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News > OS News > An Inspirational life lived: Professor Otto Hutter (SHb, 39-42)

An Inspirational life lived: Professor Otto Hutter (SHb, 39-42)

An inspirational life lived: OS Professor Otto Hutter (SHb 39-42) May Peace be upon him 1924-2020
25 Nov 2020
OS News
OS Professor Otto Hutter addressing L6th - June 2018
OS Professor Otto Hutter addressing L6th - June 2018

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of Professor Otto Hutter (SHb, 39-42) who peacefully passed away at home in Bournemouth on 22nd November aged 96 years following a very short decline in health.

Otto joined the College in 1939 as a full boarder in School House B having fled his native Austria during the first cohort of Kindertransport in 1938. Upon arrival in England he was fostered by the family of OS A Blaxill (SHa, 13-17) who rallied fellow Old Stortfordians for financial support to pay the fees for Otto to receive a full boarding College education. The call out to OS followed Kristallnacht in Vienna in November 1938 and the call was ‘What can Stortford do?’ the response was swiftly met by a small group of OS who fully funded Otto’s education at their own cost. 

Otto’s Father’s wish was that he would continue his education after leaving Austria, a wish that Otto fulfilled many times over. Otto left the College in 1942 to continue his studies at University in London where he became a pioneering Professor of Physiology , undertaking key cardiac research which amongst other things, enabled the creation of the first pacemakers. He continued his career as Emeritus Professor at Glasgow University. He retired very late in life but continued his love of education by conducting in depth research into the Kindertransport programme and more widely into the Holocaust and always remained a very active member of the wider Jewish community in Bournemouth.

We were hugely honoured to welcome Prof Hutter to the College in June 2018 where he eloquently addressed the L6th about his time at the College and his family experience of the Second World War. To mark the 80th Anniversary of his relationship with the College Otto donated and helped to plant an oak tree which takes pride of place on the edge of Middle Green. He also donated a number of reference books to the library for the use and enjoyment of pupils and staff alike.

Following the death of his wife of 70 years in late 2018, he moved to Israel and is believed to be one of the oldest British Citizens to gain Israeli citizenship – a lifelong dream realised for him. He returned to the UK earlier this year and lived a very full life, living independently but with support and taking great joy in his family (including 11 Grandchildren and 27 Great Grandchildren) and in tending his garden and continued to research the Holocaust and Kindertransport until very recently.

Otto lost both his Parents in 1942 and he was forever grateful for all that the Blaxill family and the College did to help him lead the fulfilling life he did. He deemed himself to be very ‘lucky indeed’ and we deem him to be an inspiration to all that learn his story.

May peace be upon him – Professor Otto Hutter (1924-2020)  Otto's own account of his life can be read here.

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