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Eduard Baltzer
Eduard Baltzer.jpg
Wilhelm Eduard Baltzer

24 October 1814
Died24 June 1887(1887-06-24) (aged 72)

Wilhelm Eduard Baltzer (24 October 1814 – 24 June 1887) was the founder of the first German vegetarian society, the German Natural Living Society (German: Deutsche Verein für natürliche Lebensweise), a supporter of the Revolution of 1848 in Germany and an early popularizer of science.[1]


Born in the village of Hohenleine in the Kingdom of Saxony, Baltzer was the son of an Evangelical clergyman. He was educated at the Universities of Leipzig and Halle where he chiefly studied theology.[2] He became a tutor, and was chaplain of the hospital of Delitzsch from 1841 until the beginning of 1847, when he founded at Nordhausen a free religious community (German: Freireligiöse Gemeinde), after having failed to have his nomination to various dioceses confirmed by the authorities.[3]

In 1848 Baltzer was elected to the Frankfurt preliminary parliament (German: Vorparlament), and afterward to the Prussian National Assembly. In 1868 he founded a society and a journal for the promotion of vegetarianism.[3] He continued to be a representative leader until 1881. He lived in retirement at Grotzingen for the last few years of his life, partly occupied in the promotion of vegetarianism.[4]


Commemorative plaque at Baltzer Street in Nordhausen
Commemorative plaque at Baltzer Street in Nordhausen


  1. ^ Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung im 19. Jahrhundert, pp. 194, 196, 413–14, 417, 455, 460, 474.
  2. ^ The Ethics of Diet, pp. 366.
  3. ^ a b Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). "Baltzer, Wilhelm Eduard" . The American Cyclopædia.
  4. ^ Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Baltzer, Wilhelm Eduard" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.