Karlheinz Böhm became a world star in the "Sissi" films, produced from 1955 to 1957, as Emperor Franz Joseph, alongside Romy Schneider. Böhm took on a task of a completely different nature following a challenge launched on ZDF's television show Wetten, dass...? (I bet you that), in which he found himself responsible for more than a million deutschmarks donated for famine relief in the Sahel zone. Using this money, Böhm founded the relief organisation Menschen für Menschen (people for people) on 13 November 1981.
Since then, Karlheinz Böhm has been fighting the cause against hunger and lethargy in Ethiopian refugee camps. Several months per year he lives in the simplest conditions in Ethiopia.
The rest of the time he is in Europe "campaigning": "Globalization and technology often let us forget in which kind of world we live: every sixth person on this planet lives below the poverty line, and although politicians and business leaders know this, and have enough money and power, nothing changes. When will our economic leaders finally realize that we cannot exist without the African market with its almost one billion people?” Menschen für Menschen projects were visited and praized by statesmen, politicians and other prominent celebrities. Among others, the German President Dr. Roman Herzog paid a visit to Erer Valley in 1996. Highly decorated by the Federal Republic of Germany (in 2002, the Federal Service Cross was handed over to Böhm by German Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul at the occasion of her visit to MfM-Harar) and the Austrian Republic, Karlheinz Böhm was also given numerous awards in acknowledgement of the example he has set: Saving the lives of so many people and helping them on their way into a safe future. Together with his Ethiopian wife Almaz, Böhm has two children, Nicolas (born 1990) and Aida (born 1993).