Born: Oc­to­ber 28, 1768, Dan­zig, Prus­sia (now Gdańsk, Po­land).

Died: Feb­ru­ary 14, 1826, Wei­mar, Ger­ma­ny.

Buried: Al­ter Fried­hof, Wei­mar, Ger­ma­ny.



Born to a poor fa­mi­ly, Falk had to leave school at age 10 to help his fa­ther, a wig mak­er. He con­tin­ued to stu­dy at night, though, and did so well that the town coun­cil gave him a schol­ar­ship to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Halle, where he stu­died class­ics and theo­lo­gy.

In 1798, he mar­ried and set­tled down as a man of let­ters at Wei­mar, where he was wel­comed by Her­der, Goe­the, and Wie­land, and gained some re­pu­ta­tion as a writ­er of sa­ti­ri­cal works.

During the Na­po­le­on­ic wars, af­ter the 1806 Bat­tle of Je­na, he found his true vo­ca­tion as a phi­lan­thro­pist, first in the field hos­pi­tals, then in the care of des­ti­tute child­ren.

With court preach­er Horn, he found­ed the So­cie­ty of Friends in Need, and short­ly there­af­ter be­gan his cen­ter for poor child­ren in Wei­mar.