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Karl Friedrich von Munchhausen
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Military Personnel
    (May 11, 1720-February 22, 1797)
    Born in Bodenwerder, Germany
    German Baron
    Served in the Russian military (1739-52)
    Inspired numerous stories, collected by Rudolf Raspe in ‘The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchhausen’ (1785)
    Adventures allegedly included riding a cannonball, traveling to the Moon and escaping from a swamp by pulling himself up by his own hair
    His second marriage ended with a divorce that ruined him financially.
    He gained a reputation for telling exaggerated tales.
    Terry Gilliam’s film ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen’ (1988) was one of the decade’s biggest money losers.
    He gave his name to the psychological conditions Munchhausen Syndrome, in which a person feigns illness for sympathy, and Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy, in which a person gains attention by inflicting injury on someone under their care.
    Despite his tall tales, he was known for his honesty in business affairs.
    He received the order of St. Anna from Czar Paul I for his ‘faultless service.’
    Much of the material in Raspe’s collection was borrowed from other sources.
    Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia jointly established an international tour of sites visited by the Baron.

Credit: C. Fishel


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