Short Portrait: Hans Becher

Hans Becher
Hans Becher

Hans Becher was born in Berlin. After finishing school he took up his studies in Halle/Saale in 1940. German Philology and History were his major subjects. Eventually he had to join the German army in World War II and became a prisoner of war.

Disbanded after 1945 Becher moved to Hamburg, where he continued his studies. Now Anthropology, Ancient American Studies and Prehistory were his major subjects.

After completing his studies Becher took up an assistant position at the Ethnological Museum (Museum für Völkerkunde) in Hamburg. There he worked at the department for America and was responsible for its collection. Moreover, Becher began publishing his work on South American ethnic groups and did fieldwork in Brazil.

In 1961 Becher became head chairman of the Ethnological Collection at the State Museum of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum) in Hannover. Besides working in the museum, he founded a publishing series on anthropology („Völkerkundlichen Beiträge“) and did further field researches in Brazil (e.g., on the Yanonámi people).

After his retirement Becher lived in Hamburg and founded an association which supported the activities of the State Museum of Lower Saxony.

(Text based on BAA Prof. Riese; photo by courtesy of Ulla Johansen)