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Home Page > Behind The Maps > Peters Maps > Arno Peters Album
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Arno Peters
(1916-2002)

Photo Album

By Bob Abramms, ODT, Inc.

If you are a fan of the Peters map, you may be interested in knowing what an exceptional person he was. He has been a catalyst in revolutionizing the field of cartography. His map has been recently popularized in North America as a result of its appearance on the hit television show "West Wing." However, Dr. Arno Peters and his other life works remain relatively unknown. This photo biography is an attempt to share information about Dr. Peters' remarkable life.
Background information

I am pleased to share the following Peters family photos with you (click on photos to enlarge):


Arno Peters' family

(from left to right) Lucy Peters, Arno, his brother Werner, Bruno Peters. Arno is about 5 years old here. He was exposed early in his childhood to social activists, as his parents, Lucy and Bruno, were highly involved in the labor union movement. They had many visitors from other countries and other cultures visiting their home.


A significant book on Black Liberation from the Peters family library

Included among those visitors was the African-American professor, William Pickens. Pickens inscribed this copy of his book, Bursting Bonds, and gave it to Lucy Peters when Arno was 13 years old. Arno read it and Pickens' story of black liberation had a profound impact on Arno's view of the world and his values of fairness to all peoples.


Visitors at the Peters house

Arno Peters' father, Bruno (missing from this picture), was imprisoned by the Nazi regime near the end of the W.W.II. Being a union activist put the entire Peters family at risk. Bruno Peters lived through his incarceration only because the war ended a few months after his imprisonment.


Arno Peters at age 16

He visited school, spent time abroad each year, and had only one thing in his head: sports. At age 16 he was Berlin's best junior cyclist over the distance of 20 kilometers and in France he beat the junior national team in swimming.


Arno playing his accordion at age 19

He still played this instrument well into his 80's! He brought it out and played a few lively tunes for us during our visit in October, 2001. He loved the accordion, because it can be taken everywhere (also onto the sailing boat he had since he was 17) and because you can sing along with it.


Arno Peters in Hollywood where he studied film

(This was taken just prior to the outbreak of W.W.II). He studied American film production techniques which were more advanced than those used in Germany and, therefore, Peters contributed to modernizing the German production process.


Arno Peters as producer

His film was of Tobis-Film "Immer Nur Du" (1940). At age 25 he was the youngest filmmaker in Germany. This film was a modern musical. It received the "predicate" award "of artistic value" (an evaluation by the board of censors). The movie is still shown occasionally in Germany today.


Arno Peters, age 27 (1942)

He finished his studies with a dissertation and began his academic research work.


Arno Peters soon after introducing the Peters Projection (age 59, 1975)

For three decades he worked on his Synchronoptic World History, which accords the same importance to all peoples in the world.


Arno Peters, age 64 (1980)

While working on his Synchronoptic World History, he was dismayed to discover the Eurocentric bias of most maps. After unsuccessfully searching for a "fair" map, he eventually developed a map that became known as the Peters Projection.


Arno Peters, age 75 (1991). Seated with his children

Arno's children are: (from left to right) Marco, Aribert, Anita, Sabine, Anja, Axel - with Mirko on his lap. Aribert is also a cartographer.


October, 2001 planning and videotaping sessions

Left to right: Ward Kaiser (first to publish the Peters Map in North America), Terry Hardaker (Oxford Cartographers, UK - the official cartographers for the Peters Map), Arno Peters, and Bob Abramms of ODT (publisher of the Peters Maps in North America).


Arno in his pool. October, 2001

Even when Arno was 85 years old, he would dive 10 meters and swim 12 laps each morning. This commitment to fitness was perhaps the reason for his continuing vigor and joie de vivre. Being a loving parent to two active young children also helped to keep him young.


October, 2001

Ward Kaiser, Arno Peters and Bob Abramms conclude 5 days of video documentary filming. Ward Kaiser and Dr. Peters have been close friends for nearly 20 years. Kaiser has written the definitive handbook of the Peters Map (A NEW VIEW OF THE WORLD) and co-authored the acclaimed SEEING THROUGH MAPS Bob Abramms has used the Peters Map in ODT's corporate training programs since 1987. Abramms' company, ODT. Inc., is currently the publisher and exclusive distributor of Dr. Peters' map in North America.

 

 

   

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