Short Portrait: Heinrich Albert (Heinz) Wieschhoff

Heinrich Albert (Heinz) Wieschhoff
Heinrich Albert (Heinz) Wieschhoff

Wieschhoff was born on Aug 1st, 1906 in Hagen. After school, we trained as electrician and wanted to become an engineer. After an accident and several months in hospital, he decided to go back to school again and did his final examns in Unna (1928):

Inspired by one of his teachers (and esp. by African cultures), he contacted Leo Frobenius and studied Völkerkunde with him in Frankfurt/Main. He did his PhD in 1933 on Rhodesia.

In Nazi years (1936), Wieschhoff decided to move to the US where he taught at the University of Washington. As an American citizen, he participated in the development of the United Nations. From 1946 he worked for the UN as an expert on colionial questions and in 1953 he becomes close collaborator of new UN General Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld. He is nominated director of the UN Department on International Security.

On Sept. 18th, 1961 Wieschhoff dies in an airplane crash with Hammarskjöld (in Ndola, Zambia)


  • African Drums and Extra-African Relations (Orig.: Die afrikanischen Trommeln und ihre ausser-afrikanischen Beziehungen), Stuttgart 1933


(text based on: 50. Todestag von Heinrich Wieschhoff, 17.09.11. (also photo source))

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