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Wismar's Hall of Fame

Source: "Wer war wer in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern?" ('Who's Who in Mecklenburg-Pomerania')
Author: Grewolls, Grete, Bremen, Edition TEMMEN 1995

Further extensive information is available from the Hanseatic Town Archive Wismar.

Bade, Wilhelm

Ship's Captain, (North-) Polar Explorer
Born 20th February 1843 in Hohen-Wieschendorf near Wismar, died 27th July 1903 in Rostock,
son of a local landowner

Responsible for opening Svalbard as a tourist destination:

  • 1869/70 Member of the second German North Polar expedition to Svalbard
  • 1892/93-1903 Organiser of several tourist trips to Svalbard

His personal diary of the expedition can be seen at the Hanseatic Town Archive Wismar.

Canow, Carl

Born 09th January 1814 in Wismar, died 30th October 1870 in Wismar, son of a shoemaker

  • Initial drawing lessons with master painter Meese in Wismar
  • 1831 concludes studies with painter Carlsburg in Neubukow, then
  • Apprentice under Ernst Düberg in Wismar
  • 1838-1840 Berlin Academy of Art
  • 1840 returns to Wismar
  • Self-portrait, portrait of his parents
  • Later paints genre works
  • Altarpieces for the churches in Camin and Walkendorf near Tessin
  • 1870 sudden onset of mental illness, subsequently hanging himself at Feldmark near Wismar
  • Amongst the masters of Mecklenburg portrait art in the 19th century

Dahlmann, Friedrich Christoph

Born 13th May 1785 in Wismar, dies 05th December 1860 in Bonn, son of Mayor Johann Christian Ehrenfried Dahlmann


  • Attends school in Wismar
  • Studies in Copenhagen, Halle and Wittenberg
  • 1813 becomes Professor of History in Kiel
  • Secretary to the prelates and baronetage of Schleswig-Holstein
  • 1829 Professor of Political Sciences in Göttingen
  • 1837, as a member of the dissident group the 'Göttinger Seven', is relieved of his duties
  • 1842 - 1860 Professor at Bonn University
  • 1848 Prussian Representative in the Bundestag (national parliament)
  • Close friends with author Heinrich von Kleist

Dubois, Heinz

Born 06th August 1914 in Schwirgsten (East Prussia), died 30th May 1966 in Wismar

  • 1928 - 1932 studies music
  • until 1943 member of a military band in Königsberg
  • 1941 - 1942 guest pupil at the Academy of Arts in Königsberg
  • 1944 - 1945 serves in the Wehrmacht
  • 1945 relocates to Schwerin
  • 1946 onwards – member of the Verbandes Bildender Künstler (Association of Fine Arts) and is periodically its president
  • 1949 -1952 lecturer at the School of Applied Arts in Wismar, and later Heiligendamm
  • 1950 -1952 master-class student at the Academy of Arts in Berlin
  • 1961 relocates to Hoben near Wismar
  • 1957 receives the Fritz Reuter Prize for art
  • Painted landscapes, still lives and portraits

Düberg, (Johann Christian) Peter

Born 16th February 1806 in Wismar, died 12th January 1873 in Wismar,
son of a merchant

  • Lawyer and notary
  • Also active as a politician
  • Publisher of the »Handbuch für den gesamten schriftlichen Verkehr des Mecklenburgers im privaten- und im öffentlichen Lebens« ('Handbook for All Correspondence in the Private and Public Lives of Mecklenburgers')
  • Completed a chronological, systematic directory of official gazettes for the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1857-1866
  • 1879 publishes the »Mecklenburgischen Ausführungsverordnungen zu den Reichsjustizgesetzen mit Anmerkungen und Registern« ('Implementation of Regulations of the Imperial Justice Laws in Mecklenburg, Annotated and Indexed')

Frege, Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob

Born 08th November 1848 in Wismar, died 26th July 1925 in Bad Kleinen,
son of the director of a girls' school 

  • Student at the Großen Stadtschule (today: Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium) in Wismar until 1869
  • Studied mathematics in Jena and Göttingen
  • Graduation in Göttingen and habilitated in Jena
  • 1874-1879 private lecturer
  • 1879 honorary professor
  • 1896 full honorary professor in Jena until his retirement in 1918
  • Returned to his homeland in Mecklenburg and lived and worked in Bad Kleinen (between Wismar and Schwerin) until his death
  • 1884 »The Essentials of Arithmetics« published
  • 1893 & 1903 two volumes entitled »Principles of Arithmetics« published

Gildemeister, Karl

Low German Poet
Born 17th June 1857 in Wendorf near (now in) Wismar, died 22nd January 1936 in Wendorf,
son of a village mayor

  • Born into a longstanding Mecklenburg family
  • Student in the village school and subsequently the Realschule in Wismar
  • Completes studies in agricultural economics
  • 1888 Village mayor in Vor Wendorf and leaseholder after his father's death
  • 1881 »Plattdütsche Gedichte« ('Low German Poems') already published, followed by
  • 1894 »Tafel-Lieder« ('Blackboard Songs')
  • 1895 »Jochen Frank«
  • 1896 »Fiken Bolt«
  • 1903 »Dörpschult un Senater« ('Village Mayor and Senator' - an unfinished novel)
  • 1926-1930 published three book entitled »Eddelplattdütsch - stimmungsvulle Gedichte för Gemeutsminschen« ('Noble Low German – Atmospheric Poems for Sentimentalists')

Hasse, Sella

Painter, Artist
Born 12th February 1878 in Bitterfeld, died 27th April 1963 in Berlin

  • 1896 commenced studies at the Berlin Academy of Art under Franz Skarbina, Walter Leistikow and Lovis Corinth
  • 1902 befriended fellow artist Käthe Kollwitz, maintaining lifelong contact with one another
  • 1904-1910 resident of Hamburg
  • 1910-1930 resident of Wismar, where her husband lectured at the then Academy of Engineering
  • 1912 onwards, member of the Association of German Artists
  • 1930-1963 (intermittently) resident of Berlin
  • 1937 denounced by the Nazis as a so-called 'degenerate artist'; 15 artworks confiscated
  • 1943-1945 resided in the Alsace
  • Primarily portrayed the working class and their surrounding world
  • Also created town- and cityscapes
  • Also worked with linocut and woodcarving and as an advertising artist

Haupt, Anton Johann Friedrich


Jurist, Mayor
Born 18th September 1800 in Wismar, died 22nd November 1835 in Wismar, son of a legal scholar

  • 1817 Passes his school leaving examination at the Großen Stadtschule (today: Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium) in Wismar
  • Commences studying law at the University of Jena
  • Joins the student fraternity and took part in the Wartburg Festival of 1817
  • 1819 changes to the University of Bonn and is arrested for his association with its progressive student movement
  • After completing his studies, he becomes a lawyer in Wismar
  • 1822 has completed »Über die Idee eines neuen Gesetzbuches für Mecklenburg« ('Regarding an Idea for a New Legal Code in Mecklenburg')
  • 1823 becomes both councillor and president of the board of directors of the lower and orphan's court
  • 1826 is elected Mayor of Wismar
  • 1827 creates a new poor law, suggests reforms including the creation of a municipal hospital and the relocation of the cemetery outside the town due to the threat of a cholera epidemic
  • Improved municipal legislation and provisions
  • Reformed the financial administration
  • 1832 founds the Hebungsdepartment
  • 1835 demanded freedom of the press in a still feudal, reactionary Mecklenburg
  • In addition was the director of the municipal high court, the marriage court, the savings bank and the Stadtbuchwesens

Mevius, David

Born 06th December 1609 in Greifswald, died 14th August 1670 in Greifswald, buried in Wismar

  • 1635 associate professor in Greifswald
  • 1636 tenured Professor
  • 1638-1653 syndic (legal adviser) in Stralsund
  • 1653-1670 vice-president and founding director of the Wismar Tribunal, which developed to become of Europe's model courts of justice
  • Author of one of the first scholarly commentaries on the Lübisches Recht (a code of law widely used in the Baltic region) as well as a Mecklenburg Civil Code (which was subsequently not enacted)
  • Proclamator of the Wismar Tribunal's rulings
  • His epitaph hangs in St. Nikolai Church Wismar

Morhof, Daniel Georg

Polyhistor, Philologist, Poet, Librarian
Born 06th February 1639 in Wismar, died 30thJuly 1691 in Lübeck,
son of a notary                            
  • 1655-1657 Wismar Grammar School and Pedagogium Stettin
  • 1657 studies law, medicine and 'new languages' in Rostock
  • 1659 at just 21, appointed Professor of Poetry in Rostock
  • 1665 Professor of Eloquence and Poetry in Kiel
  • 1680 Director of the Kiel University Library, publishing a comprehensive history of world literature – the first by a German
  • Has been called the 'father of German literary history'
  • Published works on poetics, Latin and German poetry as well as the reference work »Polyhistor«
  • Has become a scholar of international significance

Podeus, Heinrich


Ship's Capitan, Merchant, Industrialist
Born 09th November 1832 in Warnemünde near Rostock, died 21st July 1905 in Wismar

  • Ship's captain by age 26
  • 1858 commissions his first ship from a master ship-builder in Rostock
  • Handling freight, he commands his bark, the »Hans Georg« for 13 years
  • 1870 founds a subsidiary in Wismar as coal importer, later as wood wholesaler, steamship magnate and industrial entrepreneur
  • 1879 takes over the Crullsche Eisengießerei (iron foundry)
  • Creates a division manufacturing agricultural machinery
  • Establishes a production area building maritime auxiliary machinery
  • 1894 founds a factory manufacturing railway carriages
  • 1906 expands into car manufacture
  • 1932 the factory closes
  • 1885 appointed 'councillor of commerce'
  • 1895 appointed to the secret committee of the council of commerce
  • 1891 appointment to the state railway commission 
  • 1892 joint founder of the Wismar Canal Construction Union
  • 1894 elected as elder and president of the Wismarer Kaufmannskompagnie (trade association)
  • British consular agent in Wismar
  • Member of the supervisory board of the Wismarer Vereinsbank AG
  • Member of the maritime office and citizen's committee

Schabbell, Hinrich

Brewer, Alderman, Mayor
Born (unknown), died 30th December 1600 in Wismar

  • 1565 onwards alderman, from 1579 mayor, purchasing several plots of land in Wismar  by the Grube (canal)
  • 1569 founded a major brewery next to the Schweinsbrücke ('Bridge of Pigs'), the Schabbellhaus
  • Conducted other trading operations besides the brewery
  • Accused of misappropriating public funds
  • Drew up a set of marriage regulations and a poor law

Sievers, Johann Heinrich

Book Dealer, Publicist
Born 17th May 1811 in Lübeck, died 1876 in Berne, son of a tenant

  • 1845 onwards – book dealer in Wismar
  • 1849 - 1850 publisher of the »Mecklenburgischen Dorfzeitung« ('Mecklenburg Village Newspaper'), a revolutionary/democratic organ 
  • 1850 convicted of treason and lèse majesté and handed a lengthy prison sentence
  • Emigrates to England
  • 1860 penniless, returns to Mecklenburg
  • Serves his prison sentence at Bützow-Dreibergen, 40km from Wismar
  • 1861 contributes to the »Leipziger Journal«, composes political poetry

Techen, Friedrich

Archivist, Historian
Born 12th June 1859 in Wismar, died 30th March 1936 in Wandsbeck near Hamburg,
son of a book binder, brother of Ludwig Techen, a teacher

  • Attended the Großen Stadtschule (today: Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium) in Wismar
  • Studies ancient languages, history and German at the Universities of Tübingen, Munich, Leipzig and Göttingen
  • 1886 graduates from Göttingen University
  • Teaches in Schwerin and Bad Doberan (between Wismar and Rostock)
  • 1889 onwards, without fixed employment
  • 1902 onwards, successor to Friedrich Crull in the Wismar Town Archive
  • 1904-1930 town archivist
  • Completed the Sachregister des Mecklenburgischen Urkundenbuches ('Subject Index of the Mecklenburg Record Book') and Lübeck's book of municipal records and collaborated on the second volume of art historian Frederick Schlie's "Kunst- und Geschichtsdenkmäler des Großherzogtums Mecklenburg-Schwerin" (Art and Art History of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin")
  • Official historian of Wismar with over 70 works about the town's history, including:
  • 1906 »Die Bürgersprache der Stadt Wismar« ('The Language of Wismar's Citizens')
  • 1912/13 »Flurnamen der Stadtfeldmark Wismar« ('Field Names of Wismar's Estates')
  • 1915 »Das Brauwerk in Wismar« ('The Brewery in Wismar')
  • 1929 »Geschichte der Seestadt Wismar« ('History of the Maritime City of Wismar'), his magnum opus published for the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of Wismar's founding
  • 1927 promoted to archivist and honorary member of the Mecklenburg Historical Society and the Lübeck Historical Society
  • Belonged to the executive board of the Hanseatic Historical Society and was  corresponding member of the Society of Sciences in Göttingen

Willgeroth, Gustav

Local Historian and Family Researcher
Born 11th November 1865 in Wismar, died 15th March 1937 in Wismar, son of a merchant

  • The Willigeroth family originally came from Braunschweig but had been domiciled in Wismar since the 18th century
  • Attended the Große Stadtschule (today: Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium) in Wismar
  • 1886 - 1889 studied theology in Rostock and Erlangen without graduating and turned to journalism
  • 1893 founds a short-lived newspaper
  • 1893-1906 owner of the printers / publishing house Willgeroth & Menzel in Wismar
  • 1897 publishs the »Lyrischen Blätter« ('Lyrical Sheets')
  • 1898 publishs a volume of self-composed poems, followed by
  • 1898 Volume 1 of "Geschichte der Stadt Wismar« ('The History of the Town of Wismar')  up to the mid-14th century
  • 1903 »Bilder aus Wismars Vergangenheit« ('Pictures from Wismar's History')
  • 1911 »Notizen zur Geschichte Wismars« ('An Annotated History of Wismar')
  • 1906 due to a lack of success, he gives up the company and becomes the head of the credit association of the Rostocker Bank's branch in Wismar
  • 1928-1936 director of the church tax office in Wismar
  • Carries out intensive research into local and familial history in the region, publishing the following titles:
  • 1924 »Die MeckIenburg-Schwerinschen Pfarren“ ('The Pastors of Mecklenburg-Schwerin')
  • 1929 »Die mecklenburgischen Ärzte« ('The Doctors of Mecklenburg')
  • 1932 »Beiträge zur Wismarer Familienkunde« ('Contributions to Wismar's Familial Studies')
  • 1934 »Poeler Familienkunde« ('Poeler Familial Studies')
  • 1934-35 »Die Lehrer der Großen Stadtschule Wismar« ('The Teachers of Wismar's Main Town School')
  • As a longstanding contributor to the town archive he compiled a register of all its  collection of family records