Humboldt Foundation mourns passing of Heinrich Pfeiffer

It is with great sadness that the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation bids farewell to its long-time Secretary General Dr. Drs. Hc. Mult. Heinrich Pfeiffer, who passed away unexpectedly on 22 December 2016, after a long and fulfilled life. He was 89 years old.

Heinrich Pfeiffer

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Oliver Rüther

Dr Heinrich Pfeiffer was Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 1956 and also Managing Director from 1964 until his retirement in 1994. He continued to be actively involved in the Foundation as an Honorary Member of the Board of Trustees until the time of his death.
Under his direction, the Foundation developed into one of the most recognised organisations in the area of German cultural relations and education policy. Heinrich Pfeiffer built up a network of trust among the individuals sponsored and supported by the Foundation. This network has made major contributions to international understanding and continues to shape the Foundation to this very day. The deep attachment felt by our alumni throughout the world, with whom he maintained diverse relations and friendships right up to his death, has clearly manifested itself time and again in recent years as well and has served to enhance the Foundation's standing around the world.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is profoundly grateful to Dr Heinrich Pfeiffer for his many years of service which he rendered with heart and soul.


Georg Scholl
Head of
Press, Communications and Marketing
Phone: +49 228 833-258
Fax: +49 228 833-441

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