Max Hartmann (zoologist)

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Max (imilian) Hartmann (born July 7, 1876 in Lauterecken near Kusel ; † October 11, 1962 in Buchenbühl (now part of Weiler-Simmerberg )) was a zoologist and natural philosopher , university professor and director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology.


He began his studies at the Aschaffenburg Forest Academy, soon switched to zoology and natural sciences at the University of Munich , where he received his doctorate in 1901 under Richard Hertwig . After his assistantship at the zoological institute of the University of Giessen in 1902 , he qualified as a professor in 1903 with the thesis The modes of reproduction of organisms . He then moved to the Berlin Institute for Infectious Diseases , from which the Robert Koch Institute later emerged, and from 1909 worked there as a full professor. From 1914 he was director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology in Berlin. As chairman of the "Biological-Medical Section" of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (KWG), Hartmann was also a member of the Senate of the KWG from 1929 to 1932.

In 1934, during the Nazi era , he became an honorary professor at the University of Berlin. In 1937 his son Hans had an accident on a German Nanga Parbat expedition . From 1939 Hartmann was co-editor of the journal Der Biologe, which was taken over from the SS-Ahnenerbe that year .

Max Hartmann worked at the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen until 1955 , which had emerged from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute after the Second World War and whose headquarters had been relocated to Hechingen in 1944 and to Tübingen in 1952.

In 1931 Hartmann was President of the German Zoological Society . The German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina accepted him as a member in 1932. In 1934 he became a full member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences . Since 1935 he was a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . In 1959 Hartmann was elected to the National Academy of Sciences .

Hartmann's work focused on the methodological and epistemological foundations of the natural sciences. His special focus was on the physiology of fertilization and sexuality. He coined the term termons and gamons for hormone-like active ingredients in the gametes of lower and higher organisms.

Franz Moewus , who became known as a forger, conducted research at his institute. After the Second World War, Herbert Förster and Lutz Wiese found Hartmann's forgeries (but he had already been exposed in the USA).


  • General biology. 1925.
  • Biology and philosophy. Springer, Berlin 1925.
  • Philosophy of Science , 1937.
  • German philosophical-biological publications from 1939–1945. In: Philosophia naturalis . Volume 1, 1950, pp. 132-139.
  • German philosophical-biological publications from the end of the war to the end of 1948. In: Philosophia naturalis. Volume 1, 1950, pp. 285-298.
  • The sexuality. 1943. 2nd, revised edition 1956.
  • Atomic Physics, Biology and Religion. 1947.
  • The philosophical foundations of the natural sciences. 1948.
  • The mechanism-vitalism problem from the standpoint of Nicolai Hartmann's critical ontology. In: Journal for Philosophical Research. Volume 3, Hest 1, 1948, pp. 36-49.
  • Nicolai Hartmann's philosophy of nature. In: Natural Sciences. Volume 28, No. 20, 1951, pp. 468-472.
  • The exploration of the living in the 20th century. Introduction to section 2 of the book: “Biologists”. In: Hans Schwerte , Wilhelm Spengler (ed.): Researchers and scientists in Europe today. 2. Doctors, biologists, anthropologists (= designers of our time. Volume 4). Stalling, Oldenburg 1955, pp. 158-182. About him in the same work see the following section: Literature; there comment on the editors.
  • Introduction to general biology and its basic and borderline philosophical questions. 1956. 2nd edition 1965.
  • Collected lectures and essays. 1956.


Individual evidence

  1. a b Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 229.
  2. Judith Gissing: Racial hygiene and school in the Third Reich. Chapter 4: The journal “Der Biologe” as an organ of Nazi biology (PDF; 268 kB) Doctoral thesis at the Medical Faculty of the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster
  3. See literature NDB Helmut Dolezal: Max Hartmann
  4. ^ Max Hartmann obituary at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences from Hansjochem Autrum (PDF).
  5. Video: Max Hartmann speaks about the justification and elaboration of the sexuality theory of fertilization, Buchenbühl (Allgäu) 1958, ed. Institute for Scientific Film , doi : 10.3203 / IWF / G-36