Dr. h. c. Heinrich Vetter was a graduate, honorary senator and recipient of an honorary doctorate of the University of Mannheim. He strongly supported the University of Mannheim and, for example, made the renovation of the Heinrich Vetter lecture hall (O 145) possible.
The renovation was funded by the Heinrich-Vetter-Stiftung and the lecture hall named after the merchant Heinrich Vetter (1910-2003). Heinrich Vetter bequeathed his entire estate to a non-profit foundation that is primarily active in the region of Mannheim. He was awarded the title of Honorary Senator of the University of Mannheim for his selfless support in 1991 and became honorary citizen of the City of Mannheim in 1999. In 2001, he was awarded the honorary doctorate of the Business School.
Assets of the family business “Kaufhaus Vetter”, founded in 1885, originated from eight Jewish companies and properties “aryanized” between 1934 and 1938. Heinrich Vetter was actively involved to some extent in these processes. However, the exact extent of his participation in the takeover of Jewish property initiated by the National Socialists as part of “Aryanization” was unclear for a long time. It was only after the research project “Arisierung und Wiedergutmachung in Mannheim” (“Aryanization and reparation in Mannheim”) was launched in 2009 at the University of Mannheim, that there was finally scientific evidence confirming Heinrich Vetter's involvement in the Aryanization process.
The President’s Office of the University of Mannheim deliberately decided to keep the lecture hall named after Heinrich Vetter, in order to refer to both the merits and misdemeanors of Heinrich Vetter as an example of a biography of the recent German past. If you want to know more about the role of Heinrich Vetter and his family in the context of National Socialism and Aryanization in Mannheim, you can visit the pages of the Heinrich-Vetter-Stiftung written by the historian Dr. Christiane Fritsche.
More information: www.heinrich-vetter-stiftung.de
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