Helmut Baitsch

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Helmut Baitsch (born November 21, 1921 in Spessart ; † August 3, 2007 ) was a German human geneticist and anthropologist , rector of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and the University of Ulm .


Baitsch studied after high school, military service on the Eastern Front in World War II (at the end as first lieutenant) and American captivity from 1946 to 1950 medicine and natural sciences at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . He was already working on genetically oriented anthropology, which was shaped in Munich by Theodor Mollison , the academic teacher of Baitsch's wife. 1951 Baitsch was the thesis morphological About, psychological and genealogical studies on a general population, with particular attention to Kretschmer'schen constitutional types to Dr. med. , 1952 with a doctoral thesis entitled The Mother-Child Inheritance of Somatic Characteristics for Dr. rer. nat. PhD . He also worked on studies on the electrophoretic separations of protein variants in human protein genetics. In 1958 he completed his habilitation with a paper on the problem of the objectification of genetic evidence of paternity. This font has been lost in all copies. He initially worked as a research assistant at the Munich Anthropological Institute and as a curator at the State Anthropological Collection in Munich.

In 1961 he became full professor of anthropology and director of the newly founded Institute for Anthropology and Human Genetics at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. In doing so, he asserted his claim to a human genetically oriented anthropology. Since many of his students were appointed to chairs for human genetics, he is considered to be the founder of a “Freiburg School of Human Genetics”. From 1966 to 1968 he was rector of the Freiburg University.

In 1970 he succeeded the founding rector Ludwig Heilmeyer as rector for life at the University of Ulm. Here he tried to implement his ideas in the development of the Medical and Natural Sciences University in Ulm, which, however, also encountered resistance within the university. In 1975 he therefore resigned from his position and took over a newly created chair for anthropology and human genetics. His department initially worked on science research, later on anthropology.

As a co-founder of the Collaborative Research Center on Psychotherapeutic Processes , Baitsch contributed to the fact that role play and psychodrama became part of medical training in many places. He worked on a project on genetic counseling as part of the SFB. For his services to the construction of the University of Ulm, the Arts Center and the Working Group ethics, particularly for its involvement in the Collaborative Research Center psychotherapeutic processes and to support research at the federal level, he was from the University of Ulm as Honorary Citizen Award and in 2000 with an honorary doctorate from a medicinae Doctor honoris causa of the Hannover Medical School . Another focus of his later work was medical ethics.


In the 1960s, Baitsch was considered one of the main initiators of the special research areas of the German Research Foundation . From 1968 to 1973 he was a senator and member of the board of trustees of the German Research Foundation.

In distancing itself from applied eugenics during National Socialism , Baitsch endeavored to modernize eugenics as a branch of human genetics in order to protect the genetic potential from damage. Instead of eradicating eugenic measures, he preferred supportive measures such as genetic counseling and, as further eugenic strategies, mutation prophylaxis and approaches of causal or substitution therapy. His work Genetic Counseling - Help for a self-responsible decision , written together with the psychologist Maria Reif ? (1986) implemented the concept of non-directive counseling in human genetics.

Baitsch was a member of the Club of Rome and the Royal Anthropological Institute of London .

Baitsch was married to the anthropologist Brigitte Eyerich since 1946. The marriage resulted in three daughters and one son. After the death of his first wife, he married Gerlinde Sponholz, an anthropologist and physician.


  • Production of pure yeasts. H. Baitsch. Technical literature-investigation and Reporting service f. Industry u. Research, Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1949.
  • About morphological, psychological and genealogical studies on an average population, with special consideration of Kretschmer's constitutional types. Munich, Med. F., Diss. July 9, 1951, o. O 1951.
  • Mother-child inheritance of somatic traits. Munich, natural sciences F., Diss. V. December 10, 1952 (not for Aust.)., O. O 1952.
  • On the problem of selecting features for separation processes (Barnard problem). In: General statistical archive. 40, No. 2 1956, pp. 160-167.
  • The medical paternity assessment with biostatistical evidence. Fischer, Stuttgart 1961.
  • About genetic variability and the future of humans. 1966.
  • and Albert Ponsold : Textbook of forensic medicine for physicians and lawyers. 3. Edition. G. Thieme, Stuttgart 1967.
  • and Richard Schwarz: Human Existence and the Modern World. An international symposium on how people see themselves today. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1967.
  • and Georg Gerhard Wendt: Genetics and Society. Marburg Forum Philippinum. Knowledge Verl.-Ges., Stuttgart 1970.
  • and Ommo Grupe: Sport in the focus of science. Perspectives, aspects, results. Springer, Berlin a. a. 1972, ISBN 3-540-05772-2 .
  • and Hansjochem Autrum, Ulrich Wolf: Humanbiologie. Results and tasks. Springer, Berlin 1973, ISBN 0-387-06150-9 .
  • Memorandum on the study of human biology subjects at Ulm University. Submitted by d. Human Biology Working Group: Helmut Baitsch… . Ulm University, Ulm 1981.
  • Science and Politics. Using the example of anthropology during the Third Reich; [Lecture given in the Department of Biology at the University of Hamburg on the occasion of the Dies Academicus on May 8, 1985 in memory of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Second World War]. , Hamburg 1985.
  • and Maria Reif: genetic counseling. Help to make a responsible decision? . Springer, Berlin a. a. 1986, ISBN 0-387-16958-X .
  • with Rainer Knussmann and Rudolf Martin: Anthropology. Handbook of Comparative Human Biology; at the same time 4th edition of the textbook of anthropology, founded by Rudolf Martin. 4th edition. Fischer, Stuttgart a. a. 1992, ISBN 3-437-30556-5 .
  • and Karl Schmitz-Moormann: Creation and Evolution. New approaches to the dialogue between science and theology; in the appendix the German text of the message of John Paul II to the editor of the contributions to the symposium on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the publication of Newton's Principia mathematica (Sept. 21-27, 1987 in Castel Gandolfo). 1st edition. Patmos-Verl, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-491-77927-8 .
  • and Axel W. Bauer (ed.): Medical ethics at the beginning of the 21st century. Theoretical concepts - clinical problems - medical action. ed. by Axel W. Bauer. Escort by Klaus van Ackern. With contribution by H. Baitsch… Barth, Heidelberg, Leipzig 1998, ISBN 3-335-00538-4 .
  • and Urban Wiesing: Ethics in Medical Research. Schattauer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-7945-2087-4 .
  • and Gebhard Allert: Goals of Medicine. For the ethical discussion of new perspectives in medical education and practice; with 2 tables. Schattauer, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-7945-2123-4 .
  • Ethics Consultation Today - From Model to Practice. Lit, Münster u. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-8258-9308-8 .
  • and Gerlinde Sponholz: “You'd have to try it”. The Ulm model of the ethical discussion of individual cases. Ethics Consultation Today - From Model to Practice. Lit, Münster u. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-8258-9308-8 , pp. 27-43.


Web links

predecessor Office successor
Hans-Heinrich Jescheck Rector of the University of Freiburg
1966 - 1968
Bruno Boesch