Short Portrait: Hans Nevermann

Hans Nevermann
Hans Nevermann

* 25..3.1902 in Schwerin † 13. November 1982 in Berlin

Hans Nevermann was born in Schwerin in 1902. His father was a post office clerk and his mother came from a family of merchants.

Nevermann took up his studies in 1920. Throughout the following years he studied Anthropology, Oriental Languages and Ancient History not only in Hamburg, but also in Heidelberg and Munich. Moreover, he worked at the Ethnological Museum in Hamburg since 1922.

In 1924 Nevermann finished his Ph D thesis. Eventually he took up a position at the Ethnological Museum (formerly: Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde) in Berlin, followed by his work at the Ethnological Museum in Dresden. In 1931 he became custodian for the Department of Oceania at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, which he chaired until his retirement.

In 19933/34 Nevermann did a research trip to Melanesia, where he not only collected objects for the museum but also did audio recordings. After his return he was responsible for rearranging the exhibited collection at the Ethnological Museum in Rostock in 1937. During World War II Nevermann had to work as a translator for southeast-asian languages.

After World War II he not only chaired the Department for Oceania at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin again, but also became head chairman of both the Department of India and the Department of South East Asia.

In 1951 Nevermann also took up a professorship for Anthropology at the newly founded Freie Universität in Berlin. Moreover, between 1951 and 1954 Nevermann chaired the Berlin Society of Anthropology, Ethnology and Early History (Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, BGAEU). He retired in 1957 but kept lecturing until 1969.

Nevermann not only published a number of books (e.g., on his field researches) but also summarized basic introductions on anthropological matters and presented them to a broad audience. His work was translated into several languages.

Hans Nevermann died in Berlin in 1982.

(Text based on an article at; photo source: Obituary by Zepernick, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 110, pg 1ff)


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