Cultural politician hilmar hoffmann is dead: “culture for all” was his goal

As a cultural politician in Frankfurt/Main, Hilmar Hoffmann left his mark on the city for 20 years. After that, the international stage awaited.

Hilmar Hoffmann in 2015 (archive photo) Photo: dpa

Frankfurt cultural politician Hilmar Hoffmann is dead. According to information from the Bild newspaper, the 92-year-old died on Friday evening on his way to a clinic. Frankfurt police confirmed the death on Saturday. An acquaintance had taken him to a hospital for a treatment appointment, the paper reported. He collapsed in the parking lot, it said. Attempts by doctors to resuscitate him had failed.

Between 19, the SPD politician was a city councilor for culture in Frankfurt, where he built up the Museumsufer, among other things. From 1992 to 2001, he was president of the Goethe-Institut. In his book "Culture for All!" (1979), he advocated broader social participation in culture. He saw culture as an "elixir of life"; you need it "to become a whole person," he said in one of his last interviews.

Hilmar Hoffmann was born in Bremen on August 25, 1925. He began his career as an assistant director at the Stadtische Buhnen in Essen. In Oberhausen, he directed an adult education center, founded a short film festival and served as head of the social and cultural affairs department from 1965 to 1970.

In Frankfurt, 15 museums were opened during his active period. He increased funding for the independent scene, founded off-stage venues, opened district libraries, music schools and community centers. Hoffmann worked under five mayors.

Frankfurt’s mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur that Hoffmann’s death was "a very great loss for the city." His work was "universally respected, recognized and respected. He will never be forgotten in this city."

He saw culture as an "elixir of life"; you need it "to become a whole person," he said in one of his last interviews.

Hesse’s Culture Minister Boris Rhein (CDU) said, "Hilmar Hoffmann was a legend. He set standards as head of culture and had a major impact on Frankfurt’s cultural landscape." He said he was "deeply shocked" by the news of his death.

The cultural politician was also chairman of the program advisory board of HIT RADIO FFH from 1993 to 2010. "Hoffmann’s commitment to all branches of culture was always important – from museums and theaters to everyday culture for citizens, which of course included radio," said Managing Director Hans-Dieter Hillmoth.

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