February 1, 1908–January 5, 1984
BY JAMES MURRAY
THE HALLMARKS OF Dietrich Bodenstein's career were his zest for life, his love of beauty in science, and his enthusiastic encouragement of his younger colleagues. His boundless energy and his uncompromising commitment to scientific truth set him apart from many of his contemporaries. To know Dietrich was to experience a force of nature.
Dietrich Hans Franz Alexander Bodenstein was born in East Prussia on February 1, 1908. He grew up on the family estate at Corwingen, at that time an almost feudal survival of an earlier Europe. During his youth he roamed the forests and fields of the estate with his rifle and insect net in search of natural history specimens for his personal "museum." It was only natural, therefore, that when he entered the University of Konigsberg in 1926 he began his studies with Otto Koehler, the distinguished observer of bird behavior. While still a student he published his first paper on a moth that he had found for the first time in East Prussia.
In 1928 Dietrich moved to the University of Berlin, where he became a research assistant in experimental morphology at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology. It was there that he came under the influence of Professor Otto