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Friedrich Wegener

Friedrich Wegener

German pathologist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German pathologist
Countries Germany
Occupations Military physician Physician Pathologist
A.K.A. Wegener
Gender male
Birth 1907 (Varel)
Death 1990 (Lübeck)
Politics Nazi Party
Education University of Kiel
The details

Friedrich Wegener (April 7, 1907, Varel – July 9, 1990, Lübeck) (English: ) was a German pathologist who is notable for his description of a rare disease now referred to as granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Although this disease was known before Wegener's description, from the 1950s onwards it was generally referred to as Wegener's granulomatosis.

Wegener joined the Nazi Party in 1932. Specifically, he was a member of the Sturmabteilung, a paramilitary branch of the Nazi party which participated in violent conflicts. As a relatively high-ranking military physician, he spent some of World War II in a medical office three blocks from the Łódź Ghetto, a Jewish ghetto in Łódź, Poland. He conducted autopsies on Jewish concentration camp inmates and the facility he worked in performed experiments on prisoners. There is no direct evidence of active participation of Dr. Wegener in these human experiments, but it is likely he was aware of them. The United Nations War Crimes Commission had a legal mandate against Friedrich Wegener and the Polish Institute for the Prosecution of German War Crimes confirmed that he had appeared on the central list of war criminal and security suspects. Dr. Wegener was released without a trial as no charges were brought against him.

The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) awarded Wegener a “master clinician” prize in 1989. After his Nazi past was discovered in 2000, the ACCP rescinded the prize and campaigned to rename Wegener's granulomatosis to ANCA-associated granulomatous vasculitis. More recently, several professional societies, including the American College of Rheumatology, the European League Against Rheumatism, and the American Society of Nephrology, proposed the name 'granulomatosis with polyangiitis' in a 2011 editorial.

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