Franz Weidenreich

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Weidenreich, Franz


Born June 7, 1873, in Edenkoben, in the Palatinate; died July 11, 1948, in New York. German anthropologist. When fascism came to power he emigrated from Germany and worked in China and the USA. Weidenreich is the author of the so-called theory of polycentrism, according to which the present human races derived from different species or even genera of ancient man that developed independently in different parts of the world. This conception has been thoroughly criticized in the works of Soviet anthropologists.


Roginskii, Ia. Ia. Teorii monotsentrizma i politsentrizma v problème proiskhozhdeniia sovremennogo cheloveka. Moscow, 1949.
Levin, M. G. “Novaia teoriia antropogeneza F. Weidenreikha.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1946, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Following the cases of different writers--including Ignaz Zollschan, Franz Weidenreich, Willhelm NuBbaum, Franz Boas, and Arthur Ruppin as well as numerous prominent or less prominent others--Lipphardt shows that apart from their shared Jewish descent (which, too, she emphasizes, comprises a spectrum of identities and forms of religious, national, or ethnic identification or affiliation), these writers in fact shared no common scientific denominator, differing in their views on biology, race, or Jews.