Henry H. Arnhold, transatlantic bridge-builder and friend of the GHI, passes away at age 96

August 27, 2018

Henry H. Arnhold (1921-2018)

The GHI is saddened to learn about the recent death of Henry H. Arnhold, banker, philanthropist and friend of the GHI. Born in 1921 in Dresden/Germany as the fourth child of banker Heinrich Arnhold and his wife Lisa, he fled Nazi Germany via Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, and Cuba. In April 1942 he was reunited with his mother and siblings in the United States. He attended UCLA and joined the U.S. Army to become one of the “Ritchie Boys,” special military intelligence officers trained for the interrogation of prisoners on the front lines in Europe or – as in Henry Arnhold’s case – at POW camps in the United States. In 1946, Henry H. Arnhold joined “Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc.” (ASB), the investment banking firm his uncle Hans Arnhold had established in New York after the family’s well respected bank in Dresden and Berlin had been “aryanized” in 1935/38. Together with his son John, Henry H. Arnhold developed the bank into the prominent mutual fund company, “First Eagle Investment Management.”

Due to his broad interest in arts and research, Henry H. Arnhold also engaged in extensive philanthropic work. Having expanded his parents’ collection of early Meissen porcelain, he donated a significant part of his porcelain collection to the Frick Collection in New York. He was also strongly committed to supporting scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic. Most prominently, Arnhold served on the board of trustees of the New School of Social Research in New York from 1985 onwards and played a pivotal role in the creation of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, which is – due to his support – a new and important partner of the GHI’s Pacific Regional Office at UC Berkeley.

His whole life, Henry H. Arnhold enjoyed building bridges: bridges between America and Europe, between younger and older generations, between academia, art and society, between his adopted home of New York and his birthplace Dresden, and between people he respected and wanted to connect. He never seemed happier than when he observed projects and networks he helped to establish growing and blossoming. He saw a place to build such networks in the GHI and generously supported the Institute. “Henry H. Arnhold had a unique charisma, which was hard to resist,” remembers GHI Director Simone Lässig, noting “his intellectual curiosity, his humor, and his sheer pleasure when dealing with people of all ages. He was very inspiring to me and many people I know.”

After a long and remarkably productive life devoted both to his family and to his decades-long leadership in finance and philanthropy, Henry Arnhold died unexpectedly in New York City on August 23, 2018. The GHI and its team extend their deepest sympathies to Henry H. Arnhold’s family. He will be truly missed.