Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: (1729-1781) Dramatist and Critic
Gotthold Lessing was born in 1729 at Kamenz, Saxony.
In 1746 he entered the university of Leipzig, where he studied theology and medicine. As a playwright Lessing made his breakthrough with Miss Sara Sampson, the first noteworthy German tragedy of bourgeois domestic life. Minna von Barnhelm (1755), a comedy about honor, marriage, and pretence, and Nathan the Wise (1779), was set in Jerusalem during the Crusades. (Online Encyclopedia )
Gotthold Lessing advocated liberal thoughts and religious tolerance throughout his life and due to his criticism of anti-Semitism many Jewish families adopted the name Lessing. (Online Encyclopedia )