Gotthard Christian August Thieme was born 1780 in Allstedt in the region of Thuringia. His father was a deacon, his mother, née Wahl, belonged to the Wahl family, a member of which emigrated in these times to Wiborg in Finland where they became a leading family of the city.
August Thieme studied theology in Halle and Jena until 1802, and then also emigrated to Finland, working as a tutor on the estate Sippola of the von Daehn family. In 1803 he accepted a teaching post in the German-language Katharinenschule in St. Petersburg. In 1805 he was appointed to the newly founded German-language grammar school in Wiborg and became the inspector of two subordinate school districts.
He published poetry and drama as well as scholarly essays on Finland in the St. Petersburg journals Ruthenia, Wega and Nordisches Taschenbuch. He also wrote a Finnish grammar, the manuscript of which is lost, and discovered pieces of Finnish folk poetry.
He returned to Allstedt in 1811 because his mother had become seriously sick. After filling several lower clerical posts in the region he became a vicar in Allstedt. In the 1840s he started to publish poetry again, two volumes of which appeared in 1848 and 1855, republished in 1855. His works were promoted by General Ludwig von Wolzogen, an acquaintance from his Petersburg days. During the revolution of 1848 he was politically active as a moderate. He died in 1860 in Allstedt.

Johannes Roeßler / Robert Schweitzer
(Cf. Johannes Roeßler: „August Thieme: ein Stiller im Lande“ in: Robert Schweitzer (Hrsg.): August Thieme: Finnland, Helsinki: ²2019, S. 138-141 (Engl. p. 157-160).)

Ludwig Passarge, the child of a landowner, was born in 1825 in Wolittnick (district of Heiligenbeil) on the Frisches Haff. After studying law in Königsberg and in Heidelberg, he returned to his native East Prussia in 1856 in the course of his appointment as district judge of Heiligenbeil. In 1872 he became a councilor of the court of appeal in Insterburg and in 1879 a councilor of the higher regional court in Königsberg. In addition to his legal activities, he achieved great fame, not least as a writer.

While still a student, he wrote his first book, Aus dem Weichseldelta (From the Vistula Delta), which introduced readers to the unique landscape between Gdansk and Elblag. His own authentic reports of experiences and adventures always played an important role: In 1878, a year before his move from Insterburg to Königsberg, he published Aus baltischen Landen, a remarkable treatise on the Curonian Spit and its inhabitants. Passarge now traveled more and more frequently through other European regions and countries, for example to Sweden, Portugal and Spain, in order to write further reports on his experiences. 

In 1903, one of Passarge's most important cultural-historical works, Ein ostpreußisches Jugendleben, was published. Despite his strong ties to his homeland, Ludwig Passarge always remained a traveler, recording his impressions in books and articles. He once described himself as a "right vagabond" who led "an enviable and delicious life". In addition to East Prussia and Scandinavia, Passarge also traveled to the Balkans in the 1890s to collect materials for the first Baedeker travel guides. Passarge continued his travels into old age. In 1912 he died during a trip to the Odenwald. 

Passarge's part in communicating Scandinavian literature within the German-speaking world should not be forgotten. During his stays in Scandinavia, he became acquainted with the works of Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, whose works he translated into German. Another of Passarge's lasting achievements was the new translation of the complete works of the Prussian-Lithuanian priest Kristijonas Donelaitis, which appeared in Halle in 1894 and contained, in addition to animal fables, the verse poem Metai (Die Jahreszeiten). Johannes Bobrowski based his novel Litauische Claviere (1966) on this translation by Ludwig Passarge.

Born in Berlin in 1942, Cornelie von Roques studied in Erlangen and France before graduating in interior design at the Werkkunstsschule Berlin (West) from 1962 to 1965, followed by studies in structural engineering architecture until 1967.

From 1970 to 2007 she worked as an interior designer for a furniture store in Hamburg, then as a freelancer and as an independent freelance interior designer.

Michael Braun, born in Hauenstein (Palatinate) in 1964, was a German literary critic. He died in Heidelberg in December 2022 at the age of 64.
Braun studied German literature and philosophy. He worked in radio, was a presenter at the Erlangen Poetenfest from 1994, and edited numerous anthologies of contemporary poetry. With his extensive critical work in almost all public media in the German-speaking world (such as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung or the Tagesspiegel), Michael Braun was considered one of the best connoisseurs of German-language poetry.
His literary criticism, which he pursued continuously for more than forty years, was characterized both by detailed contributions on individual authors and by critical monitoring of literary institutions, festivals, and fundamental global changes in the literary scene. In numerous interviews he opened up innovative approaches to contemporary poetry as well as to the interactions with other arts, such as painting.
In 2018 he received the Alfred-Kerr-prize for literary critic.

Sven Otto was born in Meißen, Germany, in 1970 and lives in Vienna.
He graduated in Russian, Polish and translation studies and Library and information sciences, both at Humboldt University Berlin. Since 2001 he has been working as a journalist, translator and editor, since 2021 also as librarian at the Albertina art museum in Vienna. He is co-funder and co-owner of, a news agency specialised in business news in Central and Eastern Europe.
During a three-years' stay in Ventspils (2005-2008) and later during residencies at the International Writers’ and Translators’ House, including the language programme for literary translators, he learnt Latvian.
His literary translations from Polish and Latvian (mainly fragments to present to publishers) include works from Wojciech Pestka, Māris Bērziņš, Alberts Bels, Lauris Gundars, Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš, Laima Kota, Zigmunds Skujiņš, Osvalds Zebris and Andris Kalnozols.