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Heinrich Heine
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Poet
    (December 13, 1797-February 17, 1856)
    Born in Düsseldorf, Germany
    Birth name was Christian Johann Heinrich Heine
    Wrote 'The Book of Songs' (1827), 'New Poems' (1844), 'Germany: A Winter's Tale' (1844), 'Romanzero' (1851) and 'Poems 1853 and 1854' (1854)
    He was suspended from the University of Gottingen for challenging another student to a duel.
    He fought several duels and was shot in the hip during the last one (1841).
    He was supported by a stipend from his wealthy uncle.
    When his uncle died and left him 'only' 8,000 francs, he spent two years trying to get the will overturned.
    Before reviewing a concert, he tried to extort money from Franz Liszt for a favorable review.
    In his will, he allegedly left his estate to his wife only on the condition that she remarry, so 'there will be at least one man to regret my death.'
    He went into exile in Paris to escape German censorship.
    Several of his poems were set to music by Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn.
    He spent the last eight years of his life confined to bed.
    It was thought that he had syphilis, but later evidence suggests that he suffered from chronic lead poisoning.
    On his deathbed, he said 'God will forgive me. That's his job.'
    His books were burned by the Nazis.
    The site of one book burning in Berlin is marked by a plaque with his quote, 'That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people as well.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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