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Hans-Rudolf Wiedemann

Born 1915
Died

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German paediatrician, born February 16, 1915, Bremen.

Biography of Hans-Rudolf Wiedemann

The choice of an academic career came naturally to Hans-Rudolf Wiedemann. His father was a medical practitioner and many members of his mothers family had been university lecturers. He attended the Old Gymnasium in Bremen and studied medicine at the universities of Freiburg, Munich, Hamburg, Lausanne and Jena, qualifying in 1940. Due to ill health Wiedemann was exempted from military service, and he specialised in paediatrics. By the end of the Second World War, he was a senior consultant in Bremen. After holding posts in Bonn, Munster and Krefeld, he was appointed in 1961 to the chair of paediatrics at the University of Kiel. He held this tenure with distinction until his retirement in 1980.

Wiedemann is remembered for having delineated a number of genetic disorders, and in 1961 he was one of the first to draw attention to the thalidomide catastrophe, postulating an exogenous cause.

Hans Rudolf Wiedemann was a man of broad interests. With his wife Gisela, he was an ardent collector of autographs. In 1984 he wrote a philosophically oriented book on these topics entitled Altersbriefe bedeutender Menschen and in 1987 he published a collection of sensitive poems and letters concerning children.

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