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Otmar Frieherr von Verschuer
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Doctor
    (July 16, 1896-August 8, 1969)
    Born in Wildeck, Germany
    Biologist and eugenicist
    Focused on 'racial hygiene' and twin research
    Directed the Institute of Racial Hygiene and Genetic Biology at the University of Frankfurt (1934-42) and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin (1942-45)
    He praised Hitler as 'the first statesman to recognize hereditary biology and race hygiene.'
    He said of racial hygiene, 'The first goal was the fight against racial alienation through the Jews. The second deed is the sterilization of those with hereditary illnesses.'
    He was a guest of honor at a conference where the 'final solution to the Jewish question' was discussed (March 27, 1941).
    He was the thesis advisor and all-around mentor to 'Angel of Death' Joseph Mengele.
    Through Mengele, he obtained body parts from prisoners murdered at Auschwitz.
    After World War II, he got off with a mere 600 Deutschmark fine, partly because he had destroyed most of the records of his research and partly by dismissing his accusers as Communists.
    His pre-war twin studies were partially funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
    He was named professor of human genetics at the University of Muenster (1951), where he established one of the largest centers for genetic research in West Germany.
    He died in an auto accident.

Credit: C. Fishel


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