Prof. Dr. Eugen Fischer (1874 - 1967)
Prof. Dr. Eugen Fischer, born 5 June 1874 in Karlsruhe, studied medicine and natural sciences in Freiburg and Munich. Fischer received his doctorate in 1898. His habilitation in anatomy and anthropology followed as early as 1900. After working as an associate professor in Würzburg and Freiburg, Fischer became a full professor of anatomy and director of the Anatomical Institute in Freiburg in 1918. In 1927, Fischer was appointed Chair of Anthropology and Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. Fischer retired in 1942 and returned to Freiburg, where he died on 9 July 1967. Fischer succeeded in transferring Mendel's theory of heredity to humans on the basis of data he had collated in southern Africa in 1908 on behalf of the University of Freiburg. Even from today's perspective, this is a noteworthy achievement. Fischer's subsequent work, on the other hand, for example the division of people into phenotypes on the basis of physical characteristics and the assertion that certain "races" were superior or inferior, or the co-founding of the theory known as racial hygiene, which is considered to have paved the way for Nazi racial theories, is, from today's perspective, profoundly discriminatory and racist.