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German feel-good book not so accurate

July 25, 2005 at 4:27 PM   |   Comments

BERLIN, July 25 (UPI) -- A new German schoolbook that claims Germans invented just about everything has come under ridicule as inaccurate by the German media.

"German Stars: 50 Innovations Everyone Should Know About" is being shipped to schools and universities this week as part of a self-esteem building plan by the government and industry.

It claims Manfred von Ardenne invented the television in 1930, and not John Logie Baird, the Independent reported. It denies Thomas Edison invented light bulbs, and states Heinrich Gobel did in 1854.

"We're honestly not trying to claim the Germans invented everything", said Lars Heitmuller of Fischer Appelt, the Berlin-based PR agency that produced the book. "We thought it was a good idea to remind the Germans of that and let them know it's OK to feel good about it."

However, Der Spiegel magazine this week denounced the book as "outrageous nonsense," based on the claim Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.

"It is well documented that the Chinese invented this 300 years earlier," the magazine said.

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