Dear visitors to the website of the von Richthofen family,
Welcome to our website. It is intended as a way to present our story to the public at large. After establishing the site in 2005, the large number of visits and requests convinced us that there was a great deal of interest in our family. The following is a brief summary of our family history.
The von Richthofen family first became internationally known through the exploits of the combat pilot Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen. Also known as the Red Baron, he served during World War I and his outstanding flying skills set the standards within the military at that time. Our family also gained prominence in the field of science through the work of the renowned Sinologist Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen, who was a university professor in Bonn, Leipzig and Berlin and also served as the president of the Society for Geography in Berlin, which was co-founded by Alexander von Humboldt. Throughout its 450-year history many members of the family responded to the intellectual currents of their time in ways that had significant effects on the development of society. Although contemporary social conditions led the majority to seek careers in agriculture and the military, a highly diverse mixture of professions and passionate interests were nonetheless pursued by individual members of the family.
Our family has its verifiable origins in the beginning of the 16th century at time of the Electorate of Brandenburg. In the early 17th century, Silesia became our home, from which we were subsequently banished as a result of World War II.
A survey of the history of the von Richthofen family can be divided into the following sections: the period in Brandenburg, the Silesian period during the rule of the Bohemians and the Habsburgs, the Silesian period during the rule of Prussia, the years during the World Wars and the most recent period of escape, expulsion and new beginnings.