Pastor Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht

Archive Collections / Pastor Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht
Born : 15 October, 1894
Died : 16 March, 1984

Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht was born on 15 October 1894 at Plawanice, Russian Poland, the eldest of ten children to Ferdinand Albrect and his wife Helene, nee Reichwald. Albrecht was educated at the local school before entering the Lutheran Mission Institute at Hermannsburg, Germany in 1913, graduating in 1924. During this time, World War I erupted, and Albrecht served in the German medical corps on the Russian front and was awarded the Iron Cross.

Upon completion of his studies, Albrecht was sent to the Finke River Mission in Central Australia but not before receiving tuition in English in America. On 14 September 1925, Albrecht married Minna Maria Margaretha Gevers from Germany, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The couple then sailed for Australia arriving in Sydney on 18 October 1925 and then headed for South Australia.
Albrecht was ordained a pastor on 14 February 1926 at Nuriootpa, South Australia. In April, the Albrechts arrived in Hermannsburg replacing Carl Friedrich Theodor Strehlow (See AA 315) as Superintendent and remained until 1952. During this time Albrecht became fluent in the local Aboriginal language. This enabled him to continue the Bible and language translations, preach in Arrernte, and train Aboriginal evangelists. Albrecht was also concerned about Aboriginal welfare, created employment opportunities, campaigned for Aboriginal settlements such as Areyonga and with financial assistance ensured construction of a pipeline from Koporilja Springs to provide permanent water at Hermannsburg.

In 1952 the family, moved to Alice Springs, Northern Territory and then to Linden Park, South Australia in 1962. Albrecht was awarded an MBE in 1958 and an Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit in 1973 by the Federal Republic of Germany. Albrecht published essays and papers about Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

Albrecht died at Fullarton, South Australia on 16 March 1984, four months after his wife, and survived by three sons and two daughters. He is buried in Centennial Park, South Australia.

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Prepared ByFiona Wuerthner, Peggy Brock and george smith