I married a German. Every night I dress up as Poland and he invades me. 


The Germans

Some Clever Germans

Albert the Great, a 13th century German nobleman, was a natural scientist. His 'Book of Marvels' includes a potion to make someone believe their bed is full of lice. 

The Brothers Grimm wrote the first German Dictionary. The Deutsches Wörterbuch was the first dictionary in the German language, and instrumental in creating a standard German language. It is still considered as the standard reference for German etymology.

Albert Einstein didn’t like socks or toothbrushes, didn’t like science fiction, he smoked a pipe, didn’t drink much and played the violin. In 1952 Einstein was offered the 2nd presidency of Israel, he declined saying he was honoured, but regretfully, he did not have the skills for politics. When it rained, Einstein's cat got depressed. He is quoted by Ernst Straus (mathematician) as saying 'I know what’s wrong, dear fellow, but I don’t know how to turn it off'.

Clever Hans

In 1907 in Germany there was a famous horse called Clever Hans (der Kluge Hans) who learned to cold read. Cold reading is a set of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, mediums and illusionists to imply that the reader knows much more about the person than he actually does. He had apparently been taught by a trainer named van Osten to tap out the answers to arithmetical questions with his hoof.

A psychologist named Oskar Pfungst was commissioned to test this phenomenon scientifically, and concluded that the horse was actually responding to van Osten's body language. The trainer wasn't sending deliberate signals, but the horse was nevertheless, able to pick up a change in his demeanour when the right number had been reached.


I eat at this German-Chinese restaurant and the food is delicious. The only problem is that an hour later you're hungry for power.

MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)

Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him until he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.

More Clever Germans

Franz Anton Ketterer made the first cuckoo clock. It was designed and made in the village of Schšnwald near Triberg in the Black Forest of Germany in about 1738. He replicated the sound of the cuckoo by the ingenious use of tiny bellows producing two different sounds. By 1808 there were 688 clockmakers and 582 clock salesmen in the districts of Triberg and Neustadt.

Felix Hoffman (1868-1946) was a German chemist who is credited with having synthesized acetylsalicylic acid and diamorphine in the same year, 1897. They were marketed as Aspirin and Heroin respectively, by Bayer, the pharmaceutical company he worked for. 

Jean-Marie Farina established his fragrance company in Cologne in 1709 and is the now the world’s oldest perfumery. His formula for Eau de Cologne is still used today and the shop continues to be run by the Farina family.

Handel lived and died in 25 Brook Street, London. 200 years later, Jimi Hendrix lived and died next door in number 23.

Goethe and Friends

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a botanist as well as a philosopher, poet, playwright, and physicist. Plants with the Latin tag Goethea are named after him.
Caffeine was first isolated by the German chemist Friedrich (or Friedlieb, or Friedlob) Ferdinand Runge in 1819, at the behest of the poet Goethe. Runge was born in Hamburg and apprenticed to an apothecary at 15. He went on to study medicine at Jena, graduating in 1819. That year, having identified the pupil-dilating effects of belladonna (deadly nightshade) he demonstrated this to Goethe who encouraged him to isolate caffeine, which he achieved a few months later. Runge later got a PhD in Berlin, became Professor of Chemistry at Breslau and then an industrial chemist. Despite important work on aniline dyes and paper chromatography and the isolation of quinoline from coal tar in 1834, he died in poverty in 1852.
The first cartoon strip (that is a series of drawn frames with a commentary, telling a story) was published at the instigation of Goethe in 1831. Rodolphe Töpffer, the son of the Empress Josephine's drawing master, had been doodling with the idea of a comic strip for a while and his friend Goethe was so impressed he insisted he publish it.

JEROME K. JEROME (1859-1927)

Think of the man who first tried German sausage.

In Georgian times it was de rigeur in Germany for people to eat raw onions.

Not-so-Clever Germans

Marshall Blucher, the Prussian General whose intervention won the battle of Waterloo, is popularly thought to have suffered from the paranoid delusion that he had been made pregnant by a French soldier, and was about to give birth to an elephant. 

Maria Eleonore of Brandenburg (1599-1655) had her husband's coffin placed in her own bedroom. She made her daughter sleep with her in a bed over which her father's heart was hung in a golden casket. 

German inventor, Gerhard Zucker, created a rocket to send mail. During his first demonstration in the UK in 1934 the rocket exploded, blowing the burning packages all over the beach.  Zucker was soon deported from Britain for postal fraud, only to find on his return to Germany that he was to be detained by the German government for co-operating with the british.

Baron Karl von Reichenbach invented the idea of 'Od-Rays' which supposedly could be seen in people's auras.  It made people sleepwalk and was used to explain hypnotism.  People with similar Od Rays were supposed to be attracted to each other.

George Frideric Handel

Handel was a German-born British Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos.

He gave annual concerts to raise money for the Foundlings Hospital in London and helped fund the building of it’s chapel, he also donated the chapel’s organ. The first ever recital of The Messiah was here and was played on the organ he donated. It was basically the first charity gig. He wrote the Messiah in 24 days.

In 1704 he fought a duel with with fellow composer Johann Mattheson. For reasons unknown, the two had a fierce quarrel in which Mattheson almost killed Handel but his sword struck a button on Handel's chest rather than the chest itself.

Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks was commissioned to celebrate the end of the War of Hanoverian Succession. A Temple of Peace in Green Park was built but a stray rocket hit it and three people died in the fire that followed.

Jakob Bohme (1575-1624), the German philosophical mystic, actually was a cobbler.

In 1935, Hitler forbade Germans from receiving Nobel Prizes.

Johannes Kepler was the first person to do scientific research into snowflakes in 1611.

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann invented homeopathy.

In the fall of the Roman Empire, the Germans fought on both sides.

We don't know what Einstein's last words were. His nurse didn't understand German.