Dr. Hermann Eiselen was born in Nagold, Germany in 1926. He studied economics in Stuttgart and Heidelberg and was awarded his PhD in 1951 at the University of Goettingen. After a 9 months stay in the United States, he joined the family business (food industry – manufacturing of bakery supplies) in 1954 as managing director and developed it successfully. In 1980 before the business was sold he employed almost 500 people. Together with his father, Dr. h. c. Willy Eiselen (1896 - 1981), Dr. Hermann Eiselen was co-founder of the German Bread Museum (1955) and of the Father and Son Eiselen Foundation (1978). He was chairman of the Foundation until June 2001. In numerous essays, lectures and speeches, he devoted himself to problems of business management but in the last 20 years of his life, he increasingly tackled issues of world nutrition, food security and the overcoming of poverty. He stressed the prominent role of agricultural research in the reduction of hunger and poverty in developing countries.
The funding of research activities by the Eiselen Foundation (including the promotion of master and doctoral degrees, scientific awards, research project support) and Dr. Eiselen's private commitment (Josef G. Knoll-Professorship for Development Studies) amount to more than 14 million Euros. For many years, the Eiselen Foundation was the only foundation in Germany dedicated to the improvement of world nutrition and reducing hunger in the world. Dr. Eiselen was interested in modern plant breeding, especially in genetically modified crops, and its impact on world nutrition.
For more than 50 years, he also developed and designed the work of the Museum of Bread Culture in Ulm as a collector, patron, exhibitor, author and mastermind for the museum's portrayal of the cultural history of bread and hunger. More than one million visitors have seen the unique museum so far and have been able to study the important history of bread, this outstanding food.
Influcenced by own hunger experiences after the Second World War, it was an obligation to Dr. Hermann Eiselen that the German civil society is fighting against hunger in the world. Thus, he translated the slogan of the international Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO) "Fiat Panis" into German and formulated the demand "everyone should have enough food", with the emphasis on "everyone".
Dr. Hermann Eiselen has been widely honored for his work. Since 1984 he was an honorary senator of the Universities of Ulm and Hohenheim. In 1996, he was awarded the Merit Medal of state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. In 2002 his work was honored with the first-class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hohenheim for his services to promote the fight against hunger and poverty in the world. In 2004, the Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture at the Humboldt University in Berlin awarded him the Albrecht-Daniel-Thaer-Medal in silver.
Honorary Senator Dr. Dr. h.c. Hermann Eiselen passed away on June 21, 2009, aged 83, after a short period of illness.