Hellmut Röhnisch

Hellmut Röhnisch, born 1914 in Zeitz in Germany and died 1996 in Örebro in Sweden, was a universal language activist, businessman and athlete. Röhnisch went to school in Kassel in Germany. He left Germany with a group of countrymen in 1933. Thus escaping being arrested and prosecuted for his anti-nazi standpoints in a situation where political circumstances were in a turmoil. Röhnisch eventually settled in Örebro in Sweden after travelling, mainly by foot, through Poland, the Baltic states and Finland.

Hellmut Röhnisch

In 1945 Röhnisch won the first ever Swedish Championship in gymnastics – the day after becoming a Swedish citizen. Röhnisch was engaged as a judge and interpreter for competitions in gymnastics in all World Championships and Olympic Games until 1988 in Seoul. For his contributions Röhnisch was awarded an honorary membership of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in 1987.

In 1945 Röhnisch set up a company specialized in gymnastics apparatus. Eventually the company included sportswear in its offering. The company, Röhnisch Sportswear, was managed by descendants of Hellmut Röhnisch until 2020 and is since 2002 specialized in sportswear for women.

As a child Hellmut Rönnisch learnt Ido from his father Ewald Röhnisch, a leading figure in the German Ido-movement. Hellmut Röhnisch was very active in the Ido-movement both internationally and in Sweden and served many years as chairman both in the International Union of Ido (ULI) and the Swedish Ido Association.

When the Swedish Ido Association was dissolved in 1996 the assets of the association were used to set up the Ido-foundation for Language Research in Memory of Hellmut Röhnisch . The foundation has since then made important contributions to linguistic science and the universal language movement.