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In Memoriam

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Werner Peter Schmitz-Hille

Who was Werner Peter Schmitz-Hille?


Werner Peter Schmitz was born on April 17, 1914 in Thun, Switzerland. Inheritor of a number of companies in Germany, Switzerland and USA, the ex – millionaire donated all of his fortune to charity, while living himself at a nursing home for the elderly. In 1985 he established The Schmitz-Stiftung Charity Foundation. Mr. Schmitz life’s motto was ”Charity begins at home”.

“I set up my Foundations to provide direct help to people in need. The crux of the matter for me is that we reduce hardship and poverty and, in the process, support poor people, give them hope, courage to face the future, and perspectives for themselves and their families.

I am especially concerned about the poor and the socially excluded. I am thinking of the forgotten people with disabilities, the old and the sick, the orphans, minorities deprived of their legal rights and other disadvantaged people. Experience shows that genuine help to self-help is often the best form of assistance we can provide.
Of course we are not able to help everyone, everywhere. But together we can try to reach as many people as possible. Let us take action and find the way together!”

The charity benefactor from Switzerland, Werner Peter Schmitz-Hille, passed away on December 24, 2008 – Catholic Christmas Eve. He lived a great, full and worthy life, having dedicated himself to a noble and necessary cause – helping deprived and marginalized people, all those who needed outside care and protection. One of the beneficiaries of Schmitz-Stiftung Charity Foundation beautifully characterized Mr. Schmitz personality:

“It is difficult to imagine, that the heart of a wonderful man stopped beating, a Christian man who fully dedicated himself to helping those in need. There is a saying: a man continues to live among us as long as we remember him! The seeds of kindness Mr. Werner Peter Schmitz sowed are continuously yielding harvest which will always remind us of him. “

Ralf Schäfer



Ralf Schafer was born on the 16th of October 1969. He spent his childhood with his parents, and older sister, Michaela, in Leinstetten, a small village in the Black Forest situated in the Southern part of Germany. He went to the grammar school and he was already brilliant as a child (in school even teachers ran scared when he asked his intelligent questions). After his military service (it is to be mentioned that he didn’t like it, because he never found any deeper sense there) he started his studies at Stuttgart University to become an electrical engineer. He graduated and some years later he got his PhD in Paris.

Ralf started his job at Siemens in Munich where he worked as a Senior Consultant. In the same time, he tried to spend all his holidays travelling all over the world, once even getting to South America for about 2-3 months. He loved spending weekends with his family and the jogging through the forest with his sister.

Ralf was not only genius, but also a very social person who always looked up first to help other people, before looking after him.

This idea of helping people, got him in Moldova, thus this experience changed his life in a very sensitive way. He suddenly found a deeper sense in what he was living for. He spent a lot of his money following his main vision – to make people happy. He spent long days and nights preparing his projects and trips to Moldova.

”We all never could understand how and from where he got the energy… And he still had his stressful job at Siemens where he was not happy but, which brought him the money for capitalization of his ideas and beliefs.”

- his sister said…