Research by Michael Behrent for KÖNIGSBEGR IS DEAD by Max & Gilbert






Albert of Hohenzollern. (1490–1568)  A Grand Master of the Teutonic Order  (1511 - 1525) who belonged to the ruling family of Brandenberg, Albert secularized the order in 1525, transforming it into a temporal duchy with Königsberg as its capital. In 1544, he founded the city's university, which until 1945 bore his name.


Arendt, Hannah. (1906 - 1975) A German-American philosopher and political theorist who received her B.A. at the University of Königsberg, before earning her doctorate at Heidelberg and eventually emigrating to the United States in 1941.


Baer, Karl Ernst von. (1792-1876), Estonian biologist. He was a professor at Wurzburg and Königsberg and later at St. Petersburg. He is considered the founder of modern embryology, which he used to develop a general evolutionary theory.


Bessel, Wilhelm Friedrich. (1784 - 1846) One of the most prominent astronomers of the 19th century, who mastered the art of identifying stars in a way that clarified science's understanding of the structure of the universe. In 1810, he became the director of the new observatory at Konigsberg, which he had helped build, as well as a professor at the university.


Calovius, Abraham. (1612 - 1686).  A Lutheran theologian who taught in Konigsberg (1637-43), before becoming a pastor in Danzig, he acquired a reputation as a strict defender of his religion's orthodoxy.


Christians, Friedrich Wilhelm. German businessman. A former Panzer commander who had been stationed in - and who successfully escaped from - Königsberg at the end of the war, he subsequently became chairman of Deutsches Bank and, from 1988, promoted to Soviet leaders the idea of establishing Kaliningrad as a free trade zone.


Fichte, Johann Gottlieb. (1762 - 1814). A major post-Kantian philosopher, who came to meet Kant in Königsberg in 1791. He wrote An Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation there in 1792, which assured him immediate fame.


Frey, Johann Gottfried. (1762 - 1831). Königsberg's director of police, Frey was both host and advisor to Freiherr von Stein while the latter's stayed in Königsberg during the reform period following the Prussian defeat to Napoleon in 1806 - 1807. He later become Königsberg's president.


Friedrich III /Friedrich I of Hohenzollern. (1657–1713). Duke, then, as of January 1701, King of Prussia. He crowned himself "King in Prussia" in Königsberg in 1701, raising Prussia's status in the pecking-order of titles from "Duchy" to "Kingdom". The fact that eastern Prussia lay outside of the Holy Roman Empire, unlike his other territories, gave him more legal room to stake this claim.


Friedrich II "the Great" of Hohenzollern. (1712-86). Prussian King from 1740 to 1786. Through a series of wars, notably those of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Year War, he established Prussia as a great European power. He was also the classic "enlightened despot" and ruled over the flourishing of Aufklärung culture in Prussia. 


Friedrich-Wilhelm I of Hohenzollern. (1688-1740). Prussian King (1713 - 1740) who, known as "The Sergeant King", played a major role in centralizing the administration of Prussia and developing its military power.


Friedrich-Wilhelm III of Hohenzollern. (1770-1840). Prussian King (1797 - 1840), who, following the Prussian defeat at Jena by Napoleon in 1806 and the disastrous Peace of Tilsit in 1807, established residence in Königsberg with his family to plan the reorganization of his state and the liberation of Europe from French domination. He was surrounded by numerous advisors, who undertook a major series of reforms in the years between 1807 and 1813.


Giesebrecht, Wilhelm von. (1814-89). German historian. A gifted student of Ranke (the founder of modern German historiography), he taught at the University of Konigsberg. His Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit (1855 - 1888) remains a major work of historical scholarship.


Gilmanov, Vladimir. Russian scholar. A graduate in German studies from Kaliningrad University, he has become a noted scholar of Hamann.


Gorbenko, Leonid. A former dock worker who later managed the Kaliningrad docks, Gorbenko, a founding member of Vladimir Putin's Unity Party, was governor of the oblast from 1996 to c. 2000. His efforts to use the power of his office to control trade in tobacco and alcohol, as well as widespread rumors of cronyism and corruption, plagued his tenure. 


Goerdeler, Carl. (1884 - 1945). A descendent of a long line of Prussian civil servant, Goerdeler, despite his distaste for Weimar-style democracy, became Bürgermeister of Königsberg in 1920 and served it was his talented administrative abilities for ten years. Though he initially welcomed Hitler's rise to power, his disillusionment brought him into  involvement with the July 20, 1944 plot, for which he was executed.


Grishkovets, Yevgeny. (c. 1967 - ). Russian playwright, described by the New York Times as "a one-man theater from Kaliningrad who writes, directs, designs and performs his own lyrical but wickedly barbed comedies", which have "acquired a cult following and garnered a pile of awards over the last two seasons in  Moscow." (June 10, 2001). His play How I Ate a Dog was performed in London in 2000 and at the Avignon festival in 2002.


Hamann, Johann Georg. (1730-88). German philosopher and theologian, who, following a religious conversion on a business trip, led an attack on the abstraction and rationalism of the Enlightenment, symbolized by his friend and fellow citizen of Königsberg, Immanuel Kant.


Herder, Johann Gottfried von.  (1744-1803). A German philosopher and proto-anthropologist of sorts, who studied with Kant in Königsberg in 1762, before breaking with him shortly afterwards. A transitional figure between the Aufklärung and Romanticism, he has also been described as an important figure in the "Counter-Enlightenment."


Hilbert, David. (1862-1943). German mathematician, professor at Konigsberg (1886-95), where he was also born. He paved the way for modern mathematical geometry, setting forth a research program for mathematics that has not yet been completely fulfilled.


Hippel, Theodor Gottlieb von (1741 - 1796). German novelist, essayist and statesman. After studying law at Albertina University, he became chief Bürgermeister and later president of Königsberg, in addition to writing an autobiography, Lebenslauf nach aufsteigender Linie, and a social satire, Kreuzund Querzuge des Ritters A bis Z.


Hippel, Theodor Gottleib von, "The Younger".  (1775 - 1843).  A citizen of Königsberg who assisted King Friedrich Wilhelm III in writing the address An mein Volk, which appealed to the German people to oust Napoleon's armies from Germany.


Humboldt, Wilhelm von. (1767-1835). Prussian man of letters, statesman and educational reformer who participated in the Königsberg government following the Prussian defeat in 1806 - 1807. Despite his initial trepidation about being confided to a provincial capital, he settled in to the town's salons and cultural life.


Ivanov, Yuri. (1928 - ). Soviet/Russian writer. An important Kaliningrad intellectual who played a role in cultivating an interest for the city's German past.


Jacobi, Carl Gustav Jacob. (1804-51). German mathematician. He was a mathematics professor at Konigsberg from 1827 to 1842. He is deemed to be one of the greatest algorists ever, and was the author of an important work on elliptical functions.


Jacoby, Johann. (c. 1800 - c. 1877). German politician. Jacoby began his career as a doctor in Königsberg before becoming active in the liberal movement in the middle of the 19th century. He published a pamphlet calling for representative institutions entitled Vier Fragen, beantwortet von einem Ostpreussen, and represented Königsberg in the Berlin National Assembly and at Paulskirche in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1848 - 1849.


Johann-Sigismund of Hohenzollern. Prussian Duke (1608 - 1619), whose inheritance in 1618 confirms the consolidation of Brandenburg and Prussia into a single state. He converted to Calvinism, though his subjects remained Lutheran.


Kalinnikov, Leonard. Russian scholar. One of Kaliningrad's major authorities on Kant, as well as an intellectual who has been influential over the years in retrieving the history of Königsberg's past.


Kant, Immanuel. (1724 - 1804). Arguably the most significant modern philosopher. A lifelong resident of Königsberg and professor at the Albertina, he brought about the "Copernican Revolution" in philosophy after David Hume awoke him from the "dogmatic slumbers" of rationalism, inspiring him to write his critical corpus (the three Critiques of Pure Reason, Practical Reason and Judgment ) in the 1780s. 


Khmurchik, Alexander. Russian journalist. He is/was the editor of the Kalinigradskaja Pravda in the 1990s.


Knutzen, Martin. (1713 - 1751). An important professor at the University of Königsberg. He taught Kant the thought of Isaac Newton and Christian Wolf.


Koch, Erich. (1896 - 1986). Nazi Gauleiter in Königsberg. A veteran of the First World War, Koch joined the Nazi party in 1922. In 1928 he became the party's Gauleiter for East Prussia; in 1933, he became the President of East Prussia and a representative in parliament. During the war, he moved on to be the civil administrator of the Ukraine, before returning to Königsberg at the war's end. He hid from the allies until 1949, when British troops captured him. Though Soviet authorities demanded his extradition, the British turned him over to the Poles instead. In 1958, he was found guilty of the death of 4,000 Poles, and condemned to death. This was later commuted to life in prison, where he died in 1986.


Königsberg, Allen Stewart. (1935 - ). American film director. A lifelong New Yorker, Königsberg is better known by the name "Woody Allen." He has no clear connection to the city whose name he once bore.


Kraus, Christian Jacob. (1753 - 1807) A  professor of political economy at the university of Königsberg, who advocated the opinions of Adam Smith and inspired the reform movement in the early 19th century. 


Lasch, Otto. German General who commanded the Wehrmacht forces at Königsberg at the end of the war. He surrendered to the Soviet forces on April 9, 1945. Having subsequently fled the country, he was condemned to death for cowardice. He returned in 1955.


Linck, Hugo. A German survivor of the Battle of Königsberg in 1944-1945. Following the fall to the Soviets, he becomes a de facto representative of the surviving German community to the victors. Author of Königsberg 1945 - 1948 (Leer, 1987). 


Louisa. Queen of Prussia. The wife of King Friedrich Wilhelm III, she live in Königsberg from 1808 to 1809, during which time she gave birth to two children.


Miegel, Agnes. (1879 - 1964). German poet. A resident of Königsberg who left following the Soviet conquest in 1945, her poems are marked by their evocation of her home town.


Minkowski, Hermann. (1864–1909). Russian mathematician. He was educated in Germany and was professor at the University of Konigsberg from 1894 to 96. He is known amongst other achievements for having theorized a four-dimensional geometry of space and time that proved influential in the development of the general theory of relativity.


Motherby, Johanna. A salon hostess in Königsberg and friend of Wilhelm von Humboldt during the time of the residence of the reform government in Königsberg following the 1806 - 1807 defeat.


Navalichin, Dimitri.  Soviet architect, who served as  Kaliningrad's chief architect from 1948 to 1955 (and who was later, until 1957, the head of the regional architectural administration).


Osiander, Andreas. (1498-1552). German theologian and reformer. He was a member of the theological faculty at the recently-founded University of Königsberg. Osiander's mystical interpretation of the Lutheran doctrine of justification led to controversy within the German Lutheran church.


Putin, Lyudmila (née Shkrebneva). (1957 - ). Russian First Lady (since 2000). Born in Kaliningrad, she graduated from secondary school there in 1975, after which she worked in local temporary jobs, like the post office and the Kaliningrad Torgmash factory. She was also a  nurse in the local hospital, the director of an amateur drama studio for adolescents, and a stewardess on internal routes in the Kaliningrad air company. She eventually attended Leningrad State University, where she met her future husband.


Rabin, Leah (1928 - 2000). Israeli First Lady and peace activist. Born Leah Schlossberg in Königsberg to a successful textile merchant, her family moved to British-ruled Palestine shortly after Hitler's rise to power in 1933. There she eventually married Yitzhak Rabin, who was to become a major military figure and two-time prime minister of Israel following its independence. Leah Rabin was a vocal advocate of Israeli-Palestinian peace, particularly following her husband's assassination in November 1995.


Regiomontanus. (1436-76). German astronomer and mathematician. Born Johannes Müller in Königsberg, he assumed his home town's Latin name (Regiomontanus means "king's hill", or "Königsberg"). He established himself as an important Renaissance scholar in Rome (where he participated in papal calendar reform) and Nuremberg.


Schluter, Andreas. German sculptor. Noted among his sculptures was the statue of King Frederick I in front of the Schloss at Konigsberg.


Schulz, Dr. Pastor of the Pietist Church to which Kant's family belonged. He enrolled the young Kant in the Collegium Fridericianum, the Pietist school which he directed.


Tjan, Dimitri. Soviet urban planner, who was the first official responsible for the rebuilding of Kaliningrad in the post-war years. He criticized the randomness of German urban planning in the old town.


Wagner. Nazi Kreistleiter who assumed political responsibilities during the Soviet attack on Königsberg in 1944-1945, especially after Gauleiter Koch fled in January 1945. He appealed to the citizens by calling on them to: "Annihilate the Bolsheviks, wherever you can. Make a bloodbath of their path to Königsberg ... Death to the Bolsheviks."


Will, Dr. Bürgermeister of Königsberg at the time that it fell to the Soviets on April 9, 1945.


Yegorov, Admiral Vladimir. A one-time commander of the Baltic Fleet, who, circa 2000, was elected governor of Kaliningrad oblast with the support of President Vladimir Putin.


York von Wartenburg. Prussian General. After Prussia turned against Napoleon during his Russian campaign, he rallied Königsberg to the cause of German liberation and led the fight against the French.