Prof Dr Friedrich Ludwig Huber

Victim | 1884 | Veterinarian

Prof Dr Friedrich Ludwig  HuberFriedrich Ludwig (O.O.N.) Huber was born in M√ľnchen (Germany). Son of August Huber and Therese Pfefferle. Married with Gertrud Albertine Sophie Mahler. Living in Batavia (1948)

After his bacteriological and veterinarian studies in Germany, Friedrich ("Fritz") Huber enlisted with the German Colonial Army in Africa and served under the famous commander Paul von Lettow Vorbeck, nicknamed "The Lion of Africa". Fritz was responsible for the health of the army horses and managed a team of veterinarians.

After WW1, commander Von Lettow returned from the African frontline to Germany and repeatedly refused to take orders from the emerging Nazi authorities. This attitude may have been an example for Fritz Huber who decided to escape from Nazi Germany and migrate to the Dutch East Indies in the 1930-ies, together with his wife Gertrud who had a Jewish background.

In NEI, Fritz was more than welcome because of his academic credentials and work experience. He was employed with the Veeartsenijkundige Institute (Veterinarian Institute) in Buitenzorg (Bogor). He was soon promoted to the rank of Inspector and subsequently to Director. In 1938 he received the honourable distinction of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (Officier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau) in recognition of his public merits.

Two years later, in 1940, he was imprisoned just like anybody else with a German background and ended up on the doomed Van Imhoff. After the bombing of the Van Imhoff he managed to escape the sinking ship and hold on to one of the rafts floating in the sea. He was last seen seen by survivor Ernst Fischer. He saw Fritz Huber holding on to an improvised raft which was attached to the only available lifeboat where Ernst Fischer was sitting. On the raft were also dr E Nowak, ir P Danzmann, Karl Seemann and K Raschdorf.

When the connecting rope breaks or, perhaps, is detached, only Danzmann and Seemann manage to swim to the lifeboat which is then much lighter and gaining speed. The other survivors on the raft remain in shock and immobile as it appears impossible to reach the lifeboat which is disappearing out of sight.

Fritz Huber is remembered as a conservative and serious person who was openly against the rise of National Socialism in Germany and its followers in NEI. From available pictures he comes across as a self-confident person who enjoyed his well-to-do position and lifestyle. He was a keen traveller in SE Asia.

His wife returned from Java to Germany in 1950. She developed breast cancer and died two years after her arrival. For the family this was not a coincidence: she was love sick and missed her Fritz a lot.

- Huber family archive
- Andreas Dahmen, grandnephew/second cousin who kindly assisted with the preparation of this profile (2019)
- C. Van Heekeren (Batavia seint Berlijn, page 229)

Fritz Huber as Army Officer

Huber with wife, local driver and car

In 1938 Huber was decorated as Officier in the Orde van Oranje Nassau

Huber posing on an elephant during a holiday in SE Asia

Source: Burgerlijke Stand Batavia, bijzondere overlijdensregisters 1948-1950, Arsip Nasional, Jakarta

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