HeinrichPfeifferDr. Heinrich Pfeiffer – born on January 27, 1927 in Weinbach (Hessen). A PhD in philosophy and a researcher at the Swedish and U.S universities, the head of the German Branch of Fullbright Comission (1953-1956), and then longtime the Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in the years 1956-1994.
He is the living legend of the Foundation – the initiator of the formation of the national societies of the Humboldt fellows, the creator of the Humboldtian Family and one of co-founders of the Societas Humboldtiana Polonorum.
He is the honoris causa doctor and the honorary professor of many universities and scientific institutions in the world and the laureate of many awards and distinctions. He also published a number of works devoted to international cooperation.
He is the man of great heart and a good friend of Poland.


Dear Humboldtians and Friends of SHP,


The unexpected death of Dr Heinrich Pfeiffer left us in deep sorrow.

Up till now we had been planning how to organize our meeting with him in June in Krakow to celebrate his jubilee. We know that he also looked forward to this meeting with joy.

Now he is no more with us.

Heinrich Pfeiffer is a man of a legend. Not only was he the Secretary General of the Foundation and the founder of the Big Humboldtian Family embracing thousands of AvH scholarship holders from all over the world, but also a very great friend of Polish people and Poland. Using different methods he intervened in Polish ministries during the difficult time of the 1970s and 1980s, thus opening for us the way to scientific laboratories, libraries and archives in West Germany – the way enabling us to achieve the scientific career.

He is no more with us but the memory of him remains.

This remembrance and our gratitude will now be the leading ideas of the conference ”Limits of Knowledge” in Krakow, devoted to him.

Vita mortuorum in memoria vivorum est posita


The Board of Directors
The Krakow-Katowice Division
Societas Humboldtiana Polonorum
Conference organizers