The Most Famous

EXTREMISTS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Extremists. The pantheon dataset contains 283 Extremists, 15 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 3rd most number of Extremists behind United States, and United Kingdom.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Extremists of all time. This list of famous German Extremists 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 Extremists.

Photo of Ulrike Meinhof

1. Ulrike Meinhof (1934 - 1976)

With an HPI of 68.35, Ulrike Meinhof is the most famous German Extremist.  Her biography has been translated into 47 different languages on wikipedia.

Ulrike Marie Meinhof (7 October 1934 – 9 May 1976) was a German left-wing journalist and founding member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) in West Germany, commonly referred to in the press as the "Baader-Meinhof gang". She is the reputed author of The Urban Guerilla Concept (1971). The manifesto acknowledges the RAF's "roots in the history of the student movement"; condemns "reformism" as "a brake on the anti-capitalist struggle"; and invokes Mao Zedong to define "armed struggle" as "the highest form of Marxism-Leninism". Meinhof, who took part in the RAF's May Offensive in 1972, was arrested in June of that year and spent the rest of her life in custody, largely isolated from outside contact. In November 1974, she was sentenced to 8 years in prison for an attempted murder that had taken place during the RAF's successful jailbreak operation of Andreas Baader. From 1975, she stood trial on multiple charges of murder and attempted murder, with the three other RAF leaders: Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe. Before the end of the trial, she was found hanged in her cell in the Stammheim Prison. The official finding of suicide sparked controversy. One year later, on 7 April 1977, two members of the RAF assassinated the Federal Attorney-General Siegfried Buback as revenge.

Photo of Frederick Trump

2. Frederick Trump (1869 - 1918)

With an HPI of 66.02, Frederick Trump is the 2nd most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Frederick Trump (born Friedrich Trump, German pronunciation: [fʁi:dʁɪç tʁʊmp]; March 14, 1869 – May 30, 1918) was a German-American barber and businessman. He was the patriarch of the Trump family and the paternal grandfather of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States. Born and raised in Kallstadt in what was then the Kingdom of Bavaria, Trump immigrated to the United States in 1885. In 1891, he began speculating in real estate in Seattle. During the Klondike Gold Rush, he moved to the Yukon and made his fortune by operating a restaurant and a brothel for miners in Whitehorse. In 1901, Trump returned to Kallstadt and married Elisabeth Christ. As he had purportedly immigrated to the United States in order to evade conscription, the Bavarian Government stripped him of his citizenship in 1905. Consequently, he returned to the United States with his family. Trump worked as a barber and manager of a hotel and was beginning to acquire real estate in Queens when he died in the 1918 flu pandemic.

Photo of Otto Ohlendorf

3. Otto Ohlendorf (1907 - 1951)

With an HPI of 64.93, Otto Ohlendorf is the 3rd most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Otto Ohlendorf (German pronunciation: [ˈɔtoː ˈʔoːləndɔʁf]; 4 February 1907 – 7 June 1951) was a German SS functionary and Holocaust perpetrator during the Nazi era. An economist by education, he was head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Inland, responsible for intelligence and security within Germany. In 1941, Ohlendorf was appointed the commander of Einsatzgruppe D, which perpetrated mass murder in Moldova, south Ukraine, the Crimea and, during 1942, the North Caucasus. He was tried at the Einsatzgruppen Trial, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging in 1951.

Photo of Andreas Baader

4. Andreas Baader (1943 - 1977)

With an HPI of 64.38, Andreas Baader is the 4th most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Berndt Andreas Baader (6 May 1943 – 18 October 1977), was a West German communist and leader of the left-wing militant organization Red Army Faction (RAF) also commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Group.

Photo of Peter Kürten

5. Peter Kürten (1883 - 1931)

With an HPI of 63.90, Peter Kürten is the 5th most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Peter Kürten (German: [ˈpeːtɐ ˈkʏʁtn̩]; 26 May 1883 – 2 July 1931) was a German serial killer, known as "The Vampire of Düsseldorf" and the "Düsseldorf Monster", who committed a series of murders and sexual assaults between February and November 1929 in the city of Düsseldorf. In the years before these assaults and murders, Kürten had amassed a lengthy criminal record for offences including arson and attempted murder. He also confessed to the 1913 murder of a nine-year-old girl in Mülheim am Rhein and the attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl in Düsseldorf. Described by Karl Berg as "the king of the sexual perverts", Kürten was found guilty of nine counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder for which he was sentenced to death by beheading in April 1931. He was executed in July 1931 at age 48. Kürten became known as the "Vampire of Düsseldorf" because he occasionally made attempts to drink the blood from his victims' wounds, and the "Düsseldorf Monster" both because the majority of his murders were committed in and around the city of Düsseldorf, and due to the savagery he inflicted upon his victims' bodies.

Photo of Fritz Haarmann

6. Fritz Haarmann (1879 - 1925)

With an HPI of 62.39, Fritz Haarmann is the 6th most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Friedrich Heinrich Karl "Fritz" Haarmann (25 October 1879 – 15 April 1925) was a German serial rapist and serial killer, known as the Butcher of Hanover, the Vampire of Hanover and the Wolf Man, who committed the sexual assault, murder, mutilation and dismemberment of at least twenty-four young men and boys in the city of Hanover between 1918 and 1924. Found guilty of twenty-four of the twenty-seven murders for which he was tried, Haarmann was sentenced to death by beheading in December 1924. He was subsequently executed by guillotine in April 1925. Haarmann became known as the Butcher of Hanover (German: Der Schlächter von Hannover) due to the extensive mutilation and dismemberment committed upon his victims' bodies, and by such titles as the Vampire of Hanover (der Vampir von Hannover) and the Wolf Man (Wolfsmensch) because of his preferred murder method of biting into or through his victims' throats.

Photo of Gudrun Ensslin

7. Gudrun Ensslin (1940 - 1977)

With an HPI of 62.34, Gudrun Ensslin is the 7th most famous German Extremist.  Her biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Gudrun Ensslin (German: [ˈɡuːdʁuːn ˈɛnsliːn]; 15 August 1940 – 18 October 1977) was a German far-left terrorist and founder of the West German far-left militant group Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion, or RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang). After becoming involved with co-founder Andreas Baader, Ensslin was influential in the politicization of his anarchist beliefs. Ensslin was perhaps the intellectual head of the RAF. She was involved in five bomb attacks, with four deaths, was arrested in 1972 and died on 18 October 1977 in what has been called Stammheim Prison's "Death Night".

Photo of Friedrich Jeckeln

8. Friedrich Jeckeln (1895 - 1946)

With an HPI of 61.46, Friedrich Jeckeln is the 8th most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Friedrich Jeckeln (2 February 1895 – 3 February 1946) was a German SS commander during the Nazi era. He served as a Higher SS and Police Leader in the occupied Soviet Union during World War II. Jeckeln was the commander of one of the largest groups of Einsatzgruppen death squads and was personally responsible for ordering and organising the deaths of over 100,000 Jews, Romani and others designated by the Nazis as "undesirables". After the end of World War II in Europe, Jeckeln was convicted of war crimes by a Soviet military tribunal in Riga and executed by hanging in 1946.

Photo of Willi Herold

9. Willi Herold (1925 - 1946)

With an HPI of 59.90, Willi Herold is the 9th most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Willi Herold (11 September 1925 – 14 November 1946), also known as the Executioner of Emsland, was a Nazi German war criminal. Near the end of the Second World War in Europe, Herold deserted from the German Army and, posing as a Luftwaffe captain, organized the mass execution of German deserters held at a prison camp. He was arrested by British forces and executed for war crimes on 14 November 1946 at Wolfenbüttel Prison.

Photo of Armin Meiwes

10. Armin Meiwes (b. 1961)

With an HPI of 58.97, Armin Meiwes is the 10th most famous German Extremist.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Armin Meiwes (German: [ˈmaɪvəs]; born 1 December 1961) is a German former computer repair technician who received international attention for murdering and eating a voluntary victim in 2001, whom he had found via the Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the victim's severed penis, Meiwes murdered his victim and proceeded to eat a large amount of his flesh. He was arrested in December 2002. In January 2004, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years and six months in prison. In a retrial in May 2006, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher). The house where this event took place was destroyed in a fire that occurred in the early morning on 17 April 2023.

People

Pantheon has 21 people classified as German extremists born between 1869 and 1961. Of these 21, 4 (19.05%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living German extremists include Armin Meiwes, Heinrich XIII Prinz Reuss, and Brigitte Mohnhaupt. The most famous deceased German extremists include Ulrike Meinhof, Frederick Trump, and Otto Ohlendorf. As of April 2024, 6 new German extremists have been added to Pantheon including Fritz Honka, Monika Ertl, and Therese Brandl.

Living German Extremists

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Deceased German Extremists

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Newly Added German Extremists (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Extremists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 16 most globally memorable Extremists since 1700.