Wilhelm Heinrich Heraeus

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Wilhelm Heinrich Heraeus (born February 3, 1900 in Hanau ; † January 7, 1985 there ) was a German physicist , inventor and industrialist .


Heraeus was born the son of the industrialist Wilhelm Heraeus . The founder of WC Heraeus was his grandfather, the pharmacist and entrepreneur Wilhelm Carl Heraeus .

He studied physics as well as mathematics and physical chemistry at the universities of Bonn , Göttingen and Munich . In 1923 he received his doctorate at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main Dr. rer. nat. and gained first professional experience in the precious metals sector in Newark , NJ, USA.

In 1925 he joined WC Heraeus GmbH in Hanau, founded by his grandfather Wilhelm Carl Heraeus , and in 1927 he became a member of the management team there in the third generation. On May 1, 1933, he joined the NSDAP . As head of technical development, he expanded the group's product range and, after 1945, also managed the reconstruction of the destroyed factory facilities. In 1965 he moved from management to the family company's supervisory board.

Together with his wife Else († 1987) he had no children of his own and in 1963 founded today's non-profit Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation , which has set itself the goal of promoting basic physics. The foundation sponsors seminars and awards grants and specialist prizes. In 2003 the extension of the Physics Center Bad Honnef was also supported.

Heraeus became a student member and in 1962 an honorary member of the Corps Hannovera Göttingen . In 1983 he became an honorary member of the German Physical Society (DPG) .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ralf banks: Shortage of precious metals and large robbery. Oldenbourg Akademieverlag, 2008.

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