Facts of Rudolf Weigl

  • Birth Date : September 2, 1883
  • Birth Place : Prerau, Austria-Hungary
  • City : Prerau, Austria-Hungary
  • Country : Hungary
  • Gender : Male
  • Marital Status : Married
  • Married With : Zofia Weigl
  • Horoscope : Virgo
  • Net Worth : $1 Million
  • Eye Color : Light Brown Eyes
  • Ethnicity : White
  • Mother Name : Elisabeth Kroesel

Who is Rudolf Weigl?

Rudolf Weigl was a famous Polish biologist, doctor, and innovator known for developing the first prosperous vaccination for epidemic typhus. Weigl reached nominations for the Nobel Prize in Medicine each year between 1930 and 1934, as well as from 1936 to 1939.

Rudolf Weigl: Bio, Birthday, Age, Wiki, Nationality, Ethnicity, Family, Siblings, Early Life, and Childhood

Rudolf Weigl was born in Prerau, Austria-Hungary on September 2, 1883. His real name is Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl. His father died and lost his life in a bicycle accident while he was a little boy. Elisabeth Kroesel is his mother, wed Józef Trojnar, a secondary school teacher from Poland. Weigl was raised in Poland’s Jaso. Despite living as a native German speaker, he adopted Polish speech and culture once the family emigrated to Poland.

Thereafter, the family migrated to Lviv. In 1907, Weigl obtained his degree from Lwów University’s biology department there after learning under Professors Benedykt Dybowski (1833-1930) and J. Nusbaum-Hilarowicz (1859-1917). Weigl performed as Nusbaum’s deputy after graduating, and in 1913 he completed his habilitation, which actually gave him tenure. Histology, relative anatomy, and zoology doctorates were later granted to him.

Rudolf Weigl experiments

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Career and Professional Life

Weigl initiated investigating the roots of typhus after being enrolled in the Austro-Hungarian army’s medical task following the start of World War I in 1914. Weigl managed the Laboratory for the Study of Spotted Typhus at a military hospital in Przemyl from 1918 until 1920. He was selected to the Polish army’s military sanitary council in 1919. He created a vaccination when he began conducting research and conducting experiments.

Weigl held on to his study and labor at a facility in Lwów after Germany defeated Poland in 1939. He was capable to raise his typhus vaccine’s output there. Rudolf performed on making a spotted fever vaccine for the next four years in Lwów. He supervised and directed the Lwów-based Institute for Typhus and Virus Research. Weigl created a spotted fever vaccination that significantly reduced signs but did not fully defend against the illness.


rudolf weigl typhus

Rudolf Weigl was captured during his experiment in the lab
Source: The Sun

More on his career

Weigl’s investigation caught the concentration of the Nazis when they settled in Poland in World War II. He was introduced to establishing a typhus vaccine manufacturing structure at his Institute when they conquered Lwów. For the structure, Weigl employed a number of his Jewish friends and coworkers. About 2,000 Polish scholars, Jews, and members of the underground were employed by and protected by Weigl. He utilized many of these people to help him with his typhus research and lice investigations.

Many of his Jewish friends mainly helped in the development of the lice in exchange for food, protection, and doses of the vaccine once it was prepared. His vaccines were concealed in the Lwów and Warsaw ghettos, as well as other engagement camps and even individual Gestapo cells. Weigl was credited for protecting almost 5,000 lives while the Nazis were in power.

Rudolf Weigl: Vaccine Development

Weigl developed a way to create a typhus vaccine by growing infected lice and crushing them into a vaccine paste in 1930. He followed Charles Nicolle’s 1909 discovery that lice were the vector of epidemic typhus and the work done on a vaccine for the closely related Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He found that lice stomach infected with Rickettsia prowazeki, the organism that generates typhus in humans, could be used to create a vaccine.

In 1918, he initiated operating on the first iteration of the vaccine and began running tests on rats and even healthy human volunteers. Over the years, he enhanced this method, and in 1933, he carried out expansive research to produce bacteria and test with lice using a micro-infection approach. The approach included four main steps:

  • Growing healthy lice for approximately 12 days.
  •  Giving them typhus injections.
  • Continuing to grow lice for an additional 5 days.
  • Removing the midguts of the lice and making a paste out of them (this was the vaccination).


The more human the blood, the better for growing lice. His technique was initially tested on guinea pigs. But in 1933 he began working extensive experiments on people, giving the lice human blood by permitting them to suck human legs through a screen. In the latter phase, when the lice were contaminated, this can result in typhus. He translated this issue by providing the human “injected” vaccines, which actually precluded them from dying (although some did go on to contract the illness). Some of the first lice feeders contained Weigl and his wife Zofia Weigl. He caught the illness but healed.

Belgian missionaries functioning in China between 1936 and 1943 took out the first important use of his vaccination. The vaccinations were shortly also given throughout Africa. The vaccine was hard to manufacture on a big scale and dangerous to prepare. Other vaccinations that were less toxic and cost more to create over time were made, such as the Cox vaccine produced from egg yolk.


In the years 1930–1934 and 1936–1939, Weigl acquired nominations for the Nobel Prize on a routine schedule. Despite these nominations, he was never granted the Nobel Prize for his grants to vaccine research or social work.

Weigl’s study, effort, and commitment were admired by many people even 50 years after his passing. He welcomed the distinction of Righteous Among the Nations in 2003. His actions to save several Jewish lives during World War II were identified with this recognition by Israel. Google released a Google Doodle in an award of Weigl on September 2, 2021, his 138th birthday.

Google Doodle in an award of Weigl

Google Doodle in an award of Weigl

Rudolf Weigl: Relationship Status, Married, Wife, Children, Dating, Personal Life

Weigl migrated to Kraków in southern Poland after the war’s border adjustments. At Jagiellonian University, he was designated chair of the General Microbiology Institute. Thereafter, at the University of Pozna, he was called the chair of biology in the medical division. Although he withdrew in 1951, his vaccination was nevertheless made for several more years.

Moreover, he was a married male. He had married to Zofia Weigl in 1921. Yet, there is no clear details regarding their wedding and married life.

At the age of 73, Weigl died in the Polish mountain resort of Zakopane on August 11, 1957. Rudolf was spread to rest in Kraków’s respected Rakowicki Cemetery. The typhus investigation department at Lwów University founded the Weigl’s Institute for his typhus investigation and work. The Third Part of the Night, a 1971 movie by Andrzej Uawski, provides the institute with a lot of screen time.

Rudolf Weigl: Net Worth, Salary, Income, Earning

Rudolf was one of the laborious and prosperous Polish biologists. He had made a worthy amount of money throughout his profession. He had an estimated net worth of $1 million at the time of his death.

Social Media and Body Measurements

Rudolf wasn’t involved on any social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. There was no benefit of these social media platforms throughout his time.

Likewise, the facts about his height, weight, dress size, shoe size, and so on are also not known. However, glancing at his pictures we can imagine that he had a pair of beautiful black color eyes with black color hair. He was a bearded man.

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