Karl Dietrich Adam

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Karl Dietrich Adam (born March 14, 1921 in Heilbronn ; † March 14, 2012 ) was a German paleontologist .

College career

Karl Dietrich Adam studied in Erlangen, Göttingen and Tübingen , graduating with a diploma - geologist . In 1946 he became an assistant at the University of Erlangen . In 1948 he was in Stuttgart with a dissertation on the diluvial forest elephants in Central Europe doctorate . In 1950 he succeeded in obtaining the first evidence of Medusa in the Germanic Triassic . In 1967, he completed his habilitation in paleontology with an investigation into the central Pleistocene mammal fauna. Just one year later, a rehabilitation for the subject prehistory took place. From 1971 Adam was an adjunct professor for paleontology and prehistory at the University of Stuttgart . Adam was possibly the longest continuously teaching university professor in Germany. He completed his 100th semester in teaching in 2001 at the age of 80. In 2008, at the age of 87, after 110 semesters, he also quit teaching. This was preceded by the revocation of his status as a volunteer at the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart after Adam had campaigned for the rehabilitation of his teacher Gustav Riek , the SS officer, in 2005.

Activity at museums

In 1950 he took over the position of chief conservator at the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart. He especially expanded the collection of Quaternary mammals. He worked in this museum until 1986, where he headed its geological-paleontological department at the end of his work. He promoted the establishment and establishment of the Prehistory Museum in Steinheim an der Murr and took care of the expansion of the palaeontological departments of the decentralized museums in Baden-Württemberg, including the display collections in the Federseemuseum in Bad Buchau , in Benningen , Fellbach , Mauer , Mühlacker , Renningen , Schorndorf and Sindelfingen and the Meteor Crater Museum in Steinheim am Albuch .


There is a Karl-Dietrich-Adam-Weg in Steinheim an der Murr.
In 1942 he was seriously wounded as a member of German troops near El Alamein .


  • Karl Dietrich Adam: Homo steinheimensis - The discovery of the primitive man from Steinheim an der Murr 75 years ago - A milestone in the history of mankind. (2009) ISBN 978-3-86705-053-1 .
  • Karl Dietrich Adam, Hans Binder, Klaus Eberhard Bleich and Klaus Dobat: The Charlottenhöhle near Hürben. In: Association of German Cave and Karst Researchers e. V. (editor): Treatises on karst and speleology. Series A, Speleology, Issue 3. Fr. Mangold'sche Buchhandlung Blaubeuren, Munich 1968.
  • Karl Dietrich Adam: The Steinheim Basin - a place of discovery of world renown. Steinheim am Albuch, 1980.
  • Karl Dietrich Adam: From the 200 year history of the Stuttgart Natural History Museum. Stuttgart: State Museum for Natural History, 1991, pdf .


  • Walter Habel: Who is who? , Vol. 1 (West), Berlin 1967, p. 5
  • Franz Quarthal : 110 semesters as an academic teacher. To say goodbye to Karl Dietrich Adam. In: Uni-Kurier. University of Stuttgart 102 (2008) ( online )
  • Hansjürgen Müller-Beck : Karl Dietrich Adam (March 14, 1921 - March 14, 2012). In memory of the researcher of the southwest German elephant faunas and the Central European Pleistocene. In: Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte 21 (2012), pp. 125–128. ( online as PDF )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Karl Dietrich Adam. In: stuttgart-gedenken.de. Retrieved March 25, 2012 .
  2. According to the Uni-Kurier, according to a radio report it was 114 semesters.
  3. ^ Karl-Dietrich-Adam-Weg
  4. Homo heidelbergensis von Mauer eV - mourning for honorary member Professor Adam