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By Bob Abramms, ODT, Inc.
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
pleased to share the following Peters family photos with you
(click on photos to enlarge):
Arno Peters' family
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
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
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
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
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
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
Arno Peters as producer
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)
finished his studies with a dissertation and began his
academic research work.
Arno Peters soon after introducing the Peters
Projection (age 59, 1975)
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)
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
Arno Peters, age 75 (1991). Seated with his
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
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
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.
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
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