Affeldt, Stefanie; Hund, Wulf D. (2020):
"From ‘Plant Hunter’ to ‘Tomb Raider’: The Changing Image of Amalie Dietrich." Zeitschrift für Australienstudien / Australian Studies Journal 33/34: 89-124.
Journal Article

In the context of her bicentenary in 2021, Amalie Dietrich will again be celebrated as a feminist paragon or condemned as a racist culprit. Her stay in Australia will be central to these contrasting approaches to her biography. There, she gathered a remarkable amount of native plants, animals, ethnological everyday objects – and human remains. In this context, she was subjected to suspicions of incitement in murder early on and to allegedly critical investigations concerning her role in the anthropological desecration of corpses in recent times. In this paper, we contribute some arguments to the clarification of this controversial subject. It focuses on the treatment of image of Amalie Dietrich in the German discourse from the Kaiserreich via the Weimar Republic, the fascist ‘Reich’, the Federal Republic as well as the Democratic Republic to reunited Germany. As a result, we argue that a critical biography of Amalie Dietrich must integrate the appreciation of her contribution to botany and zoology with a critique of her role in the racist history of anthropological grave robbery and desecration of human remains.