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Hostage Heinrich Struebig - An Aid Worker For 20 Years With AM-Hostages

June 15, 1992

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Heinrich Struebig’s two decades of volunteer work took him to some of the roughest parts of Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East - places where those who try to help often get into trouble.

Struebig was a co-founder of ASME Humanitas and was its coordinator in Lebanon. He had been there since 1987 when he was kidnapped May 16, 1989.

Born on April 4, 1941 in Lueneburg, Germany, Struebig’s globe-trotting relief work included stints in South America, Bangladesh, Sudan, Southwest Africa and Namibia.

Struebig, a former miner, became interested in organizing relief efforts while working with the Lutheran Church. Currently divorced, he has five children from two marriages.

ASME, which stands for Association for Medical Development, was founded as a private aid organization in 1976. ASME worked with Palestinian refugees and Lebanese groups in Beirut and the southern port city of Sidon, and delivered medicines to first aid stations in Israel’s self-designated security zone in south Lebanon.

On May 5, 1989, Struebig and nurse Petra Schnitzler told the Palestine Liberation Organization militia that they and another ASME worker, Markus Quint, had been kidnapped a day earlier.

Struebig and Ms. Schnitzler said they were freed after 10 hours, but Quint remained a captive.

Quint resurfaced in Lebanon on May 14 and returned to Germany.

Two days later, Struebig, Schnitzler and a third ASME worker, Thomas Kemptner, were kidnapped near Sidon. Militia found Shnitzler a short time later locked in the trunk of a car.

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