Christophe Staewen

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Dr. Christoph Staewen was born in 1926 and died in 2002. He was a German medical doctor, specialist of psychiatry, neurology and psychotherapy. In 1963 and early 1964 he visited parts of west and central Africa, amongst others the Tibesti region.[1] In 1964, amongst the people of Yoruba, he began to study in Western Nigeria the conditions of uprooting of these Africans caused by the increasing confrontation with the technical civilisation of the "First World", and provoking more and more reactions of anxiety and deformations of behaviour. In Nigeria he received texts of the famous, secret Ifa-oracle. Later he worked for more than six years as all-round-doctor for Africans in Niger, Congo-Brazzaville and Chad, where he continued his research on African psychology.

On 21 April 1974, he and two other Europeans were taken hostage by Hissène Habré, the later leader of Chad from 1982 until 1990. The other captives were two French citizens, Françoise Claustre, an archeologist, and Marc Combe, a development worker. Marc Combe escaped in 1975 but, despite the intervention of the French Government, Madame Claustre (whose husband was a senior French government official) was not released until 1 February 1977. Staewen (whose wife Elfriede was killed in the attack of capture) on the other hand was released after payments of West German officials on 11 June 1974.[2] [3] [4] [5]


  1. ^ Christoph Staewen: Eine Fahrt ins Tibesti, Verlag G. Richter, 1. Auflage 2005, ISBN 3-00-015063-3 (Travel report from spring 1964)
  2. ^ "Woman Freed by Chad rebels after 3 years". Times-News (Henderson, NC). AP. 27 Jan 1977. p. 35. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  3. ^ (german language article)
  4. ^ (german language article)
  5. ^ (german language article)