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 Fritz Caspari

Fritz Caspari

Death 1 Dec 2010 (aged 96)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 98926998 · View Source
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Burial The Parish Church of St Mary, Compton, West Essex, England
December 2, 2010
Rhodes Scholars mourn Professor Sir Fritz Caspari (1914-2010)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death in London on 1 December of Professor Sir Fritz Caspari (Germany & St John's 1933), a distinguished scholar of intellectual history and post-war German diplomat - the last-surviving of pre-war German Rhodes Scholars, greatly admired and much loved in the Rhodes community and far beyond.

Fritz Caspari was born on 21 March 1914, before the outbreak of World War I, and, as an undergraduate at Heidelberg University, was elected to a Rhodes Scholarship in December 1932. He read economics and then modern history at St John's College, Oxford, 1933-36, and then taught at Southwestern College in Tennessee in 1936-37. From 1937 to 1939, he taught and completed a doctorate at Hamburg University. Returning to the US in 1939, he taught and worked as a librarian in colleges and universities there from 1939 to 1954. In 1944, he married Elita Galdos Walker, and they had two sons and two daughters.

Elected an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, in 1972, Professor Caspari was knighted by the Queen in 1972 (KCVO), was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit in 1974, and was honoured with Portuguese and other decorations.

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Sir Fritz Caspari was held at St Mary's Church, Compton, near Petersfield, West Sussex, on Monday 20 December 2010 at 11.30 a.m.

The service included readings from Sir Thomas More (who was central to Sir Fritz's work on Renaissance humanism from the 1930s until his death) and Goethe, and a prayer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (who, like Fritz Caspari, was an irreconcilable opponent of the Nazi regime in Germany, and who was executed in 1945).

Among the mourners was the German Ambassador to London, His Excellency Georg Boomgaarden, who laid a wreath of flowers in tribute to Sir Fritz on behalf of Germany.

Addresses were given by Sir Fritz's son, Conrad Caspari, a granddaughter, Maya Caspari, and by the Warden of Rhodes House, Dr Donald Markwell.

Sir Fritz was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's, Compton, where his wife, Elita Walker Caspari, and elder son, Hans Michael Caspari (1945-1980), are also buried.

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  • Created by: civilwarbuff
  • Added: 15 Oct 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 98926998
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Fritz Caspari (21 Mar 1914–1 Dec 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 98926998, ; Maintained by civilwarbuff (contributor 47049540) Unknown.