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Obituary | Horst Jochmann

Prof. Dr.-Ing Horst Jochmann (Photo: private).

On 11 April, the former GFZ section head Horst Jochmann died at home with his family one day after his 93rd birthday.

From 1992 to 1995 Horst Jochmann headed the Systems Theory and Modelling Section within today’s Department of Geodesy. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he helped to establish GFZ. Above all, he helped to establish the present Department of Geodesy. His scientific work was broadly diversified and ranged from instrumentation to geodetic astronomy, and geophysics.

Horst Jochmann was born in Köthen in Saxony-Anhalt and studied geodesy at the Dresden University of Technology. In 1955 he received his PhD in engineering. Afterwards, he was employed until 1961 at the Carl Zeiss Company in Jena, where he was granted four patents, including one for an automatic tilting axis stabilisation. During this time he wrote his habilitation thesis, with which he habilitated in photogrammetry at the Technical University of Dresden in 1960. In 1961 he was appointed to the chair of photogrammetry at the Technical University of Dresden, which he held until his imprisonment in 1966.
He spent five years as a political prisoner in the high-security wing of the former central remand prison of the Ministry for State Security Hohenschönhausen of the former GDR. During this time he continued to publish scientifically.

In 1971 Horst Jochmann was released and, until the German reunification, worked as a research associate in the Department of Time and Latitude Services of the Central Institute of Physics of the Earth. There he was involved in the construction and use of a photographic zenith telescope and astronomical time and latitude determinations carried out with it.

Harald Schuh, Director of the GFZ Department of Geodesy: "Horst Jochmann was a charismatic personality and remained closely connected to GFZ for almost 25 years after his retirement".

Christoph Reigber, former director of the GFZ Department of Geodesy and Remote Sensing, now Department of Geodesy: "I was fortunate to be able to work together with Professor Jochmann in a trusting manner for many years and to experience his scientifically stimulating and humanly warm character".

Reinhard Hüttl, Scientific Director of the GFZ: "Horst Jochmann was an internationally renowned scientist and highly esteemed colleague both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. With his contributions to multidisciplinary geological research and his committed support of young geoscientists, he has made a great contribution to GFZ in general. Our thoughts are with his family". (ak)

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