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Laßt vergehen, was vergeht!

Es vergeht, um wiederzukehren.

Es altert, um sich zu verjüngen.

Es trennt sich, um sich inniger

zu vereinen.

Es stirbt, um lebendig zu werden.


Friedrich Hölderlin



Portrait Gallery "Composting"


A few days ago I stumbled across a literature research from 1971 that I had compiled for my Diploma thesis. Without claiming to be exhaustive, especially with regard to international literature, it contains:

                    505 items on sanitation

                    1460 items on technology

                    707 items on recycling.


If one examines the research topics concerned with composting that have been dealt with in the last 30 years it has to be stated that a great many of these works merely revisited subjects that had already been studied. The reason for this misled research is twofold: 

1.             Literature that is older than 10 years is not taken into consideration. This becomes evident when considering the fact that today's PhD theses should preferably cite literature from the last 10 years.

2.             Literature dating back to before 2000 usually had not been subject to a review system and is thus considered to not be reliable.


Who still knows them? The people who rendered outstanding services to establishing waste composting. Whether it be research in

                    microbiological basics,

                    technological implementation,

                    quality definition and control,

                    sanitation requirements,

                    use of composts, and

                    modes of operation.


This shows very clearly how fast information is lost and that names will be forgotten soon. To freely adapt Friedrich Schiller's The Cranes of Ibykus


Who knows the persons, who the name,

Of all who there together came?

From Gießen' town, from Holland' strand

From Stuttgart, from the British land,

From Asia's distant coast, they wend,

From every country of the world.


It is noticeable that the names of people who contributed important research or technological advancement to the development of composting cannot be found today on e.g. Google or are merely mentioned without any reference to composting.


To name just a few examples: Prof. Dr. Kick, Dr. Niese, Prof. Dr. Pöpel, Dr. Mach, Dip. Agr. Ernst etc.:


But we will put things right!


By setting up this gallery we intend first to provide a short overview of composting in Germany since 1950 hoping that our fellow researchers will follow and continue this for other countries, and second to introduce people who gave a helping hand to composting and/or shaped it into what it is today, an important technological option of recycling native organic material.


Our gallery does not claim to be exhaustive and is based on our memories and the manifold input from friends, supporters and patrons of composting. We are always open and grateful for advice and support.


It is often very difficult to compile a CV and especially to obtain a photo even from the people we are aware of.


We have built a list that we work through name by name, and we would like to start with Professor Dr. Glathe. Suggestions, proposals or materials would be very much appreciated.




Prof. Dr. Marco de Bertoldi

Dr.-Ing. habil Werner Bidlingmaier

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Braun

Prof. em. Dr. Ir. Alfons Buekens

Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raffaello Cossu

Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. hc Louis Diaz

Dipl.-Ing. Adolf August Ernst

Prof. Dr. Melvin S. Finstein

Oberbaurat Dipl.-Ing. Bernard Frechen

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Fricke

Prof. Dr. Peter Fischer

Johannens (Hans) Glathe

Jerome (Jerry) Goldstein

Dipl.-Geogr. Hermann Otto Hangen

Dipl.-agr. Arnold von Hirschheydt

Masch. Ing. HTL Hermann Hofer

Sir Albert Howard

Prof. Dr. Hannes Jager 

Prof. Bernhard Jäger

Heinz Jahn

Prof. Dr. Agr. Hermann Kick

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Kranert

Em. O. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Peter Lechner

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Moll

Prof. Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer

Dr. Werner H. Philipp

Dr. Hans Poletschny

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz Pöpel

Dr. Helmut Rasp

Prof. Dr. Phil. Max Carl Ernst Sauerland

Eduard Schönleben

Stadtbaudirektor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Straub

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oktay Tabasaran

Brief Arnold