20 | 21 AT A GLANCE FAMOUS GERMANS Celebrated classics, courageous visionaries, astute thinkers: Germany’s history is rich in people who achieved extraordinary things. Many of them are famous far beyond the country’s borders. The Goethe-Institut has been indirectly spreading the name of the most well-known of all Germans, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, throughout the world since 1951. In Paris, the Maison Heinrich Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Poet, playwright, scholar: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749– 1832) is regarded as an all-round genius and the classic in German literature. Heine at Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) keeps alive the memory of the gifted literary figure, who had a chronic soul-searching relationship with his home country. Wagner fans from all over the world congregate every year at the Bayreuth Festival to pay homage to “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. Names such as Humboldt and Einstein, Röntgen and Planck, Benz and Otto established Germany’s reputation as a country of researchers and engineers. In earlier days, women faced difficulties leading similarly high-profile lives. Yet there are Friedrich von Schiller A fighter for freedom: Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805) is regarded as one of the world’s great playwrights (“The Robbers”, “Mary Stuart”, “Don Carlos”) and as an important essayist. nonetheless many famous women, such as Clara Schumann, Maria Sybilla Merian, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Rosa Luxemburg, Anna Seghers, and the great choreograph Pina Bausch. They are to this day regarded as role models for a modern society which enables men and women alike to participate and enjoy equal opportunities – even though this still requires a concerted effort. Johann Sebastian Bach Virtuoso of Baroque church music: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) perfected the strict “art of the fugue” and composed more than 200 cantatas and oratorios.