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Author Event: Ann Marie Ackermann
Start Date: 10/23/2017Start Time: 6:00 PM
End Date: 10/23/2017End Time: 7:30 PM

Event Description
DEATH OF AN ASSASSIN: From the depths of the German and American archives comes a story Gottlob Rueb never wanted told. Gottlob, the first soldier killed defending Robert E. Lee’s position in battle, was a German assassin.


After fleeing to the U.S. to escape the law, he enlisted in a German company of the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Mexican-American War and died defending Lee’s battery at the Siege of Veracruz in 1847. Lee’s letter home, praising a fallen soldier as a man worth all of Mexico, was written about Gottlob.

Gottlob had murdered the mayor of the small German town Bönnigheim in 1835. Thirty-seven years after the case went cold, Frederick Rupp, a former suspect who also fled to America, solved it in Washington, D.C. He didn’t make the story up to clear his name. A German prosecutor found evidence to corroborate the solution to this crime and closed the case files in 1872. No other 19th century German murder case was solved in America or more than two decades after the crime. An award offered in 1835 for information leading to murderer’s identification has never been paid. Based on the author’s research, Bönnigheim’s current mayor has decided to offer the reward posthumously to Rupp’s descendant, a U.S. citizen. If she accepts, the reward will be ceremoniously presented in 2018. Death of an Assassin offers a biography of a young Robert E. Lee wrapped inside a true-crime story with international intrigue.

For more information, please contact Simone Schlichting-Artur, Teaching Professor of German, at schlichs@drexel.edu This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Contact Information:
Name: Jacqueline Rios
Phone: 215.895.6910
Email: jsr62@drexel.edu
Author event book cover promotional image
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Room 112, 3245 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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