Modernism has always has had an important roll in evaluating and analyzing different cultures in the 18th and 19th century. This sudden rise of technological and scientific ability raises many questions about ourselves as a species, but also questions about our morality and ethics as a species. In Metropolis we can speculate about the different metaphors Fritz Lang tucked away in his film about technology and the questions that reflect back to the old German question of lebenphilosophie (philosophy of life). However, instead of including rockets in his film Metropolis, he later developed another film called Frau im Mond which translates to The Woman on The Moon, which shows Germans concurring space travel and venturing out into space to explore the new celestial object (the moon). One of the most important rocket movements before the Kennedy space race originated in the Weimar Republic.
Figure 1: The Poster from FritzLang Frau im Mond
However, scientific and technological advancements could not have
taken place without the help of imagination. In this case, science
fiction imagination, which takes its form from one of the fathers of science fiction Kurd Laßwitz, who is one of the most influential German
science fiction writers of all time. His novel Auf zwei Planeten (on
two planets) is one of the first novels that depicts man as species that
has the ingenuity and intellectual, capacity to leave earths
gravitational pull and venture into space to spread the human species
further into the solar system.
This extraordinary picture of the future that Kurd Laßwitz paints of
the human species ability to transcend worldly problems and venture into
the heavens. Is the type of fiction that
influences great visionaries such as Max Valier, Fritz von Opel, and
Herrmann Oberth to develop the first rocket cars, rocket propelled aircrafts,
and the first Zeppelins.
Figure 2: One of the first rocket cars by Opel and Valier
Figure 3: An depiction of the Zeppelins first international flight travel across the Atlantic ocean.