Karl Escherich

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Grave of Karl Leopold Escherich in the Westfriedhof in Munich

Karl Leopold Escherich (born September 18, 1871 in Schwandorf ; † November 22, 1951 in Kreuth , Upper Bavaria ) was a German forest scientist and entomologist .


Escherich was the son of the pottery manufacturer Hermann Nikolaus Escherich and Katharina von Stengel and the younger brother of the later forester and politician Georg Escherich .

He studied medicine since 1892 in Munich and Würzburg and received his doctorate in 1893 on the male reproductive systems of beetles Dr. med. After studying zoology, Escherich also received his doctorate in 1896. phil. During a two-year assistantship in Karlsruhe , he specialized in the field of forest zoology under Otto Nüsslin (1850–1915). After he had completed his habilitation in Strasbourg in 1901 , he received a call to the chair of forest zoology in Tharandt in 1907 , which had been orphaned since the death of Hinrich Nitsche (1845-1902). In 1914 he switched to the chair for applied zoology at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , where he succeeded August Pauly (1850-1914). In 1917 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina . From October 1933 to October 1935 he succeeded Leo von Zumbusch as Rector of the University of Munich. In 1936 Escherich retired.

After his trip to the USA in 1911 he came up with the plan to redesign applied entomology in Germany based on the American model. In 1913 he worked, among other things, as the initiator and co-founder of the German Society for Applied Entomology .

Karl Escherich was one of the few forestry academics who took part in the early Hitler movement during the inflationary period. He joined the NSDAP as early as 1921 and also took part in the Hitler putsch in 1923 . In 1924 he took part in the election campaign for the “ Völkischer Block ” in his car , but then stayed away from the new NSDAP.

Karl Escherich received the Goethe Medal for Art and Science for his research achievements . Under the title Life and Research. Struggle for a Science , he submitted his autobiography in 1944 .

In memory of its initiator, the German Society for General and Applied Entomology awards the Escherich Medal for outstanding achievements in the field of entomology.

Fonts (selection)

  • Anatomical studies on the male genital system of the Coleoptera , Engelmann, Leipzig 1894, OCLC 774378598 (dissertation University of Würzburg 1894, 23 pages; printed in: Journal of Scientific Zoology , Volume 57, Issue 4, Leipzig 1894).
  • On the anatomy and biology of Paussus turcicus Friv., At the same time a contribution to the knowledge of myrmecophilia. G. Fischer, Jena 1898, OCLC 31844999 (habilitation thesis on obtaining the venia legendi for the zoological sciences at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, 46 pages).
  • About the formation of the cotyledons in the muscids , in: Nova Acta Academiae Caesarea Leopoldino Carolinae Germanicae Naturae Curiosorum Imperial-Leopoldin-Carolinische Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, 1757, 77,4; Engelmann, Leipzig 1900, OCLC 247725045 .
  • The system of the Lepismatiden , Zoologica (Volume 18, Issue 43), Stuttgart 1904
  • The ant. Description of their way of life , Braunschweig 1906; 2nd improved and increased edition, Braunschweig 1917.
  • A vacation trip to Erythrea . Sketches by a naturalist , Leipzig 1908
  • The termites or white ants. A biological study , Leipzig 1909
  • Termite life on Ceylon. New Studies in Animal Sociology; also a chapter on colonial forest entomology , Jena 1911
  • Applied entomology in the United States. An introduction to the biological control method. At the same time with proposals for a reform of entomology in Germany , Berlin 1913
  • The cockchafer control in the Bienwald (Rheinpfalz). A prime example of technical pest control , pamphlets of the German Society for Applied Entomology (No. 3), from: Journal for Applied Entomology (Volume 3, Issue 1), Berlin 1916
  • Forest entomological forays into the primeval forest of Bialowies , in: Bialowies in deutscher Verwaltung (booklet 2), Berlin 1917
  • The fight against harmful insects, a national hygienic and economic necessity , Frankfurt am Main 1919
  • Modern control of animal pests. Retrospectives and Outlooks , (lecture), from: Die Naturwissenschaften (1926), Berlin 1927
  • Airplane pollination against forest pests , pamphlets of the German Society for Applied Entomology (No. 12), Berlin 1929
  • Termite madness. Speech given at the beginning of the rectorate of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität on November 25, 1933 , Munich 1934
  • Biological balance. Speech given on January 30, 1935 in the auditorium of the Ludwig Maximilians University. A second Munich Rector's speech on education for political people , Munich 1935
  • Research into the forest spoilers. 3 decades in the fight against forest pests. Review and Outlook , Berlin 1936
  • Life and Research. Struggle for a Science , Berlin 1944 (2nd edition, Stuttgart 1949)

Escherich's main work, however, was the reworking and substantial expansion of the teaching and manual Die Forstinsekten Mitteleuropas (5 volumes, Berlin 1914–1942) founded by Johann Friedrich Judeich and Heinrich Nietsche . In addition, Escherich was the founder and editor of the Zeitschrift für angewandte Entomologie (Berlin 1914 ff; later continued under the title Journal of applied entomology ).


  • Erwin Schimitschek:  Escherich, Karl Leopold. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, ISBN 3-428-00185-0 , p. 649 ( digitized version ).
  • Heinrich Rubner : Karl Escherich , in that: Hundreds of important forest people in Bavaria (1875 to 1970) . Messages from the State Forestry Administration of Bavaria. Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests, Munich 1994
  • In memoriam Karl Leopold Escherich November 22, 1951 , in: Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt, Volume 70, Number 11, Springer Verlag, Berlin a. Heidelberg 1951, ISSN  0015-8003
  • Address on the occasion of the funeral of Privy Councilor Professor Dr. Karl Leopold Escherich († November 22, 1951) in Munich on November 26, 1951 , in: Journal of Pest Science, Volume 24, Number 12, Springer Verlag, Berlin a. Heidelberg 1951, ISSN  1612-4758
  • Friedrich Stellwaag (Ed.): Festschrift for the 60th birthday of Karl Escherich. With the portrait of Escherich, 88 text illustrations and partly multi-colored plates , in: Zeitschrift für angewandte Entomologie , Volume 18, Issue 3, pp. 423–743 / IV S., Parey, Berlin 1931
  • W. Zwölfer (Ed.): Problems of applied entomology. Festschrift for the 80th birthday of Karl Escherich on September 18, 1951. A collection of articles by his friends and students , from: Zeitschrift für angewandte Entomologie , 33,1 / 2, 368 S., Berlin u. a. 1951.
  • Michael Grüttner : Biographical Lexicon on National Socialist Science Policy (= Studies on Science and University History. Volume 6). Synchron, Heidelberg 2004, ISBN 3-935025-68-8 , p. 45.
  • Ernst Klee : Karl Leopold Escherich , entry in ders .: The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Updated edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16048-0 , p. 140

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ernst Klee: Karl Leopold Escherich , entry in ders .: Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Updated edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16048-0 , p. 140
  2. ^ Heinrich Rubner : German Forest History 1933-1945. Forestry, Hunting and Environment in the Nazi State . 2nd, expanded edition. Scripta-Mercaturae-Verlag, St. Katharinen 1997, ISBN 3-89590-032-X , p. 57