Wolfgang Abel

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Wolfgang Abel
Born 13 May 1905
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 1 November 1997 (1997-12) (aged 92)
Mondsee, Austria
Nationality Austrian
Occupation anthropologist
Parent(s) Othenio Abel

Wolfgang Abel (13 May 1905 – 1 November 1997) was an Austrian anthropologist and one of Nazi Germany's racial biologists. He was the son of the Austrian paleontologist Othenio Abel.

From 1931 Wolfgang Abel was engaged at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics. In 1933 he became a member of the NSDAP. He was involved in compulsory sterilization of children, who resulted from relationships between German women and dark-skinned French soldiers.[1] In 1934 he wrote an article, which was published in the German newspaper "Neues Volk", with the title "Bastarde am Rhein" (Rhineland Bastards). In 1935 he joined the SS. In 1942 Abel was successor to Eugen Fischer for the professorship of racial biology at the University of Berlin.

Wolfgang Abel delivered in 1938 a speech at the "Congres International des Sciences Anthropologiques et Ethnologiques, Deuxieme Session, Copenhague 1938. The topic was: Die Rasse der rumänischen Zigeuner.[citation needed] Meaning, On the Race of the Rumanian Gypsies.

In the same year Abel was in addition to his work at the KWI lecturer in anthropology, as well as Deputy Head of the Department of racial hygiene of the German High School for Politics. After joining the SS in 1935, he worked as an expert for the Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA) of the SS and as Chief Appraiser for the Imperial Family Office. At the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, Wolfgang Abel rose in 1940 to the head of Department of Ethnography. In July 1941, he was appointed extraordinary Professor. Previously already Assistant of Eugenics to Eugen Fischer, he was from 1943 to 1945 his successor to the Chair of professorship in the University of Berlin. At the same time, he worked at this time for the high command of the German Army (OKH). In the framework of the General Plan East, Abel worked out a plan for a "progressive elimination" of the "Russian race' with which he wanted all "Russian Nordic types "Germanized" and the rest deported to Siberia, in May 1942.

In addition to his teaching Wolfgang Abel assumed the management of the Institute Awards of the German High School for Politics in 1943. In 1945, Abel was dismissed from the University of Berlin. From 1945 to 1947 he was interned. He then lived as a portrait painter in Austria.

After World War II, he lived in Austria until his death in 1997.



  • Ernst Klee ("Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich") describes Wolfgang Abel as an anthropologist who joined the NSDAP in 1933 and in 1935 joined the SS, was attached to SS-RuSHA and was Leiter des Institutes für Rassenbiologie der Deutschen Hochschule für Politik. Klee gives him a birthdate of 13.05.1905.
  • Lusane, Clarence (2002). Hitler's Black Victims: The Historical Experience of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans and African Americans in the Nazi Era (Cross Currents in African American History) Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93295-0
  • Proctor, Robert (2006). Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-74578-0