Hermann Niggemeyer was born in the Muensterland region in 1908.
After finishing school he took up his studies of Geography and Anthropology in Cologne in 1926. Julius Lips and Franz Thorbecke were among his teachers. Niggemeyer completed his Ph D thesis in 1932.
After briefly working under Wilhelm Koppers in Vienna, Niggemeyer took up an assistant position at the Frobenius-Institute in Frankfurt/Main in 1934. Three years later he participated in a research project to the Molucca Islands, which was headed by A.E. Jensen.
Between 1940 and 1945 Niggemeyer had to join the German Army in World War II. He became a prisoner of war and was disbanded in 1947. After returning to Frankfurt/Main he took up a position at the Museum for the Cultures of the World (Museum der Weltkulturen). Moreover, Niggemeyer did field research in India in the 1950s.
In 1966 Niggemeyer became head chairman of the Museum for the Cultures of the World (Museum der Weltkulturen), being the successor of Carl A. Schmitz. He retired in 1972.
Hermann Niggemeyer died in 2005.
(Text written by Vincenz Kokot in February 2012, based on BAA Prof. Riese; photo by courtesy of Siegfried Seyfarth)