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German author of Wild West fiction dies

March
30
1912

On this day in 1912, Karl May died in Radebeul, Germany. May's fictional character Old Shatterhand spread Christianity and justice across a romanticized American West while fighting "unscrupulous white men and renegade Indians." The novelist's huge following included such disparate readers as Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Hermann Hesse, and Adolf Hitler. Over sixty million copies of May's works, in thirty languages, helped form the image of Texas and the Wild West in many European minds.

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