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Georg Gimpl

Born May 26, 1949 Abtenau (Austria). Died October 10, 2014, Linz (Austria)

Master of Arts 1975 (Germanic philology, pedagogics), PhD 1980 (Germanic philology and psychology), University of Salzburg (Austria)

University lecturer 2004–2014, University of Helsinki
Acting associate professor 1993–1995, University of Helsinki
Docent in the history of science and ideas, University of Oulu
Lecturer in German language and Austrian literature 1975–2003 (permanent appointment 1981), University of Helsinki

Research themes:
The history of philosophy, particularly the history of Austrian philosophy; Austrian and German literature; the cultural history of Bohemia’s German speaking (including Jewish) population; the virtual museum of Russbach, his home village


Kuva: Hartmut Lenk
Written by Hartmut Lenk, Marja Ursin, Valtteri Hyvärinen, Jouni Heikkinen, Helena Leheckova, Susanne Frejborg, Kaarle Holmberg, Faruk Abu-Chacra, Ove Knekt, Mark Shackleton, John Calton, Liisa Tiittula, Andrew Chesterman, Anni Aarinen (Kaija Hartikainen, ed.)
Translated by  Matthew Billington


I was often surprised by the breadth of expertise possessed by Georg Gimpl and by his enormous network of contacts.

When I showed him my plans for wooden furniture, right away I received expert feedback and suggestions for changes to make the product commercially viable. Georg told me that he had been an apprentice carpenter and joiner as a young man. His comments always hit the nail on the head, all the way to the joints!

Once we were talking about how my father, who was in the timber business, had owned a lumber mill which sold wood to Europe, Asia and even Africa. Georg asked me if I happened to know where he could buy the best quality birch wood in Finland. These type of light-coloured birch trees only grow in a single region of Finland, and they are difficult to obtain. I called my brother, who told me that the plywood factory in Heinola had just shut down, and that outside the factory there was a huge pile of birch destined for the pulp mill!

Right away Georg phoned an Austrian business and told them it was a matter of some urgency. Next week three Austrians, with Georg as their interpreter, drove to Heinola. The buyer had his own axe to stamp the best logs and the load was shipped to Austria. There they were sawn, dried and planed. The seller got a good price and the buyer got the finest quality at a reasonable cost, so both were happy. As was Georg, the businessman.

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