Hall of Fame Class of 1999
For more than 30 years Horst Wiedefeld gave a significant impetus to the development of adult education in Germany. As the Managing Director of the North Rhine-Westphalia Adult Education Association, a position he took in 1971and held until his retirement in 1992, he was responsible in large measure for the improvement in the quality of adult education in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany. Additionally, for most of this period he was the Editor-in-Chief of the periodical publication of the German Adult Education Association, Volkshochschulen Im Westen.
Born in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Horst Wiedefeld studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule fur Politik in Berlin and received his degree from the Free University Berlin. He began his adult education career by working as a teacher and lecturer in Berlin and as a youth referent for political and social education for the German Adult Education Association. He helped introduce and gain acceptance for adult education as an equal partner in the German education system. He instituted the further education and re-training of adult education staff members in adult education institutions.
In retirement Horst Wiedefeld has worked as Ehrenamtlichter Richter (honorary judge) for the county court in Wuppertal (1992-1996). From 1990 to 1996 he was a member of the Committee for Cultural Matters of the Council in Velbert, thus continuing his involvement in his community.
Horst Wiedefeld gave an expanded and improved adult education program to his home state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which stands as an exemplary example of lifelong learning in Germany. To this is added his years of committee service and editing for the Adult Education Association and his reaching into the international adult education community to gain new insights through an exchange of information and ideas.