Dr. Hugo Ficke (1840 - 1912)

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Dr. (Hon. Causa) Hugo Ficke, born 17 September 1840, moved to Freiburg in 1853 with his family. Financially independent, he was able to dedicate himself to numerous honorary positions and expeditions. He joined the Freiburg Masonic Lodge Zur edlen Aussicht (The Belvedere) and remained a member for almost fifty years. He was grandmaster of the Bayreuth Grand Lodge Zur Sonne (The Sun) from 1902 until 1908 and subsequently honorary grandmaster. All in all, he was an honorary member of no fewer than forty lodges. Committed to local politics, Ficke was also a member of the Freiburg City Council for thirty years. However, he turned down the offer of a mandate for the Reichstag. Ficke was also president of Freiburg's 'Harmoniegesellschaft' and active in several local commissions. In 1883, he became a member of the Naturforschenden Gesellschaft Freiburg (Nature Research Society) and the Kolonialverein (Colonial Society). Dr. Ficke was an important supporter of the fledgling Museum für Natur- und Völkerkunde. As a member and head of the Commission für die Gründung eines Städtischen Museums für Natur- und Völkerkunde (Commission for the Foundation of a Municipal Museum of Natural History and Ethnology), he defended the interests of the museum. After Adolf Fritze resigned in 1896, he assumed the role of honorary director of the museum. He was also on the board of the Commission for the Vereinigten Sammlungen der Stadt Freiburg (United Collections of the City of Freiburg,) founded in 1899. He was rewarded in his own lifetime with an honorary doctorate from the University of Freiburg for his commitment in the field. On his travels, Ficke compiled extensive ethnological and natural history collections for the museum. He returned with over 1,300 ethnographical objects from his travels around the world in 1908/1909. This ethnological collection contained objects from all spheres of life in various local communities, such as household objects, objects for secular and religious festivities, musical instruments and furniture. Hugo Ficke died in 1912 during a trip to Asia.

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