* 5 December 1918 in Rastenburg (East Prussia); † 26 May 1984 in West Berlin
Waldemar Grzimek creates an outstanding œuvre of sculptures, drawings, and graphics. He works in East and West Germany, respectively in the GDR and the FRG.
When the family has moved to Berlin, Grzimek, just eleven years old, starts to model animals of the zoological gardens. He meets the sculptor Hugo Lederer who teaches him a first basic knowledge. Grzimek’s early works are mainly animal sculptures. When he is 15 years old, he causes quite a sensation at an exhibition of the academy of arts, where he shows a rhinoceros, a buffalo, and a sketch of his father’s head.
Following secondary school qualifications and an apprenticeship as stonemason, Grzimek up to 1941 studies in a master class with Wilhelm Gerstel at the college of visual arts in Berlin. During his military service with the navy, he is in 1942 granted the prize of the Villa Massimo in Rome, together with a leave to study. In 1946 Grzimek is given a teaching assignment at the art college Burg Giebichenstein in Halle. Later he teaches from 1948 to 1951 as professor for sculpture at the college for visual arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg, and from 1956 to 1961 as professor at the arts college in Berlin-Weißensee. Up to his appointment as professor at the TU Darmstadt, Grzimek works as a freelance artist in West Berlin and Friedrichshafen (on the Lake Constance). In 1964 he is represented at the documenta III in Kassel. In Berlin, the Heinrich-Heine monument at the Weinbergsweg and the fountain on the Wittenbergplatz are his creations. The bell in the bell tower of Buchenwald concentration camp, as well as a memorial for the Sachsenhausen concentration camp are the result of his critical outlook on National Socialism. Grzimek’s grave is on the cemetery of Berlin-Dahlem.