History of the Georg Ludwig Rexroth-Foundation
Ludwig Rexroth
Georg Ludwig Rexroth
(Passed away 1992)
Annemarie Rexroth
Annemarie Rexroth
(Passed away 2007)
Irmgard Heider
Irmgard Heider
(Passed away 2013)
Gerd Rexroth
Gerd Rexroth
(Passed away 2003)
Bernd Rexroth
Bernd Rexroth
(Passed away 2014)
Eugen Tatarko
Eugen Tatarko
(Passed away 1986)

Immediately upon retiring from business life, Georg Ludwig Rexroth and his wife Annemarie on March 30th 1973 founded the Georg Ludwig Rexroth-Foundation.

They used the proceeds from the sale of their shares in G. L. Rexroth GmbH to set up a foundation fund with the aim of sponsoring their own development projects in the Third World and ensuring the function of social institutions through financial support.

The funds available to the Foundation each year for distribution originate from the revenues of the Foundation's assets, which are supplemented by further donations from the family, the Mannesmann Group, Bosch Rexroth AG and other private donors.

In building up the Foundation, Georg Ludwig Rexroth was ably assisted by the Personnel Director of Mannesmann Rexroth GmbH, Eugen Tatarko, who was a Board Member of the Foundation until his death on June 11, 1986, by his sons Gerd and Bernd and by Irmgard Heider, the Foundation's authorized officer until 2010.

The Foundation has its headquarters in Lohr am Main, Germany.

Georg Ludwig Rexroth - Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

In Pakistan's port city of Karachi there is a school named after Georg Ludwig Rexroth, who during his lifetime never set foot in Pakistan. Who therefore is this unusual man and why has the school been named after him?

Georg Ludwig Rexroth descended from a family of entrepreneurs with a more than 500 year old tradition in iron-processing. The Rexroth family have owned iron hammer works in the Spessart Hills Nature Park area of Bavaria, Germany, since the 18th century. In 1840, an ancestor of Rexroth acquired 50% of the shares in the lower iron works in Lohr am Main, also in Bavaria. Ten years later, he acquired the second half of the business and in 1854 the town received a railway connection, which proved significant for the business.

On 3 March 1902, the man after whom this foundation was named was born in Lohr. At that time, approximately 70 people worked for Rexroth's father. Having completed secondary school, Georg Ludwig Rexroth studied from 1921 to 1924 and graduated as a mechanical engineer. He then successfully completed a degree in business studies in Munich in 1928 and started as a commercial clerk in his father's business.

In 1931 he married Annemarie Faupel with whom he had two sons and two daughters. In 1933 his father made him a shareholder in the company. As well as iron castings, the company produced machinery for the agricultural sector.

At the end of the Second World War in 1945 the factory had been substantially damaged. To carry on production, it was suggested to the military government in charge at the time to use existing materials to manufacture pots and pans and other simple kitchen utensils necessary for survival. In 1947, the production of pots and pans was discontinued. Instead, the manufacture of machinery for the agricultural sector was resumed and meat cutting machinery came to the fore.

When Georg Ludwig Rexroth discovered that the American war victors used novel diggers, which were unknown in Germany at the time, in their clean-up efforts, he sent an engineer to America to study the new hydraulic systems. Soon afterwards, together with his brother, a casting house specialist, he started to develop the first hydraulic valve.

Hydraulic engineering became a great success for the business and elevated it to become a global market leader. This success can be attributed partly to Rexroth's attitude towards his employees whom he considered colleagues not subordinates. At the beginning of the 1960s, he granted them a share in the profits of the business. In subsequent years, fast expansion into the global markets required more capital funds than the family was able to contribute. Consequently, in 1968 the German Mannesmann group, which was famous for its seamless tubes, acquired a 50% shareholding in the company, which it then took over completely in 1975.

Georg Ludwig Rexroth stepped back from the management of the business on 31 December 1972 at the age of 70. He did not however simply retire: On 31 March 1973, he founded the Georg Ludwig Rexroth-Stiftung, a charitable foundation. He equipped the foundation with a significant amount of equity and set out what it should achieve, namely to be there for the sick and needy in the world. The eligibility for help, he declared, should be independent of skin colour, political or religious beliefs. One of the first big tasks that Georg Ludwig Rexroth took on was to support the German doctor, Dr. Ruth Pfau, who devoted her life to the fight against leprosy and whose work, which started in Karachi, expands from nowadays Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Alarmed by the movement of refugees from Bangladesh to Orangi in Pakistan, Rexroth, with the support of the German Siemens group, initially provided water containers for the supply of drinking water. The foundation later decided to shift its support to education with the establishment of a school, as education was seen as the most important means for young people to enable them to self-determine their lives. It was Rexroth's aim to support girls in particular, who are still disadvantaged when it comes to the provision of education in Pakistan.

Georg Ludwig Rexroth died on 13 June 1992 at the age of 90. His work was recognised through numerous awards: On 30 March 1977 he was awarded the honorary citizenship of his hometown of Lohr. One year later he was awarded The Federal Cross of Merit First Class by the Federal President of the Republic of Germany, Walter Scheel.

The Rexroth foundation does not only provide support in Pakistan. It supports people in need in many countries across the world, for example in South Africa, South America and India as well as in the poorer countries of Eastern Europe.

The fact that Georg Ludwig Rexroth's ideas are continued almost 20 years after his death is due to his entrepreneurial vision. The capital of the foundation belongs to a not for profit organisation which is led by three managers. The capital is invested and the regular income from these investments is used to fund projects. The capital itself cannot be touched. This ensures that there will be sufficient capital in the future to help where the need is greatest.