News
22.11.2016

The Grande Dame of German politics Hildegard Hamm-Brücher has died


"It is a moving moment for me - a moment of joy, but also a challenge of being awarded a medal bearing the name of Moses Mendelssohn, a man who was, in his time, the most outstanding Jewish philosopher on German and European soil. About 250 years ago, he dared to strive for what we call Enlightenment, namely the overcoming of rigid intellectual and denominational dogmas, the awakening from immaturity and bondage." This is an excerpt from the acceptance speech of Hildegard Hamm-Brücher on the occasion of the award of the Moses Mendelssohn Medal 2011.

Today is also a moving day for us: Hildegard Hamm-Brücher has died at the age of 95 years.

Hildegard Hamm- Brücher belonged to a generation of politicians, which today hardly exists anymore. She was born in 1921 in the city of Essen and grew up in Berlin and later in Dresden. At the age of fifteen, the young Protestant learned that, according to the race laws of the Nazi regime, she was “half-Jew". During the second world war she studied chemistry in Munich. In 1948, the then post-graduate chemist moved as the youngest deputy into the Munich city parliament for the Free Democrats. She was a member of the Free Democratic Party until 2002. Until last, Hildegard Hamm-Brücher lived in the South of Munich; the politician died on 09 December 2016. The memorial service will take place on Monday, 19 December, at 10.30 am in the St. Luke's Church in Munich; among others, President Joachim Gauck will attend.