricultural and biological chemistry

16 Telephone Philipp Reis 1859

17 Dynamo Werner von Siemens, 1866

18 The automobile Daimler Benz Porsche Audi VW Opel

19 Blue Jeans Levi Straus, 1873

20 Diesel engine 1890 Rudolf Diesel

21 Street Car Werner von Siemens 1881

22 Tea bag Adolf Rambold, 1929

23 Nuclear Physics Otto Hahn 1938

24 Relativity Theory Albert Einstein 1905

25 X-ray Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen 1895
In modern German we use the verb “röntgen” for ‘to x-ray’

26 Aspirin FELIX HOFFMANN (working for the company Bayer) 1897

27 Bacteriology and Virology
Robert Koch, 1882: discovery of the tuberculosis bacillus Foundation of modern medical and biological research

28 Spark Plug Robert Bosch 1902

29 Beer Purity Law issued by the Bavarian Dukes on April 23, 1516

30 Orthopedic leg 1997 Otto Bock introduces the C-Leg


32 Chip card Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Gröttrup: 1968 patent, 1977 micro processing card Since then the world of credit cards and all other kinds of cards based on chip memory

33 Screw Anchor, or raw plug/dowel
1958 Artur Fischer

34 Jet engine Hans von Ohain 1936

35 Television Manfred von Ardenne, 1930 1935 first regular tv program

36 Gliding plane Otto von Lilienthal 1894
This inspired the Brothers Wright to experiment with their first motorized planes

37 Light bulb Heinrich Göbel 1854

38 Homeopathic medicine Samuel von Hahnemann, 1797

39 Helicopter Heinrich Focke, 1936

40 Coffee filter Melitta Benz, 1908
She was just tired of handling all the waste coffee in her drink and used, as a stop-gap measure, her son’s ink-pad paper from school. Voila, the coffee filter was invented.

41 Air bag 1971 Mercedes Benz develops the first effective air bag

42 Modern refrigerator Company Foron 1993: Freon free refrigeration
This has revolutionized the global battle against the depletion of the ozone layer

43 Motorcycle Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler 1885

44 MP3 player 1993; Fraunhofer-Institute

45 Mouth Organ, or chromatic harmonica
Christian Friedrich Burschmann, 1821

46 Wood based paper Friedrich Gottlieb Keller 1843

47 Birth control pill Schering company, 1961

48 Record player Emil Berliner 1887

49 Scanner Rudolf Hell 1951

50 Let’s not forget all the other countries in the world
Let’s not forget the countless other inventions from all over the world.

51 Nevertheless, Germany has been and continues to be an amazing country and people! It has contributed to a disproportionate degree to the cultural and technological development of this world!

52 Thank you very much! For further information, contact me at:

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