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Death of Hans Bachmann, honorary member of the ICRC

31-08-1997 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 319

Hans Bachmann, an honorary member of the ICRC, died on 7 July 1997, a few days after his 85th birthday.

Mr Bachmann had a long career in the service of the ICRC. A lawyer by profession, he joined the institution in early 1942, in the middle of the Second World War. He immediately occupied senior posts under Carl Burckhardt and in relief operations, playing a key role in the Joint Relief Commission and especially in the Foundation for the organization of Red Cross transport, which he was instrumental in setting up. The Foundation conducted activities on an unprecedented scale, supplying countries affected by the conflict and its aftermath. At the beginning of 1946 Mr Bachmann left the ICRC but returned 12 years later, in 1958, as a member of the Committee, on which he remained until 1976. In this capacity he served on the Presidential Council from 1963 to 1971 and as Vice-President of the ICRC from 1964 to 1965 and from 1968 to 1971. When he decided to leave the Committee in 1976, he was appointed an honorary member and was awarded the ICRC silver medal by the then President Éric Martin, in recognition of his long years of service.

Mr Bachmann was one of the leading figures in ICRC operations over the past fifty years.