Kurt Fred Hauschildt (1911-1963)
Kurt Fred Hauschildt was born in Sassen, western Germany, on March 19, 1911. At some point prior to 1940, he immigrated to California to find work as an engineer.
Hauschildt enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 1941 and served with the U.S. Army Air Corps. His familiarity with the German language and geography qualified him for service with the MFAA in Berlin following the end of hostilities. As Fine Arts Intelligence Officer for the Berlin-Dahlem Military Government District, he conducted inspections of several cultural monuments in and nearby Berlin, advised on repairs, and liaised with German museum officials. His reports detail investigations at Jagdschloss Grunewald (a former royal Prussian hunting lodge containing paintings by Peter Paul Rubens and Lucas Cranach), the Kunstgewerbe Bibliothek (the Berlin art library), and the Geheimes Staatsarchiv (site of the Prussian Privy State Archives).
In February 1946, Hauschildt inspected the Botanical Museum and Biological Institute in Berlin, which sustained significant bomb damage. The institute’s upper floors were scorched by fire; the majority of the windows and greenhouses were shattered. Hauschildt ordered the evacuation of the most important horticultural and biological objects to repositories outside the city and then directed German workers to relocate the remaining plants to undamaged rooms. In the months that followed, the garden was reopened to the public along with a series of successful horticultural exhibitions due in part to the work of Hauschildt.
Hauschildt was granted American citizenship upon his discharge from the U.S. Army. He then returned to the United States, where he worked as an engineering draftsman for the International Boundary & Water Commission in Los Angeles.
Kurt Hauschildt suffered a stroke and died on February 2, 1963. He was buried in San Antonio, Texas.
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