Oberth, Hermann Julius, born 25-06-1894, in Nagyszeben, Austria-Hungary, the son of a prosperous physician, studied medicine in Munich, but his education was interrupted by service in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. On 06-07-1918, Oberth married Mathilde Hummel, with whom he had four children. Among these were a son who died as a soldier in World War II, and a daughter who also died during the war when there was an accidental explosion at a liquid oxygen plant where she was in August 1944. His daughter Ilse Oberth (1924-1944) was a rocket technician. She came in Hausruck on 28-04-1944 on the rocket tester “Schlier” of the concentration camp Redl-Zipf subsidiary in an explosion immediately after an A4 engine test killed. 27 people died as a result of the explosion. They were given a state funeral at Vöcklabruck-Schöndorf cemetery. In 1919, Oberth once again moved to Germany, this time to study physics, initially in Munich and later in Göttingen. After being wounded in the war, he found time to pursue his studies in astronautics. He performed experiments to simulate weightlessness and worked out a design for a long-range, liquid-propellant rocket that his commanding officer sent to the War Ministry.
The design was rejected as a fantasy. After the war Oberth sought a Ph.D. degree at the University of Heidelberg with a dissertation based on his rocket design. It was rejected by the university in 1922, but Oberth partially underwrote publishing expenses, and it appeared as Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (1923; “The Rocket into Interplanetary Space”). The book, which explained mathematically how rockets could achieve a speed that would allow them to escape Earth’s gravitational pull, gained Oberth widespread recognition.
Oberth retired in 1962 at the age of 68. From 1965 to 1967 he was a member of the National Democratic Party, which was considered to be far right. In July 1969, Oberth returned to the United States to witness the launch of the Apollo project Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that carried the Apollo 11 crew on the first landing mission to the Moon. The 1973 petroleum crisis inspired Oberth to look into alternative energy sources, including a plan for a wind power station that could utilize the jet stream. However, his primary interest during his retirement years was to turn to more abstract philosophical questions. Most notable among his several books from this period is Primer For Those Who Would Govern . Oberth returned to the United States to view the launch of STS-61A, the Space Shuttle Challenger launched 30-10-1985. Hermann Oberth with his daughter Dr Roth-Oberth outside the Hermann Oberth Castle Museum in Feucht near Nuremberg in 1979
Death and burial ground of Obert Hermann Julius.
Hermann Oberth died in Nuremberg, West Germany, on 28-12-1989, age 95, in Nuremberg Bavaria, just shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain that had for so long divided Germany into two countries and is buried at the Neuer Friedhof Feucht, Nürnberger Land, Bavaria.