Science in the lecture hall

Fritz Lenz

1887 Pflugrade (today: Poland) – 1976 Göttingen (Germany)
Physician, racial hygienist
Country: Germany
Fritz Lenz 1949 Zoom Image
Fritz Lenz 1949

The racial hygienists are a close-knit group at the beginning of the century. In 1905, the physician Fritz Lenz, along with Ernst Rüdin, is one of the founding members of the German Society for Racial Hygiene and he founds the local group in Freiburg with Eugen Fischer in 1910. They meet 20 years later at Harnack House for lectures and events. At the neighbouring Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, Lenz is appointed head of the racial hygiene department in 1933. He is one of the most acclaimed heredity pathologists in the Weimar Republic. In the "Baur-Fischer-Lenz" standard work, which is republished several times, he explores the faulty genetic make-up of humans and the methodology for its investigation.

When the Max Planck Society emerges as the successor organisation to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in 1948, Lenz is no longer welcome. His application to Göttingen University is successfully supported with a 6,000 Mark grant, and he lectures there until his retirement in 1955.

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