In this episode, Audra and Gunther will introduce our new podcast format.
First, we’ll dive into our new feature, This Fortnight in History. Then we’ll welcome our resident political scientist, Katrin, to give us a bit more insight into the mechanics of the newly formed German government.
This fortnight in history content:
Birth of Walther Bothe (1891-1957) in Oranienburg, Germany. Bothe was a physics professor at the universities of Berlin, Giessen, and Heidelberg. He and Hans Geiger established the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation. He discovered the strange radiation given off by beryllium, which was later identified as neutron radiation. During WWII, he built Germany’s first cyclotron in 1943. In 1954 while a professor at the University of Heidelberg, he won the Nobel Prize for Physics for the development of a method of detecting subatomic particles.
Death of Caroline Lucretia Herschel (1750-1848) in Hannover, Germany. Herschel was the sister of the astronomer Sir William Herschel. Some years after William had emigrated to England, he sent for her. Her early assignment was to keep house and to grind and polish mirrors for her brother. She soon began, however, to do much of the mathematical calculation of her brother’s work. After she had begun to do her own telescopic observations, she discovered three nebulae and eight comets. In 1798, she completed a catalog of 560 stars missing in the British Catalog. By 1822 she had completed a catalog of 2,500 nebulae and star clusters. She was given a gold medal by the British Astronomical Society. After her brother’s death, she returned to Germany and continued her work there.
January 12, 1993
A German court in Berlin drops charges against Erich Honecker (related to shootings at the German-German border) with the justification that he was 80 years old and terminally ill.
January 13, 1994
Erich Honecker leaves Germany for Chile. Honecker had been the leader of East Germany. After the reunification, there was the possibility of trying him for crimes against humanity, but due to his cancer, he was allowed to leave Germany.
January 16, 1917
The German minister, Arthur Zimmermann, sends a telegram through the German ambassador in Washington to the German ambassador in Mexico, offering Mexico an alliance against the United States. He proposes that Mexico will be assisted in retaking Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The telegram is intercepted and decoded by British intelligence and given to President Woodrow Wilson. The telegram becomes instrumental in forming American public opinion against Germany and for entering the war, as Wilson gives it to the press in March. (America will enter the war five weeks later.)
German Politics—a conversation with Katrin.