Konrad Lorenz during the Third Reich

Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (November 7, 1903 - February 27, 1989) was an Austrian zoologist and ornithologist; and founder of modern ethology. He studied instinctive behaviour in animals, especially in grey geese. He discovered the principle of imprinting in psychology.

Professor at the University of Vienna from 1928-1935, professor for Psychology at the University of Königsberg 1940, joined the German army in 1941, POW in Russia 1944-48. The Max Planck Society establishes the Lorenz institute for behavioural physiology in Buldern, northern Germany in 1950. In 1958 he transferred to the Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Physiology in Seewiesen. He published his best known book in 1963 Das sogenannte Böse which espouses his "Triebstauhypothese" (the "Psychohydraulic Model of Motivation"). He retired from the Max Planck Institute in 1973 but continued to research and publish from Altenberg and Grünau in Austria. He died on February 27, 1989, in Altenberg.

For discoveries in individual and social behavior patterns, Lorenz shared the 1973 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine with Niko Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch.

Other famous texts by him include King Solomons Ring and On Aggression.

There are three Konrad Lorenz Institutes in Austria.

The extent of Lorenz's involvement in Nazism has led to heated debates within the academic world. See for example the book Die andere Seite des Spiegels. Konrad Lorenz und der Nationalsozialismus (2001) by Benedikt Föger and Klaus Taschwer (ISBN 3707601242). What is clear is that his published writing during the Nazi period included support for Nazi ideas of "racial hygiene", couched in pseudo-scientific metaphors.

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