DLRG mourns for Hans-Joachim Bartholdt


On 28th July Hans-Joachim Bartholdt deceased in his hometown Hannoversch Muenden at the age of 81.

DLRG’s long-standing President, Vice President and finally Honorary President committed himself to his organisation in an voluntary capacity until the end of his life.

With Hans-Joachim Bartholdt, the lifesavers lose a great personality and a likeable person with outstanding specialist competence, while his family loses a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

The reunification of the two German states also fell in his term of office as President of DLRG. His great achievements include the reconstruction of the humanitarian organisation in East- Germany, for which he was responsible.

In 1942 ” when he was only 14 years old ” he obtained the DLRG Basic Certificate, and ten years later he passed the instructor’s examination. In the same year, he founded the DLRG district Land Police Academy jointly with others and took over as Chairman of the Academy two years later.

From 1967 to 1980, he was first a committee member and later the 2nd State Association Chairman of the DLRG in Lower Saxony.

Hans-Joachim Bartholdt, who was born in Berlin, has been taking on responsibility in the Presidency of DLRG since 1972, first as Chairman of the Statutes Commission, afterwards as a member in the Legal Affairs Committee as well as responsible coordinator for the cooperation with the Police and the German Border Police.

From 1980 to 1986, the delegates of two Federal Meetings elected him Vice President of the national body. He then led the large humanitarian organisation as President for the following six years.

In 1992 his presidency expired. The delegates of the Federal Meeting in Friedrichshafen honoured his special merits for the DLRG and unanimously elected him Honorary President.

Hans-Joachim Bartholdt is holder of numerous awards and honourings, including the 1st Class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the highest DLRG Decoration of Merit Gold with Brilliant.

In his function as Honorary President, he continued to be responsible for a multitude tasks, for example as jury member of the NIVEA Dolphin Award and as responsible person for the competitions on swimming and lifesaving education of Police and Federal Armed Forces and as Chairman of the award-giving Board of Trustees of DLRG. In November 2008, he conferred the prizes and certificates on the successful police education units for the last time.

In his main profession, Hans-Joachim Bartholdt led the State Police Academy from 1975 to 1988, the central education and further education institute for the Police of Lower Saxony in Hannoversch Münden.

In international lifesaving he was well known as the national representative of German lifesaving at various international events and meetings during the time of his presidency. His main challenge was to be head of the organisation committee of Rescue 1990 in Lübeck, the first common world wide competition for both existing world bodies, WLS and FIS. At this time he was one of the strong fighters for a fusion into one international lifesaving structure.

For all his life, Hans-Joachim Bartholdt set an example with respect to humanity and citizen commitment, and he will always remain a model for all those who are dedicated to saving people’s lives.