Herbert Wilhelmy

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Herbert Wilhelmy
Herbert Wilhelmy.jpg
Born (1910-02-04)4 February 1910
Sondershausen, Germany
Died 1 February 2003
Nationality German
Fields Geography,
Alma mater University of Leipzig
Known for Geomorphology, Urban morphology

Herbert Wilhelmy (* February 4, 1910 in Sondershausen; † February 1, 2003 in Tübingen) was a German geographer. Wilhelmy has made significant impact in the area of Latin American regional geography, with a focus on climatic geomorphology and, especially, morphogenetic urban geography.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


Wilhelmy studied geography, geology und ethnology at the universities of Gießen, Bonn, Vienna (1930) and Leipzig. In 1932 he finished his doctoral degree—supervised by Alfred Hettner's disciple Heinrich Schmitthenner—that treated the geomorphology of western Bulgaria Die Oberflächenformen des Iskergebietes: Eine Morphogenese Westbulgariens. Also his Habilitation in Kiel, as Oskar Schmieder's assistant (from 1932), was dedicated to the Bulgarian Balkan mountains' settlement and economy—Hoch-Bulgarien: Die ländlichen Siedlungen und die bäuerliche Wirtschaft (1935), Sofia, Wandlungen einer Großstadt zwischen Orient und Okzident (1936). He worked at the Universität Kiel 1939–1942 (as contracted lecturer), 1942–1954 as associated professor, interrupted by a work period as meteorologist and research director in Ukraine (1941—1943). In 1954 he became full professor at the Universität Stuttgart as Hermann Lautensach's successor. 1959—1960 he researched and taught at the University of California, Berkeley with James J. Parsons—a student of Carl O. Sauer—, generated William M. Denevan's interest for writing a dissertation on the Llanos de Mojos[9] and inspired Chris Field who wrote his dissertation on Southern Andean agricultural terraces.[10] Subsequently he followed Hermann von Wissmann, son of Hermann von Wissmann, and went to the Universität Tübingen, where he retired in 1978.[11] He advised several doctoral and/or post-doctoral students, among others Ralph Jätzold (agricultural geography), Wolfgang Brücher (industrial geography), Axel Borsdorf (settlement geography), Hartmut Leser and Klaus Rother (geomorphology).


Wilhelmy was a universalist, whose research interest bridged the full spectra of Physical geography and Human geography. As a pupil of Oskar Schmieder[12][13][14]—in turn an advisee of Alfred Hettner and got in contact with Latin America at Berkeley—, he dedicated his work to Latin America. Initially focusing on settlement and agricultural colonization, he later founded the German tradition of Latin Americanist urban geography at Kiel.[15] In this context, he is considered a prominent representative of the cultural-genetic urban geography tradition,[16] which bases on concepts of cultural regions.[17] Further, he investigated the Indus River basin of Pakistan and published two monographies about Alexander von Humboldt.


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1970): Appearance and functions of the large Latin-American cities in the past and present. In: Geoforum 1 (3), 31–38 [1]
  2. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1953): Bericht über meine Kolumbienreise 1952. In: Erdkunde 7 (4), 293–298 [2]
  3. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1950): Gestaltwandel der Städte Südamerikas: vom kolonialen Barock zum Eisenbeton. In: DIE ERDE 81 (1), 296–304 [3]
  4. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1950): Die spanische Kolonialstadt in Südamerika: Grundzüge ihrer baulichen Gestaltung. In: Geographica Helvetica 5 (1), 18–36 [4]
  5. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1986): Urban change in Argentina: historical roots and modern trends. In: Conzen, M.P. (Ed.): World patterns of modern urban change : essays in honor of Chauncy D. Harris. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 273–292 [5]
  6. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1952): Südamerika im Spiegel seiner Städte. Hamburg: De Gruyter
  7. ^ Wilhelmy, H. (1985): Cuzco. Die Inca-Metropole. In: DIE KARAWANE – Vierteljahreshefte der Gesellschaft für Länder- und Völkerkunde 26 (3–4), 61–75 [6]
  8. ^ Wagner, P.L. (1982): Wilhelmy's Geographical Appraisal of Mayan Civilization. In: Geographical Review 72 (2), 223–227 [7]
  9. ^ Denenvan, W.M. (1966): The Aboriginal Cultural Geography Of The Llanos De Mojos Of Bolivia. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  10. ^ Field, C. (1966): A Reconnaissance of Southern Andean Agricultural Terracing. Washington: National Research Council.
  11. ^ Schröder, K.H. (1970): Herbert Wilhelmy zum 60. Geburtstag. In: Blume, H., Schröder, K.H. (Eds.): Beiträge zur Geographie der Tropen und Subtropen. Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Herbert Wilhelmy. Tübingen: Geographical Institute of the University of Tübingen.
  12. ^ Schmieder, O. (1929): Wandlungen im Siedlungsbilde Perus im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert. In: Geographische Zeitschrift 35 (7–8), 439–452 [8]
  13. ^ Schmieder, O. (1926): Das ostbolivianische Bergland. In: Geographische Zeitschrift 32 (8), 393–405 [9]
  14. ^ Schmieder, O. (1929): The Pampa, a Natural or Culturally Induced Grassland?. In: Sauer, C. (Ed.): University of California Publications in Geography 2. Berkeley: University of California Press, 255–270 [10]
  15. ^ Bock, U. (2005): Deutsche Lateinamerikaforschung im Nationalsozialismus. In: Carreras, S. (Ed.): Der Nationalsozialismus und Südamerika. Berlin: Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut Preußischer Kulturbesitz, 7–22[11]
  16. ^ Heineberg, H. (2007): German geographical urban morphology in an international and interdisciplinary framework. In: Urban Morphology 11 (1), 5–24 [12]
  17. ^ Holzner, L. et al. (1967): Toward a Theory of Cultural-Genetic City Classification. In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers 57 (2), 367–381 [13]