spirituality & philanthropy
The Rottendorf Foundation
Founder & benefactor
Andreas J. Rottendorf (1897-1971)
“I am a Stockwestfale, thank God!”
By Franz-Josef Harbaum
Andreas J. Rottendorf, to whom the self-characterisation in the above title goes back, was born on 10 October 1897 on his parents’ farm in the Bauerschaft Beesen in Ennigerloh. He was the only son of Heinrich Stefan Schulze Rottendorf and his wife Josefa Antoinette, née Wilke. Together with his younger sister he experienced a carefree childhood on the farm and in the surrounding nature. His love for his homeland and its people found expression again and again in his Low German and High German texts.
Rottendorf, who liked to call himself “Schulte Rottrup”, studied in Münster, was then a merchant in a chemical factory in Bückeburg and founded a chemical-pharmaceutical company in Berlin in 1928. The rise of this company was destroyed by bombs during the Second World War. In 1949 Rottendorf started again from scratch in Ennigerloh to build up a chemical-pharmaceutical factory, which over the years became known as “Rottendorf Pharma”. The successful entrepreneur Andreas J. Rottendorf did not give up his inclination to write down thoughts, experiences and insights in High and Low German and publish them in the “Glocke” and in small writings, all in his own publishing house, which he called “contra torrentem” (against the current).
Ulrich Kunz writes in the Westfälische Heimatblätter July 2006: “Rottendorf’s knowledge of human nature and wisdom, his sure eye for the worries and problems, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies of his Westphalian compatriots, the accuracy of his expression with surprising punchlines and humorous digressions found great favour with his readers, especially when he used the Low German language, the promotion of which was always close to his heart”.
He died at the age of 74 on 20 November 1971 and was buried in Ennigerloh.
Rose Rottendorf (1899 – 1981)
Rose Rottendorf (1899 – 1981)
On 31 October 1922, Andreas J. Rottendorf married Rose Nierenberger in Münster, whose parents lived in Oberney near Strasbourg. Unfortunately, Rose and Andreas J. Rottendorf’s wish to have children remained unfulfilled. Rose Rottendorf managed the bookkeeping in her husband’s business. At the beginning of the war in 1939, Andreas J. Rottendorf became a soldier (again). Rose Rottendorf then effectively took over the management of the company, which had 50 employees at the time. Her work was very successful; the order situation was very good in view of the increased demand for medicines due to the war and the production capacities were fully utilised. Rose Rottendorf managed the company until the end of the war in 1945. When the pharmaceutical company moved to Ennigerloh after the war and the Rottendorf couple moved to Ennigerloh, Rose Rottendorf maintained her main residence in Berlin. This also served as the headquarters of the publishing house “Contra torrentem”, where Andreas J. Rottendorf published poems and other writings. After the death of Andreas J. Rottendorf in 1971, the company was initially continued by Rose Rottendorf and then transferred by her to the Rottendorf Foundation in 1975 in accordance with her husband’s testamentary wishes. Rose Rottendorf died on 29 January 1981 in Ennigerloh.
Source: Foreword to the Findbuch “Andreas Josef Rottendorf”, Kreisarchiv Warendorf”.