The son of a theologian, the young Lessing grew up in a literate Lutheran family in Kamenz (Upper Lusatia). Early on, the child's ability to grasp the subject quickly became apparent, so that thanks to his father he was able to visit the princely school of St. Afra in Meissen. There Lessing undertook his first literary experiments.
After his early graduation because of excellent school achievements Lessing enrolled 1746 to study in Leipzig. First of all for theology, but soon he turned to the grief of his parents, mostly with poetry and theater and worked as a writer, critic and journalist. Finally, in 1752, he received his doctorate in Wittenberg with a thesis on the Spanish doctor and naturalist Juan Huarte for Magister.
During his professional career in Berlin, Leipzig, Wroclaw and Hamburg, he worked as a literary critic, dramaturge, writer and publisher. In 1770 he was appointed librarian of the Ducal Library in Wolfenbüttel. In addition to his writing and library work Lessing liked to meet with friends for social exchange and learned discussions. In Braunschweig he rented at the wine merchant Angott Aegidienmarkt, whose house stood on the site of today's Leisewitzhauses.
His work interrupted Lessing for several trips, especially in 1775/76 to Vienna via Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden and Prague with audience with Emperor Joseph II and from Vienna as a companion of Brunswick Prince Leopold to Italy.
Lessing was a poet, thinker and critic who was interested in many things, often with witty irony and polemic. In his dramas and theoretical writings, he was instrumental in the idea of tolerance and the mutual recognition of world religions. Grown up in a Protestant parental home, Lessing's "Education of the Human Race" (1780) represented the idea that human reason would develop without the help of a divine revelation. With his passion for theater, Lessing has significantly influenced his development. His drama "Emilia Galotti", first performed on March 13, 1772 at the Ducal Opera House Braunschweig, is still one of the most performed pieces on German stages.
On 15 February 1781 Lessing died after a long illness in the house on Aegidienmarkt and was buried in the Magnifriedhof in Brunswick.
November 27, 2017
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