The places where I lived, the people whom I met, the outstanding events, and a few things of a highly symbolic value ...........
This is mostly a picture show, and most of the things mentioned have already been touched upon in the section on my life.


Who am I ?  What am I ?  I grew up in the Ruhr region between coal mines and steel mills. I still get happy feelings when I see the glow of a furnace or the smoke from the stacks, and I enjoy the company of the people who respect hard work and say what they think. I became a conscious being just before the end of and shortly after the war, when the need for survival created its own humanity and there was no room for false morals. I do things which some people would not do, and I will not do things which other people might do. I have always been a great admirer of the Ruhr Revier icon Adolf Tegtmeier. When it comes to wisdoms, I cannot resist being cynical. There can only be one kind of flower in my coat of arms: the thistle.

Duisburg - the last steel mills

Jürgen von Manger, alias Adolf Tegtmeier


my flower
In my childhood football was as popular as it is today. We played it on the street, with a milk can in lieu of a real ball, rough and loud. From that I derive my fighting spirit and my desire for new challenges. Early on I became active in competitive sports and endurance events. That taught me, also early on, that there are few victories and many defeats. Until today I am glad that I learned to lose so early in my life.

German U19 championships, 1957

Vorarlberg mountains in midsummer, 1958
Whom do I owe anything ?
  Of course many people. The important ones have been named in the section on my life. Here I want to show those again to whom I owe most: my parents and my academic teachers. They let me run about freely and make all my mistakes, trusting me to find my way.

my parents, 1980

Erika and Heinz Nöth, June and Larry Dahl, 2005
Above all this love and support I seem to have enjoyed an unusual amount of assistance from a higher source, quite often asking myself how I derserved it. Out of a whim I called this source the Goddess Fortuna. My friends and myself have often praised her for her generosity, both in our private lives and in our chemistry, and we made sure that she received recognition in the literature.

Where am I at home ? During the first 40 years of my life my address changed more than ten times, and I almost always felt at home at the new places. Then my life became steady, centered around Freiburg. I built two houses, hoping that each of them would be a real home. The one on Sylt wasn't, and I sold it in 2007. The one in Ebringen was my peaceful haven, and I was always happy to return to it. Yet, in 2021 I had to give it up because I couldn't really take care of it any more. I was lucky to find a nice apartment in the seniors' residence Parkstift St. Ulrich in Bad Krozingen, a place to enjoy "living with care".

Ebringen, 1977

Archsum, 1992

Bad Krozingen, 2021
Having moved around in the world so much, I of course have my favourite places. The time in Marburg was like a holiday between my student days and the beginning of my career. In Madison, Wisconsin, my wife and me spent the happiest years of our lives. Dunedin, New Zealand, where I spent a total of six months during three sabbatical leaves, provided the pleasure of having the longest possible distance from the troubles at home.

Marburg, 1967

Madison, 1968

Dunedin, 1981

Only after I became fascinated by East Asia later in life, did I find other places where I feel at home. The climate, the people, the culture and the bottomless mystery of the East have attracted me more and more in the second half of my life. I have been tempted to buy an apartment in Bangkok, but decided not to do that and rather remain a visitor there. Yet more than any place before Bangkok is my second home now, where I stay to meet my friends and to enjoy the eastern world.

Angkor Wat - and Rudyard Kipling's "Road to Mandalay"

Bangkok - Wat Phra Kaeo

Bangkok - Menam Chao Phraya

Where did I go Moving around was an undesired fate in my youthtime, but then it turned into a habit. I always want to see new places, and my camera is my trusty companion. My profession involved international contacts, near and far. Like all my colleagues I have cultivated these contacts on lecture tours and on international conferences. Of course the East has become prominent for me in this respect, too, and I got around a lot in India, China and Taiwan. But all the big scientific meetings in my time took place in the western world. The group picture shows the participants of the famous Ettal meeting which brought together all important organometallic chemists of the time. This is the only photo which shows all our heroes.

the places in East Asia where I visited the universities

the conference in Ettal, Bavaria, in 1974
My scientific travels have taken me to the universities closest to the North Pole (Tromsoe in Norway) and closest to the South Pole (Dunedin in New Zealand). As there are no West and East Poles, I define my westernmost university as Salta in Argentina and my easternmost as Hohhot in Inner Mongolia. People of all colours have worked in my laboratory.
The chemistry buildings:





The short scientific trips whetted the appetite to see more of the far away countries. So I went there, together with my wife as long as we were married. The four photos show me at places where the land meets the water. Being at a border and hoping to learn what is beyond the mighty river or the sea, or reaching the limit on top of a mountain, that is the essence of travelling for me.

North Cape, 71° North

Cape of Good Hope, 34° South

the Yellow River, near Baotou

the Irrawaddy, near Bagan

What did I achieve I am afraid that it is too late for me now to try and make it into the history books. My compensation for that is all the fun that I have had.
Discoveries: My coworkers and I have made many lovely chemical compounds. Here I show my favourite which I made myself, the trinickel cluster which catapulted me into my academic career. But my greatest discovery was my "daughter" Lanfen whom I found at the far end of the world in 1991, the most talented person I know, who brought sunshine into my life again.

the odd-electron cluster S2Ni3Cp3

Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, 1991
My highest achievements
: I climbed as high as 4100 meters, mastering the summit of the Breithorn near Zermatt. My highest performance took place 3000 meters high, when five German chemistry professors sang "Gaudeamus igitur" on stage in the historical opera house in Leadville, Colorado. I am really proud of both achievements.

Breithorn, with my wife, 1977

Wilhelm Preetz, Dirk Reinen, Dieter Fenske, myself, and Erwin Weiss, 1984
Yes, I received a few awards, even one that came along with 375 grams of pure gold. But as it so happens with awards, they come late, when the thrill of the achievement is already forgotten. So the rewards which I still like best are those which I received for  secondary contributions to science, my award for my effort for the public understanding of science and my honourable mention by the United Sons of Boron.

the Wilhelm-Klemm-Prize, 2005

the Wiss-Ges Award, 1978

the USOB award, 1985
Unfulfilled Dreams: Every chemist dreams of finding a molecule which is so pretty that it will decorate the title page of a book. Hardly any one finds it; neither did I. But my coworkers compensated me for that by designing a beauty
for me for my 70th birthday (© E. Keller). Another thing which I would haved liked to do also never happened: wearing the academic robe. The robes were abandoned in Germany after the 1968 uprise, and they have not been re-introduced until today. Here, too, compensation had to come from somewhere else, namely the Netherlands where academic events are still celebrated in style. The photo shows me in a gown of the University of Amsterdam (with the hat of its chancellor) during the proceedings for conferring a Dr. degree to a student.

HV70, my birthday present, 2010

with Kees Vrieze, Amsterdam, 1990
Did I deserve it ?   My mother said "self-praise stinks", and she is certainly right. I was unusually lucky, very often stumbling into a favourable situation or standing on the shoulders of many other people. I was lucky to work in the century of science in a prosperous country. I had parents and teachers who gave me all the freedom to develop my talents. I had an environment which tolerated my adventurous and rebellious character. So I must look back with gratitude. I received more than I deserved, and there is no longer the prod of ambition in my heart. I can lean back and realise what a lucky person I am.
Happy Moments: The happiest moments are those which should not be talked about. But for me those which become alive when thinking about the past, always have to do with cheerful companions. The two pictures are meant to express this. Both show situations after a rewarding activity. The first was taken after a rich wine harvest, the other after getting my parents to visit us in America. I did not feel the thrill of happiness when I became a professor or when I got my highest award, but I could forget everything in the company of friends, with a relaxed mood and a sharp tongue and in the spirit of "ergo bibamus".

with Alfred Seger and his family, Wolfenweiler, 1978

with my parents, Wisconsin Dells, 1968

Bel Ami: Which man does not dream of being the cock on the walk, being surrounded by pretty girls? I am one! Unfortunately only after having lived 65 years. I don't know how I achieved that, but visit me in South East Asia, and you will see.

Jiuzhaigou, China, 2010

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 2008
  I have had so much luck and so many pleasures that I don't have the right to ask for more. I will be ever so happy if there are more, and my "Every Day is Sunday" mood keeps me inspired day after day. If I were allowed to ask for future privileges, it would be the following two:
(1) Let me stay healthy and content, so that I can look out at the beauty of this world:

(2) Let me stay mobile and curious, so that for a few more times I can set sail and put to sea looking for new shores: