Who Was Fritz Schumacher? by Diana Schumacher

The Gandhi Foundation

Who Was Fritz Schumacher?

by Diana Schumacher

E F Schumacher, the economist-philosopher, was born 100 years ago this year. The following article is edited from a longer paper written for the Schumacher Society in 2008.

Ernst Friedrich (Fritz) Schumacher was an unlikely pioneer of the Green Movement. He was born in Bonn in 1911, studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and returned to England before the Second World War to avoid living under Nazism. He died prematurely on a visit to Caux, Switzerland, in September 1977.

Although from a distinguished intellectual background, and having himself experienced a short but meteoric academic career in Germany, England and America, Schumacher always believed that “an ounce of practice is worth a tonne of theory”. Like Gandhi in both his outer and inner life he was a searcher of truth and dedicated to peace. Unlike so many of his contemporary academics, however, he needed to see these ideals translated into practical…

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