The Most Famous

COMPANIONS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Companions. The pantheon dataset contains 687 Companions, 91 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the most number of Companions.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Companions of all time. This list of famous German Companions is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Companions.

Photo of Empress Elisabeth of Austria

1. Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837 - 1898)

With an HPI of 86.42, Empress Elisabeth of Austria is the most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 62 different languages on wikipedia.

Elisabeth (born Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria; 24 December 1837 – 10 September 1898) was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary by marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was born into the royal Bavarian House of Wittelsbach. Nicknamed Sisi (also Sissi), she enjoyed an informal upbringing before marrying Emperor Franz Joseph I at the age of sixteen. The marriage thrust her into the much more formal Habsburg court life, for which she was unprepared and which she found uncongenial. Early in the marriage she was at odds with her mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie, who took over the rearing of Elisabeth's daughters, one of whom, Sophie, died in infancy. The birth of the heir apparent, Crown Prince Rudolf, improved her standing at court, but her health suffered under the strain, and she would often visit Hungary for its more relaxed environment. She came to develop a deep kinship with Hungary, and helped to bring about the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867. The death of her only son and his mistress Mary Vetsera in a murder–suicide at his hunting lodge at Mayerling in 1889 was a blow from which Elisabeth never recovered. She withdrew from court duties and travelled widely, unaccompanied by her family. In 1890, she had a palace built on the Greek Island of Corfu that she visited often. The palace, Achilleion, featuring an elaborate mythological motif, served as a refuge. She was obsessively concerned with maintaining her youthful figure and beauty, which were already legendary during her lifetime. In 1897, her sister, Duchess Sophie in Bavaria, died in an accidental fire at the Bazar de la Charité charity event in Paris. While travelling in Geneva in 1898, she was mortally wounded by an Italian anarchist named Luigi Lucheni. Elisabeth was the longest serving Empress of Austria at 44 years.

Photo of Eva Braun

2. Eva Braun (1912 - 1945)

With an HPI of 83.10, Eva Braun is the 2nd most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Eva Anna Paula Hitler (née Braun; 6 February 1912 – 30 April 1945) was a German photographer who was the longtime companion and later the wife of Adolf Hitler. The two first met in Munich when she was a 17-year-old assistant and model for his personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann; she began seeing Hitler often about two years later. Braun took many of the surviving colour photographs and films of Hitler. She attempted suicide twice during their early relationship. By 1936, Braun was a part of Hitler's household at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden and lived a sheltered life throughout World War II. She became a key figure within Hitler's inner social circle, but did not attend public events with him until mid-1944, when her sister Gretl married Hermann Fegelein, the SS liaison officer on his staff. As Nazi Germany was collapsing towards the end of the war, Braun swore loyalty to Hitler and went to Berlin to be by his side in the heavily reinforced Führerbunker beneath the Reich Chancellery garden. As Red Army troops fought their way into the centre government district, on 29 April 1945, she married Hitler during a brief civil ceremony; she was aged 33 and he was aged 56. Less than forty hours later, they died by suicide in a sitting room of the bunker—she by biting into a capsule of cyanide, and he by a gunshot to the head. The German public was unaware of Braun's relationship with Hitler until after their deaths.

Photo of Queen Silvia of Sweden

3. Queen Silvia of Sweden (1943 - )

With an HPI of 79.30, Queen Silvia of Sweden is the 3rd most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Silvia (born Silvia Renate Sommerlath; 23 December 1943) is the queen of Sweden as the spouse of King Carl XVI Gustaf. She has held this title since her marriage to Carl Gustaf in 1976. The king and queen have three children: Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip, and Princess Madeleine.

Photo of Caroline of Ansbach

4. Caroline of Ansbach (1683 - 1737)

With an HPI of 78.51, Caroline of Ansbach is the 4th most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach (Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline; 1 March 1683 – 20 November 1737) was Queen of Great Britain and Ireland as the wife of King George II. Her father, Margrave John Frederick of Brandenburg-Ansbach, belonged to a branch of the House of Hohenzollern and was the ruler of a small German state, the Principality of Ansbach. Caroline was orphaned at a young age and moved to the enlightened court of her guardians, King Frederick I and Queen Sophia Charlotte of Prussia. At the Prussian court her previously limited education was widened and she adopted the liberal outlook possessed by Sophia Charlotte, who became her good friend and whose views influenced Caroline all her life. As a young woman Caroline was much sought-after as a bride. After rejecting the suit of the nominal King of Spain, Archduke Charles of Austria, she married George Augustus, the third in line to the British throne and heir apparent to the Electorate of Hanover. They had eight children, seven of whom grew to adulthood. Caroline moved permanently to Britain in 1714 when her husband became Prince of Wales. As Princess of Wales she joined her husband in rallying political opposition to his father King George I. In 1717 her husband was expelled from court after a family row. Caroline came to be associated with Robert Walpole, an opposition politician who was a former government minister. Walpole rejoined the government in 1720 and Caroline's husband and King George I reconciled publicly on Walpole's advice. Over the next few years Walpole rose to become the leading minister. Caroline became queen and electress consort upon her husband's accession in 1727. Her eldest son, Frederick, became Prince of Wales. He was a focus for the opposition, like his father before him, and Caroline's relationship with him was strained. As princess and as queen, Caroline was known for her political influence, which she exercised through and for Walpole. Her tenure included four regencies during her husband's stays in Hanover and she is credited with strengthening the House of Hanover's place in Britain during a period of political instability. Caroline was widely mourned by her political allies following her death in 1737 as well as by the King, who refused to remarry.

Photo of Magda Goebbels

5. Magda Goebbels (1901 - 1945)

With an HPI of 77.81, Magda Goebbels is the 5th most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Johanna Maria Magdalena "Magda" Goebbels (née Ritschel; 11 November 1901 – 1 May 1945) was the wife of Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. A prominent member of the Nazi Party, she was a close ally, companion, and political supporter of Adolf Hitler. Some historians refer to her as the unofficial "first lady" of Nazi Germany, while others give that title to Emmy Göring.With defeat imminent during the Battle of Berlin at the end of World War II in Europe, she and her husband murdered their six children before committing suicide in the Reich Chancellery gardens. Her eldest son, Harald Quandt, from a previous marriage, survived her.

Photo of Anne of Cleves

6. Anne of Cleves (1515 - 1557)

With an HPI of 77.65, Anne of Cleves is the 6th most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Anne of Cleves (German: Anna von Kleve; 1515 – 16 July 1557) was Queen of England from 6 January to 9 July 1540 as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. Not much is known about Anne before 1527, when she became betrothed to Francis, Duke of Bar, son and heir of Antoine, Duke of Lorraine, although their marriage did not proceed. In March 1539, negotiations for Anne's marriage to Henry began, as Henry believed that he needed to form a political alliance with her brother, William, who was a leader of the Protestants of western Germany, to strengthen his position against potential attacks from Catholic France and the Holy Roman Empire.Anne arrived in England on 27 December 1539 and married Henry on 6 January 1540, but after six months, the marriage was declared unconsummated and, as a result, she was not crowned queen consort. Following the annulment, Henry gave her a generous settlement, and she was thereafter known as the King's Beloved Sister. Remaining in England, she lived to see the reign of Edward VI, and the coronation of Mary I, outliving the rest of Henry's wives.

Photo of Isabeau of Bavaria

7. Isabeau of Bavaria (1370 - 1435)

With an HPI of 77.43, Isabeau of Bavaria is the 7th most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Isabeau of Bavaria (or Isabelle; also Elisabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt; c. 1370 – September 1435) was queen of France between 1385 and 1422. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach as the only daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At age 15 or 16, Isabeau was sent to the young King Charles VI of France; the couple wed three days after their first meeting. Isabeau was honored in 1389 with a lavish coronation ceremony and entry into Paris. In 1392, Charles suffered the first attack of what was to become a lifelong and progressive mental illness, resulting in periodic withdrawal from government. The episodes occurred with increasing frequency, leaving a court both divided by political factions and steeped in social extravagances. A 1393 masque for one of Isabeau's ladies-in-waiting—an event later known as Bal des Ardents—ended in disaster with the King almost burning to death. Although the King demanded Isabeau's removal from his presence during his illness, he consistently allowed her to act on his behalf. In this way she became regent to the Dauphin of France (heir apparent), and sat on the regency council, allowing far more power than was usual for a medieval queen. Charles' illness created a power vacuum that eventually led to the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War between supporters of his brother, Duke Louis I of Orléans, and the royal dukes of Burgundy. Isabeau shifted allegiances as she chose the most favorable paths for the heir to the throne. When she followed the Armagnacs, the Burgundians accused her of adultery with Louis of Orléans; when she sided with the Burgundians, the Armagnacs removed her from Paris and she was imprisoned. In 1407, John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, assassinated Orléans, sparking hostilities between the factions. The war ended soon after Isabeau's eldest son, Charles, had John the Fearless assassinated in 1419—an act that saw him disinherited. Isabeau attended the 1420 signing of the Treaty of Troyes, which decided that the English king should inherit the French crown after the death of her husband, Charles VI. She lived in English-occupied Paris until her death in 1435. Isabeau was popularly seen as a spendthrift and irresponsible philanderess. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries historians re-examined the extensive chronicles of her lifetime, concluding that many unflattering elements of her reputation were unearned and stemmed from factionalism and propaganda.

Photo of Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg

8. Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (1868 - 1914)

With an HPI of 77.07, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg is the 8th most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (Czech: Žofie Marie Josefína Albína hraběnka Chotková z Chotkova a Vojnína; German: Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Gräfin Chotek von Chotkow und Wognin; 1 March 1868 – 28 June 1914) was the wife of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Their assassination in Sarajevo sparked a series of events that eventually led to World War I.

Photo of Katharina von Bora

9. Katharina von Bora (1498 - 1552)

With an HPI of 76.68, Katharina von Bora is the 9th most famous German Companion.  Her biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Katharina von Bora (German: [kataˈʁiːnaː fɔn ˈboːʁaː]; 29 January 1499 – 20 December 1552), after her wedding Katharina Luther, also referred to as "die Lutherin" ("the Lutheress"), was the wife of Martin Luther, German reformer and a seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation. Beyond what is found in the writings of Luther and some of his contemporaries, little is known about her. Despite this, Katharina is often considered one of the most important participants in the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages.

Photo of Sepp Dietrich

10. Sepp Dietrich (1892 - 1966)

With an HPI of 76.57, Sepp Dietrich is the 10th most famous German Companion.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Josef "Sepp" Dietrich (28 May 1892 – 21 April 1966) was a German politician and SS commander during the Nazi era. He joined the Nazi Party in 1928 and was elected to the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic in 1930. Prior to 1929, Dietrich was Adolf Hitler's chauffeur and bodyguard. Despite having no formal staff officer training, Dietrich was, along with Paul Hausser, the highest-ranking officer in the Waffen-SS, the military branch of the SS. Reaching the rank of Oberst-Gruppenführer, he commanded units up to army level during World War II. As commanding officer of the 6th Panzer Army during the Battle of the Bulge, Dietrich bore responsibility for the Malmedy massacre, the murder of U.S. prisoners of war in December 1944. After the war, Dietrich was convicted of war crimes at the Malmedy massacre trial, conducted by the U.S. military tribunal, and later in West Germany for his involvement in the 1934 purge. Upon his release from U.S. prison, he became active in HIAG, a lobby group established by former high-ranking Waffen-SS personnel. Dietrich died in 1966.

Pantheon has 91 people classified as companions born between 765 and 1967. Of these 91, 2 (2.20%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living companions include Queen Silvia of Sweden and Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein. The most famous deceased companions include Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Eva Braun, and Caroline of Ansbach. As of October 2020, 10 new companions have been added to Pantheon including Anna Maria of the Palatinate, Infanta Maria das Neves of Portugal, and Princess Luise Dorothea of Prussia.

Living Companions

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Deceased Companions

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Newly Added Companions (2020)

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Which Companions were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Companions since 1700.