Science in the lecture hall

Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer

1896 Richelsdorfer Hütte (Germany) – 1969 Münster (Germany)
Physician, human geneticist
Country: Germany
Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer Zoom Image

Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer

Verschuer is Head of the Human Heredity Department at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics from 1927 to 1935, and is a close confidante of its Director Eugen Fischer. He often gives lectures at the nearby Harnack House. Verschuer also lectures throughout Germany in 1932 and even more so in 1933. He does not just explore "Heredity and Public Health" at evening presentations, but also on training courses for public health officials and judges specialised in heredity health. After an interim period at Frankfurt University, he returns to Berlin as Eugen Fischer’s successor in 1942. He obtains tissue samples from murdered prisoners through his former doctoral student Josef Mengele, who performs countless experiments on humans as the camp doctor at Auschwitz.

After the war, Verschuer is banned from professional practice. In 1951, he is appointed to a chair as a human geneticist at the University of Münster after prominent colleagues, such as Adolf Butenandt, Max Hartmann, Boris Rajewski and Wolfgang Heubner, issue him with a comprehensive denazification certificate with the "Verschuer memorandum".

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