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 Andreas Heckmair

Andreas Heckmair

Birth
Munich (München), Stadtkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Death 2 Feb 2005 (aged 98)
Oberstdorf, Landkreis Oberallgäu, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Burial Landkreis Oberallgäu, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Memorial ID 10423782 · View Source
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Adventurer. Became world famous when he led a four-man German-Austrian team up the, until then, impenetrable icy 1,800 meter north face of the Eiger mountain in the Swiss Alps to the 3,970 meter summit on July 24, 1938. Unconquered until then, 8 climbers had already lost their lives attempting to climb it; over the years more than 400 would eventually climb it, most of them following the "Heckmair route" and a total of 40 would lose their lives trying. The Eiger is one of three classic Alpine North faces, along with Matterhorn's and Grandes Jorasses. German media transformed Heckmair and his teammates into heroes of the "Third Reich" when the Nazi propaganda machine saw opportunity in the climbers' feat; he was decorated personally by Adolf Hitler, however, Heckmair never joined the Nazi party. Born in Munich, Germany, Heckmair spent his first years in orphanages; apprenticed for and then became a journeyman gardner and, when the post-WWI depression made it difficult for him to find work in his occupation, he turned to his favorite stress relief, mountan climbing, for a living. After WWII he worked as a mountain guide, foremost for multi-millionaire businessman Otto-Ernst Flick, and operated a youth hostel in the Bavarian Alpine resort of Oberstdorf where he then made his home for over 60 years. He was instrumental in forming the Deutscher Ski-und Bergfueher Verband (Germany's professional mountain and ski guides association)in 1968. His work with youth hostels and youth training earned him Germany's Bundesverdientskreuz. His autobiography, Eiger North Face, Grandes Jorasses and Other Adventures, was published in 1999. Fond of cigars and schnapps, he laughed at statistics about tobacco and health. His personal motto was "In mountain climbing it's only experience that really counts." Died in Oberstdorf, Allgäu region of Bavaria, Germany, after a short illness.

Bio by: Fred Beisser


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Fred Beisser
  • Added: 3 Feb 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10423782
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Andreas Heckmair (12 Oct 1906–2 Feb 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10423782, citing Waldfriedhof Oberstdorf, Landkreis Oberallgäu, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .