He studied at the Academy of Architecture, Berlin, collaborated on the great atlas of Mexico edited by Humboldt, and from 1810 was an instructor in the Plamann Institute. In 1810-12 he rendered important services to Jahn in the establishment of German gymnastics. Upon the outbreak of the German War of Liberation in 1813, he assisted in organizing the famous volunteer corps of Major von Lützow, whose adjutant he became. After the dispersion of the corps by Napoleon at Rheims, he was captured and shot by the French at La Lobbe, Ardennes on 15 March 1814. In 1843 his body was buried in the military cemetery at Berlin.
He has frequently been celebrated by German writers, in particular by E. M. Arndt in Es thront am Elbestrande.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1906). "Friesen, Karl Friedrich". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. This work in turn cites:
- Schiele, Friedrich Friesen Eine Lebensbeschreibung (Berlin, 1875)