Brehm - who was that again?
The Brehm Memorial Center is located at the former estate of the Brehm family. Two world-famous scientists of central Germany lived here: Christian Ludwig Brehm and Alfred Edmund Brehm.
Christian Ludwig Brehm
(1787 - 1864)
Christian Ludwig Brehm was a pastor in the community of Renthendorf who made an intense study of the local birdlife. He collected thousands of bird skins, studied the morphology and behaviour of birds and documented his data meticulously. The well-documented series (multiple individuals of one species), makes his collection of bird skins a particularly valuable source for ornithological studies on biodiversity to this day! C. L. Brehm published his findings in his "Ornis" journal - one of the first scientific journals for ornithology and other journals. As a result of his work, C. L. Brehm is considered to be one of the first modern ornithologists. Paradoxically this mass murder of birds for the collection was necessary to scientifically value nature and protect it. In this way C. L. Brehm can also be seen as a co-founder of the German protection of birds and nature. In 1829 the wife of C. L. Brehm gave birth to a son:
Alfred Edmund Brehm. From his early childhood on, his father interested little Alfred in the local fauna, which stimulated his passion for zoology. Barely grown up, A. E. Brehm travelled to foreign countries for his animal studies, worked in zoological gardens and in 1863, he published his major work the "Illustrirte Thierleben", which today we simply know as "Brehm's Animal Life". This popular science animal encyclopedia soon became a must-have for everyone's bookcase. Because of that, the main achievement of A. E. Brehm surely is, that he brought the animals of foreign contries to the people and in this way contributed to the education of the greater public and the popularisation of zoology.
Alfred Edmund Brehm
(1829 - 1884)
Curious to hear more interesting stories about the Brehms? Then come and visit us in Renthendorf!