Lewin, Kurt, 1890-1947, American psychologist, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1914. He taught at the Univ. of Berlin before coming to the United States in 1932. He was professor (1935-44) of child psychology at the Univ. of Iowa and director (from 1944) of the research center for group dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Influenced by Gestalt psychology, he was concerned with problems of motivation of individuals and of groups as determined by the context of a given situation. His work opened up a new realm of psychological investigation. His writings include A Dynamic Theory of Personality (tr. 1935), Principles of Topological Psychology (1936), The Conceptual Representation and Measurement of Psychological Forces (1938), and Resolving Social Conflicts (1947).
Eisner, Kurt, 1867-1919, German socialist. He studied at the Friedrich Wilhelm Univ. in Berlin and edited several leading socialist newspapers. In 1917 he joined the newly formed Independent Social Democratic party. Eisner was convicted (1918) of treason for inciting a strike among munitions workers. Released, he organized the revolution that overthrew the Bavarian monarchy (Nov. 7, 1918), and he became the first republican premier of Bavaria. He opposed Prussian domination in German affairs and advocated a more genuinely federal German state to give Bavaria a leading role. Seeking to pacify the Allied powers, Eisner published documents from the Bavarian archives reputing to prove German responsibility for World War I. An idealist with little political ability, he rapidly lost support and was assassinated (Feb. 21, 1919) on his way to present his resignation to the Bavarian parliament. Eisner's collected writings were published in 1919.

See study by A. Mitchell (1965).

Waldheim, Kurt, 1918-2007, Austrian diplomat, secretary-general of the United Nations (1972-81) and president of Austria (1986-92). He entered diplomatic service after World War II, serving in France and Canada. When Austria entered the United Nations in 1958, Waldheim was a member of its delegation. Austria's permanent representative to the United Nations (1964-68), he later served (1968-70) as Austria's foreign minister and lost (1971) an election for the Austrian presidency.

Elected to a five-year term as UN secretary-general in Dec., 1971, Waldheim attempted, with little success, to end the Iran-Iraq war and the China-Vietnam war and to gain the release of American hostages in Iran. He was reelected in 1976 despite Third World opposition, but was blocked from a third term by a Chinese veto in 1981. He was succeeded as secretary-general by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar.

In 1986 he was elected president of Austria, despite the scandal caused by the revelation that he had been an officer in a German army unit that committed atrocities in Yugoslavia during World War II. He consistently denied any knowledge of the atrocities, and an international investigation cleared him of complicity. Nonetheless, many felt he must have known more than he revealed, and the allegations overshadowed his diplomatic and political legacy. His tenure as president was marked by international isolation, and he did not run in 1992.

See his memoir (1986) and autobiography (1999).

Alder, Kurt, 1902-58, German chemist, educated at Berlin and at Kiel. He was on the research staff of the Bayer Dye Works (1936-40) before becoming (1940) professor of chemistry and director of the chemical institute of the Univ. of Cologne. He shared with Otto Diels the 1950 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a process for the synthesis of complex organic compounds. The Diels-Alder reaction in its simplest form is the reaction of an alkene with a diene to form a cyclohexene.
Schwitters, Kurt, 1887-1948, German artist. Influenced by Kandinsky, by Picasso's reliefs, and by Dada constructions, he invented Merz [trash] constructions—arrangements of diverse materials and objects. Schwitters created gigantic architectural structures out of rubbish. His collages are among the outstanding creations in this medium.
Tucholsky, Kurt, 1890-1935, German political satirist and journalist. Ranging over a wide variety of subjects and styles, Tucholsky's pacifist, antifascist writing marked a high point in German literary journalism. He wrote under four pseudonyms: Ignaz Wrobel (contemporary satire), Peter Panter (theater and literary criticism, travel), Theobald Tiger (poetry), Kaspar Hauser (character of despair, reflecting the drive that led Tucholsky to suicide). Among his works are Deutschland, Deutschland über alles (1929), and a collection in English translation, The World Is a Comedy (1957), and an anthology of his satirical works, What If (tr. 1969).
Jooss, Kurt, 1901-79, German dancer, producer, and choreographer. Jooss was a student of Rudolf von Laban and was influenced by Émile Jacques-Dalcroze. The Green Table (1932), his most famous ballet, was an expressionistic view of the origins of war. Leaving Germany after the rise of Hitler, he worked in England with his Ballets Jooss and toured in many European and American cities, returning to Germany after the war. His group was disbanded in 1962; Jooss continued to perform with other Western European companies. His ballets, including Chronica, The Big City, A Spring Tale, and Pandora, have influenced the development of psychological themes in ballet.

See A. V. Coton, The New Ballet: Kurt Jooss and His Work (1946).

Masur, Kurt, 1927-, German conductor, b. Brieg, Germany (now Brzeg, Poland). Masur is noted for his performances of the German composers whose works form the core of the traditional symphonic repertoire and of modern Eastern European and Russian composers. He studied piano, composition, and conducting at the Music College of Leipzig. Starting in 1948 he held a number of conducting posts in East Germany. His first major orchestral appointment came in 1955, when he became conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic; he later served (1967-72) as its chief conductor. Masur was music director of the highly esteemed Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig from 1970 to 1997; during his tenure he played a prominent part in the city events (1989) that contributed to the collapse of the East German Communist regime. In 1991 he succeeded Zubin Mehta as music director of the New York Philharmonic. In 2002 he left New York, where he became the second conductor after Leonard Bernstein to be named director emeritus, and assumed the posts of principal conductor of the London Philharmonic and music director of the Orchestre National de France.
Wüthrich, Kurt, 1938-, Swiss chemist, Ph.D. Univ. of Basel, 1964. Wüthrich has been on the faculty at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology since 1969 and at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., since 2001. In 2002 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with John Fenn and Koichi Tanaka; he was awarded the prize for his use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution. NMR spectroscopy enables proteins to be studied in solution, an environment that closely mimics the conditions found in living cells.
Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr. 1922-2007, American novelist, b. Indianapolis. After serving in a World War II combat unit, he worked as a police reporter. Marked by wry black humor, Vonnegut's satirical, pessimistic, and morally urgent novels frequently protest the horrors of the 20th cent., as in the best-selling Slaughterhouse-Five (1969; film, 1972). His fiction spoke with particular forcefulness to the generation that came of age in the 1960s and 70s. Vonnegut's books frequently include elements of science fiction, featuring fantastic plots and sometimes involving such devices as trips in outer space, time faults, and apocalyptic destruction. Among his other novels are Player Piano (1952), Mother Night (1961; film, 1996), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965), Breakfast of Champions (1973; film, 1999), Deadeye Dick (1983), Bluebeard (1987), and the novel-memoir Timequake (1997). He also wrote short stories, plays, and essays, e.g., the collections Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons (1974), The Man without a Country (2005), and the posthumously published Armageddon in Retrospect (2008).

See his semiautobiographical Fates Worse than Death (1991); W. R. Allen, ed., Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut (1988); P. J. Reed and M. Leeds, Vonnegut Chronicles: Interviews and Essays (1996); studies by S. Schatt (1976), J. Lundquist (1977), R. Merrill, ed. (1990), W. R. Allen (1991), L. Mustazza (1990 and 1994), P. J. Reed (1972 and 1997), H. Bloom, ed. (2000), K. A. Boon, ed. (2001), T. F. Marvin (2002), D. E. Morse (1992 and 2003), J. Klinkowitz (1982, 2004, and 2009), J. Tomedi (2004), and T. F. Davis (2006); M. Leeds, The Vonnegut Encyclopedia (1995).

Gödel, Kurt, 1906-78, American mathematician and logician, b. Brünn (now Brno, Czech Republic), grad. Univ. of Vienna (Ph.D., 1930). He came to the United States in 1940 and was naturalized in 1948. He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, until 1953, when he became professor of mathematics at Princeton. He is best known for his work in mathematical logic, particularly for his theorem (1931) stating that the various branches of mathematics are based in part on propositions that are not provable within the system itself, although they may be proved by means of logical (metamathematical) systems external to mathematics. Gödel shared the 1951 Albert Einstein Award for achievement in the natural sciences with Julian Schwinger, Harvard mathematical physicist. His writings include Foundations of Mathematics (1969).

See H. Wang, Reflections on Kurt Gödel (1987); E. Nagel et al., Gödel's Proof (rev. ed. 2001); R. Goldstein, The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (2005); P. Yourgrau, A World without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein (2005).

Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950, German-American composer, b. Dessau, studied with Humperdinck and Busoni in Berlin. He first became known with the production of two short, satirical, surrealist operas, Der Protagonist (1926) and Der Zar lässt sich photographieren [the czar has himself photographed] (1928). More popular than these, however, was his melodious Dreigroschenoper (1928), a modern version of John Gay's Beggar's Opera, with book by Bertolt Brecht. Translated and adapted by Marc Blitzstein as The Threepenny Opera, it was first produced in New York City in 1933; revived in 1954, it ran for more than six years and has become one of the classics of the musical stage. Brecht was also the librettist of Weill's satiric opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny [rise and fall of the city Mahagonny] (1927; revised and expanded 1930). All these works were condemned as decadent by the rising followers of Hitler, and, in 1933, Weill left Germany for France.

In 1935 he emigrated to the United States, where he began writing sophisticated musicals, the most notable being Johnny Johnson (1936), Knickerbocker Holiday (1938; written with Maxwell Anderson), Lady in the Dark (1941), and One Touch of Venus (1943; written with Ogden Nash). In these works Weill employed with great facility advanced techniques, including multiple rhythms and polytonality, combined with the idiom of American popular music and jazz. His last works, in a more serious vein, included Street Scene (1947), Down in the Valley (1948), and Lost in the Stars (1949; written with Maxwell Anderson). His wife, the singer Lotte Lenya, played many of the leading roles in his works and was his defining interpreter. Weill also wrote some instrumental works; a cantata, Lindbergh's Flight (1929); and The Eternal Road (1934), a pageant of Jewish history originally composed in German with text by Franz Werfel. Weill became a U.S. citizen in 1943.

Koffka, Kurt, 1886-1941, American psychologist, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1908. Before settling permanently in the United States in 1928 as a professor at Smith, he taught at Cornell and at the Univ. of Wisconsin. With Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler he is credited with developing the theories that gave rise to the school of Gestalt psychology. His book Growth of the Mind (1924) was considered responsible for awakening much interest in Gestalt concepts.

See his Principles of Gestalt Psychology (1935).

Kurt-Schumacher-Platz is a station on the line of the Berlin U-Bahn.

There is a bus link outside the station connecting Berlin's Tegel International Airport to the U-Bahn network.

The station was named after famous German politician Kurt Schumacher.


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