Wilhelm von Pochhammer Memorial Fund

 

Wilhelm von Pochhammer (1892-1982) was a German diplomat who not only served in India, but also became one of the most knowledgeable and ardent friends of India. He wrote extensively on India and devoted the years after his retirement to a political history of India entitled, “Indiens Weg zu Nation” (India’s Road to Nationhood).

 

Wilhelm von Pochhammer died on 13th November 1982. At a meeting held in his memory on 18th August 1983 it was decided to honour his memory by instituting an annual “Wilhelm von Pochhammer Memorial Lecture”. This was to be in collaboration with Max Mueller Bhawan and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federation of Indo-German Societies in India (FIGS), friends and admirers of von Pochhammer contributed to create the Wilhelm von Pochhammer Memorial Fund.

 

So far 24 lectures have been delivered. These have been on a wide range of subjects and have been delivered by an equal number of distinguished scholars from India and Germany.

 

FIGS stayed in touch with his wife Maria von Pochhammer until shortly before her death in March 2002. Recordings of the lectures and texts were sent to her whenever possible.

 

Maria von Pochhammer left a bequest to perpetuate the memory of her husband. A part of the sum of Euro 10000 received was utilised to bring out a new edition of “India’s Road to Nationhood”. A scholarship programme, for M. Phil ( six months) and Ph. D. scholars (one year), desiring to do research in Germany, was launched jointly with the Hans Seidel Stiftung in 2007. The balance is to be used for holding lectures and other programmes.

 

Presently, the Wilhelm von Pochhammer Memorial Fund is headed by Ambassador Satinder K. Lambah, former Indian Ambassador to Germany and now the President of FIGS. The other members of the Fund are Ms. Magdalene Duckwitz, Regional Director of Max Mueller Bhawan, the Cultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mr. Anand Singh Bawa who serves as it’s Honorary Secretary.

 

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