The German Saga - What Drives Us | DocFilm | DW | 29.08.2016
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The German Saga - What Drives Us

Discipline, thoroughness and precision are the basis for the Germans’ success, but where does their inventiveness come from? Christopher Clark takes a trip through the history of German discoveries and inventions.

Deutschland Saga 5

Many pioneers met a sadly tragic end. One was Otto Lilienthal, who paid for his dream of flying with his life, even though he did manage a number of long gliding flights.

In the fifth episode of “The German Saga," the British historian Christopher Clark explores the list of things the world has to thank German “brainiacs” for: bicycles, cars, dynamos, aircraft – it’s a long list. German scientists share currently share the top of the patent league with competitors Japan and the United States. But what are their origins? Can the German success rate be largely attributed to employee morale, or to structures arising in the industrially undeveloped Germany that benefited both practical development as well as research for its own sake?

Deutschland Saga 5

Wernher von Braun built called “Vengeance Weapons” for Hitler. Later he became an American citizen and became one of the fathers of the US space program.

In an old VW Beetle Convertible, one of many cars "Made in Germany" that conquered the world market, Clark in the tracks of mobility. This did not begin with Carl Friedrich Benz, the inventor of the modern automobile, or Otto’s engine of the same name. As early as 1813, Karl Drais built the first four-wheeled vehicle, powered by foot pedals. But the lumberjack from Baden forester was an avid inventor is still best known for the running machine that became famous as the Draisine, a forerunner of the bicycle.Even the great developments in communications technology – the telephone, radio, television, and computers – came from Germany. German physicists and chemists made groundbreaking discoveries such as quantum physics or nuclear fission and have long been major recipients of Nobel Prizes. But there was a downside: the Nazi regime also marked a turning point, forcing brilliant scientists suck as Albert Einstein, James Franck and Max Born into exile. Other submitted to the will and orders of the inhuman regime.

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