For those of you who are history buffs, I'd be interested to know if you have any favorite people from history, and why do you find them so fascinating?
I realize that the definition of "German" is blurred as we go back in time, so let's roughly limit it to people who either lived in or ruled over German-speaking lands.
I'm fascinated by Frederick the Great. I really enjoyed visiting Potsdam/Sanssouci and touring the amazing royal grounds and buildings, specially the Neue Palais, which has been recently restored. I think his life story and his family were incredibly fascinating. I also really like the era's art, architecture, and costume. It must have been a strange and interesting time to live.
There's a good introductory book about him called simply "Frederick the Great" by Nancy Mitford, which I recommend. It helped me sort out all the various Fredericks and Wilhems (very confusing!) and to understand his place in history a lot better.
I was particularly impressed that despite his grandiose lifestyle and extravagance, he requested to be buried in a very simple grave, marked only by a stone plaque, and buried next to his favorite Italian greyhounds.