Short Portrait: Heinz Göhring

Heinz Göhring
Heinz Göhring

Heinz Göhring was born in Sangerhausen in 1935. He visited primary school in Breslau (now: Wroclaw) and secondary school in Augsburg as well as in Hamburg and St. Peter Ording.

After a short period of doing a commercial apprenticeship, Göhring took up his studies in order to become a translator for English and Spanish. He completed his diploma in Heidelberg in 1959.

Subsequently Göhring not only studied Economics and Political Sciences but also Anthropology and Sociology at the Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg. W.E. Mühlmann was among his teachers.

In 1966 Göhring graduated with a Ph D thesis on the Baluba people in Central Africa. Thereafter, he held an assistant position at the institute in Heidelberg and furthermore did ethnographic field research in Southern Spain between 1968 and 1970.

Strongly influenced by his experiences in Spain, Göhring emphasized not only the importance of field work but also the need for intercultural communication. Moreover, he took up a professorship at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics and Cultural Studies in Germersheim (a department of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz) in 1971.

Throughout the following years Göhring mainly focused on topics concerned with linguistic, anthropological and sociological matters. Besides lecturing Göhring also tried to establish an Intercultural Research Center at the Faculty in the 1970s but eventually failed. Nonetheless, an increasing number of his many students took interest in this subject.

Due to a sickness Heinz Göhring retired in 1997. He died in Heidelberg in 2000.

(Text written by Vincenz Kokot in July 2012, based on an obituary by Andreas F. Kelletat, published at:; photo source:

further informationfurther information