How were colonial schools


On the history of the university association

The Witzenhausen University Association, founded in 2008, has two roots, one is the


Association of Tropical Farmers


and the other is that


Association of Alumni and Friends of Witzenhausen in the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel




The history of the Association of Tropical Farmers

The Association of Tropical Farmers was founded in 1906 as a "support fund" and as a comradeship association for graduates of the German Colonial School. The sponsor was the German Colonial School GmbH. In 1922 the association was reconstituted after the First World War and became co-editor of the Kulturpioniers (sole editor from 1937), the forerunner of the specialist journal "Der Tropenlandwirt". In 1923 the association also became a shareholder in the German Colonial School GmbH. Until 1927 the association was part of the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH and all activities were carried out under the umbrella of this institution. With the entry in the register of associations at the district court in Witzenhausen, a support association became an independent association, which had its seat and its activities within the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH. A group of former association members led by Dr. Curt Winter, the association was re-established in 1948. In 1949 the cultural pioneer was reissued by the association as the "Journal of the Association of Old Men of the German Colonial School for Comrades and Friends". Name change over time:


· 1906 to 1937: "Association of old gentlemen of the comradeship from Wilhelmshof"

· 1937 to 1941: "Association of German Colonial Farmers e.V."

· 1937 to 1945: "NS-Altherrenbund" This foundation led to a split in the previous association.

· 1948 to 1968: "Association of Old Men from Wilhelmshof in Witzenhausen e.V."

· 1968 to 1984: "Association of Tropical Farmers from Witzenhausen e.V."

· 1984 to 2006: "Association of Tropical Farmers, Witzenhausen eV"

2006 to 2009: "University Association Witzenhausen (VTW) e.V."


The association members have always been closely connected to the Deutsche Kolonialschule GmbH and the teaching staff. An active group of association members around Dr. Curt Winter worked on rebuilding society and teaching opportunities as early as 1952. As a result of these activities by association members and the former teaching staff, the institute was reopened in 1957. From 1952, with the help of association members Dr. Konstantin Heinemann and Dr. Paul Tag published the series of monographs "Tropical Cultures" by Ruhrstickstoff AG. This series of publications contributed to updating the state of knowledge about foreign cultivated plants. In 1962, Dr. Dr. Bieber, head of the institute for tropical and subtropical agriculture, in cooperation with the course of study at the time, published a first comprehensive description of tropical and subtropical cultivated plants as a manuscript. The duplication of the manuscript and the illustration by means of drawings were carried out by the course and the association.

The association members Dr. It is mainly thanks to Curt Winter, Gerhard Sontag, Erich Mylord and Kurt Stade that the library was preserved and rebuilt. Erich Mylord, who began in 1963 with the systematic evaluation and filing of technical articles in foreign journals, played an outstanding role in this. It recorded around 70,000 specialist articles from 140 journals in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German (1963 to 1985). This work was then continued by Kurt Stade, who also restored old holdings (1979 to 1990). Through contacts to the Volkswagenwerk through the association members Prof. Dr. Peter Wolff and Klaus Hartmann, with the help of Prof Dr. Nordhoff and the "Volkswagen Foundation" achieved a professional processing of the library holdings and registration (1967 to 1973). The association contributed financially to the first expansion and redesign of the library (DM 10,000). Donations from its members for decades have expanded the library's holdings. In order to update the book and magazine inventory, the association exchanged approx. 300 copies of the specialist magazine "Der Tropenlandwirt" with other publications. In addition, around 130 copies were sent to subscribers. The databases for the exchange and subscription processing were continuously updated in the association office.

After the end of World War II, most of the seeds and plant material for the greenhouse were procured by association members.

The creation of the ethnological museum is largely thanks to members of the association. For about 100 years they have created this collection through their donations and loans of exhibits. In this context, Walter Breipohl and Hans Bagdahn should be mentioned. Both of them worked tirelessly to prepare the exhibits for the reopening of the museum in 1977. Afterwards, Hans Bagdahn led the exhibition on a voluntary basis for over 10 years and carried out the guided tours.

The publication of the Kulturpionier was carried out exclusively by the association until 1961 and that of the tropical farmer from 1962 to 1984 (Dr. Curt Winter, Dr. H. Golf, Prof. Dr. Peter Wolff, Hans Hemann). From 1979 to 1984 Hans Hemann was the editor-in-chief on a voluntary basis and then integrated into his work until 2009.

The strengthening of the Witzenhausen location (university, DITSL) with the aim of promoting foreign agriculture was realized with the establishment of a specialist event "Witzenhausen University Week" in 1970.

Horst Zielenski has organized a job service for association members for over 20 years from 1979. This was discontinued on in 2000 because the demand has fallen sharply and the number of foreign positions has fallen sharply.

The association has had its own association office since 1980. For the association administration, Egon Schülke replaced the index card system with a database in 1986 and updated it promptly. The bookkeeping was managed by Egon Schülke on a voluntary basis from 1985 to 2009.


The history of the sponsorship group at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel, Association of Graduates and Friends of Witzenhausen

In 1968, when the educational institute in Witzenhausen was still called “Höhere Landbauschule”, the non-profit sponsorship group was founded.

With the conversion of the Higher Agricultural School in Witzenhausen into the Comprehensive University of Kassel (GHK), later a university, Prof. Dr. Feltz, former director of the Höhere Landbauschule, thought how the traditionally good connection to agricultural practice could be maintained and expanded. During this time, the group of sponsors at the GHK Witzenhausen was founded with the aim of maintaining and strengthening old, good ties between agricultural practice, agricultural administration, the agriculturally related industry and the university. Special achievements in theses by the students have been recognized with prizes. These funds came from the “Gustav Hacker Foundation”, in which the group of sponsors is involved.


The board was composed as follows:

First chairman became domain leaseholder Heinrich Schultheis, domain Frankenhausen,

Vice Chairman Dr. Konrad Jacob, Körle, Raiffeisen Association Attorney Kassel, other board members Johann Heinrich von Henniges; Lucklum, Dr. Reuffurth, Chamber of Agriculture Kassel, First Managing Director G. Roth, Hofgeismar. Besides Dr. Reuffurth were all board members former graduates of the old agricultural school and members of the old gentlemen's association Agronomia Kassel Witzenhausen.


For professional reasons, Messrs. Von Henniges and Managing Director Roth left the board. New to the board were Wolfgang von Scharfenberg, former president of the Chamber of Agriculture Kurhessen and Waldeck, Gut Kalkhof near Eschwege, sales director Jaap H. Vogelsang, sales director of Massey Ferguson GmbH Eschwege and Jürgen Bringe, specialist advisor to Kali u.Salz AG Niestetal, who is also the Management took over. There were 30 members at the time. In 1971, a contact study was carried out for the first time together with the sponsors' group and the GHK. 130 farmers and consultants from Hesse, Lower Saxony and Westphalia took part in this event. After this very successful start to further training, the contact study became a fixed, annual facility in Witzenhausen for the encounter between science and practice. The number of visitors has leveled off at an average of 200 participants over the years.


By 1978 managing director (GF) Bringe had succeeded in increasing the membership to 135. In 1979 the first chairman H. Schultheis left the board at his own request. The new first chairman was Ferdinand Schultheis, Domain Frankenhausen. Ldw. Director Dr. Konrad Grass, Hessian State Office for Food, Agriculture and Rural Development. (HELELL), Kassel.



1985 Klaus Thilo Kroeschell, Homberg Mardorf, became 1st Chairman.

In 1988 the sponsorship group existed for 20 years. Many GHK projects could also be financially supported, the group of sponsors now numbered over 500 members. Dr. Jacob resigned from the board, followed by Helmuth Behler, Raiffeisen-Warenzentrale Kurhessen (RWZ) Kassel, who was a member of the board until 1994. He was succeeded by Dir. Reinhard Stieglitz, RWZ Kassel, who was later led by Dr. Christian Karst was replaced by RWZ.


In 1998 there was a change in the board of directors and in the management. After 35 years as an agricultural consultant in Hesse and almost 30 years as managing director of the sponsors' group, Jürgen Bringe left the board. The group of sponsors now numbered almost 700 members. The management activity has now been taken over by Johannes Heinz Uloth. In 2004 Klaus Snethlage took over this task. Ms. Hesse, Ms. Zeuner and Ms. Hilgendorf supported the sponsors very actively. Ms. Beck then took over this support and carried out a lot of the administrative work that was necessary in the same way. The last board of directors (Klaus Thilo Kroeschell, Klaus Snethlage, Dr. Christian Karst, Henry Thiele and Christian Hartje) now accompanied the merger with the Association of Tropical Farmers to form the Witzenhausen University Association after almost 40 years of association activity.