Karl May (1842 - 1912) was a tremendously popular German writer, noted mainly for adventure novels set in the American Old West. Young boys, from Einstein to Hitler, were taken with his stories. May promoted the idea that his stories were based on actual exploits, in fact, his own exploits, although he never visited the Old West that he wrote so much about. At right he poses as his character “Old Shatterhand”. Karl May Festivals are still held in Germany.