Herbert Tischner was born in Halberstadt in 1906. He finished school in Goslar in 1927.
Tischner studied Anthropology, Prehistory and Geography in Frankfurt/Main and Hamburg. In 1933 he completed his Ph D thesis about house types in Oceania. Georg Thilenius, Paul Hambruch and Otto Dempwolff were major influences for him.
Tischner took up a voluntary position at the Ethnological Museum (Museum für Völkerkunde) in Hamburg in 1933. Since 1936 he held an assistant position at the Department for Oceania.
Between 1941 and 1945 Tischner participated in World War II. After returning to Hamburg he continued working at the Ethnological Museum. Moreover, he published and edited a number of books and articles throughout the following years (e.g., an introduction on Oceania).
He participated at the first meeting of German anthropologists after WW II (Frankfurt/Main, 19.-21.09.1946).
In 1968 Tischner became head of the Department for Oceania as well as deputy chairman of the museum.
Herbert Tischner retired in 1971. He died in Hamburg in 1984.
(Text written by Vincenz Kokot in February 2012, based on BAA Prof Riese; photo by courtesy of Ulla Johansen)