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19 April 2023 Ernst Schäfer (1910–1992) – A Remembrance
Robert McCracken Peck
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Ernst Schäfer (1910–1992) was a well-trained, highly knowledgeable and widely published German zoologist who did pioneering research on birds and mammals in Asia and South America. He was also a controversial figure, because of his association with the Nazi Party during World War II and with King Leopold III of Belgium in the 1950s. Toward the end of his life, because of the negative publicity he received for some of his ethnographic research and his association with these individuals, he became resentful of the press, and quite reclusive, refusing to talk to anyone interested in writing about his life's work.

The author of this essay was one of the few people to whom Schäfer granted an in-person interview. The essay records a wide range of topics covered during six days of face-to-face conversations in a hunting lodge in Austria in December 1986, and five years of subsequent correspondence. This is not a biography, per se, but rather a remembrance of the man, based on that interview. It is intended to complement the essay by Jorge M. González (2010) entitled: “Ernst Schäfer – from the mountains of Tibet to the Northern Cordillera of Venezuela: a biographical sketch.”

Robert McCracken Peck "Ernst Schäfer (1910–1992) – A Remembrance," Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 168(1), 109-122, (19 April 2023).
Received: 23 November 2022; Accepted: 16 February 2023; Published: 19 April 2023
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Belgian Congo
Brooke Dolan
Ernst Schäfer
Heinrich Himmler
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