August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (About this sound listen (help·info); 2 April 1798 – 19 January 1874) was a German poet. He is best known for writing "Das Lied der Deutschen", its third stanza now being the national anthem of Germany, and a number of popular children's songs, considered part of the Young Germany movement.
Hoffmann was born in Fallersleben in Lower Saxony, then in the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
The son of a merchant and mayor of his native city, he was educated at the classical schools of Helmstedt and Braunschweig, and afterwards at the universities of Göttingen and Bonn. His original intention was to study theology, but he soon devoted himself entirely to literature. In 1823 he was appointed custodian of the university library at Breslau, a post which he held till 1838. He was also made extraordinary professor of the German language and literature at that university in 1830, and ordinary professor in 1835. Hoffmann was deprived of his chair in 1842 in consequence of his Unpolitische Lieder (1840–1841, "Unpolitical Songs"), which gave much offence to the authorities in Prussia.
During his exile, he traveled in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and lived for two or three years in Mecklenburg, of which he became a naturalized citizen. After the revolution of 1848 he was enabled to return to Prussia, where he was restored to his rights, and received the salary attached to a promised office not yet vacant. He married in 1849, and during the next ten years lived first in Bingerbrück, afterwards in Neuwied, and then in Weimar, where together with Oskar Schade (1826–1906) he edited the Weimarische Jahrbuch (1854–1857).
In 1860 he was appointed librarian to Victor I, Duke of Ratibor at the monasterial castle of Corvey near Höxter on the Weser, where he died in 1874.
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