On Tuesday, 15 January 2019, at 11 AM in the Aula Magna of the University of Zagreb (Trg Republike Hrvatske 14) a commemoration was held to honor Dr. Johann Georg Reißmüller, an honorary doctor of the University of Zagreb. Dr. Johann Georg Reißmüller, a lawyer, writer, former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and an honorary doctor of the University of Zagreb, passed away on 10 December 2018 in Frankfurt at the age of 86.
The life and work of Dr. Reißmüller was presented by Professor Damir Boras, PhD, Rector of the University of Zagreb, Mr Harald Seibel, Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Croatia, and Mr Miro Kovač, PhD, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Croatian Parliament.
Through his writing, Dr. Johann Georg Reißmüller helped to hasten the process of the international recognition of Croatia. Also, his work contributed to the German and the global public becoming aware of the situation in former Yugoslavia. The University of Zagreb awarded Dr. Johann Georg Reißmüller an honorary doctorate degree on 5 April 1995 in the field of social sciences. He was the 82nd honorary doctor of the University of Zagreb. The prestigious academic accolade was awarded to him by the former rector, Professor Marijan Šunjić, PhD.
The 1995 report of the Expert Committee for Honorary Doctorates states that Dr. Johann Georg Reißmüller was “one of the most distinguished persons in contemporary European political writing. His scholarly and morally grounded exposition of historical events in the Republic of Croatia and neighbouring countries is highly responsible for the public awareness of the complexity and the political and ethical dimensions of the conflict. His work is a significant contribution to social sciences and Croatian society. It is a testament to true humanity, imbued with a deep sense of ethical responsibility.”
J. G. Reißmüller was born in 1932 in the Czech city Litomerice. Due to his interest in political and legal issues, he enrolled in the political science program of the University of Tübingen, from which he graduated in 1955. Three years later, he defended his doctoral thesis on the limits of the universal right to freedom within the German constitution.
His inclination towards political journalism led him to join the editorial board of Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung, one of Germany’s oldest and most respected newspapers, in 1961. Besides numerous articles in ZAF, J. G. Reißmüller published a number of books, which include Jugoslawien – Vielvölkerstaat zwischen Ost und West, Die vergessene Hälfte. Osteuropa und wir, Der Krieg vor unserer Haustür. Hintergründe der historischen Tragödie, Die bosnische Tragödie, etc.
The musical part of the program was provided by the opera chamber ensemble of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.