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\noindent{\bf Wilhelm WINKLER}\\
b. 29 June 1884 - d. 3 September 1984
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\noindent{\bf Summary.} As an organizer of statistics, and equally as a
university teacher and social researcher, Winkler
united theoretical and applied approaches to statistics. As a
leading statistician of ethnic minorities in the time between the World Wars, he
was also known as an advocate of the use of mathematical methods in the social
sciences.
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\noindent{\bf Personal background}
Born in Prague, the fifth of eight
children of a music teacher. Died in Vienna. He grew up in
Prague, finished his studies at the {\it Humanistisches Gymnasium} (branch of
secondary school) followed by the study of jurisprudence at the Karl-University
in Prague, and joined the {\it Statistisches Landes-Bureau des Kˆnigreiches
B\"ohmen} (Statistical Bureau of Bohemia) as the sole German speaking
statistician. Severely wounded in World War I as a highly decorated reserve
officer, he was appointed in 1916 to serve in Vienna, with distinguished
economists of the Austrian School of Economics, as a member of the
Austro-Hungarian Scientific Committee on the War Economy. In 1919 he published
``Casualties of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy", a detailed statistical study of
the war losses of each ethnic group of this multi-ethnic state. In that year he
also participated in the peace negotiations as the statistical advisor to the
Austrian peace delegation in St. Germain. In 1920 he became second in command of
the newly formed {\it \"Osterreichisches Bundesamt f\"ur Statistik} (Austrian
Federal Statistics Office). In 1925 he was appointed director of its department
of population statistics. At that time he also began teaching at the University.
In 1921 he became {\it Privat-Dozent} (Assistant Professor) at the juridical
faculty of the University of Vienna. In 1929 he was promoted to the rank of
{\it Ausserordentlicher Professor f\"ur Statistik} (equivalent to the status of
an Associate Professor). W. Winkler then established the {\it Institut f\"ur
Statistik der Minderheitsv\"olker} (Institute of
Statistics of Ethnic Minorities) at the University of Vienna
where he pursued research on the demographic
and socio-economic structure of the widely scattered German-speaking populations
in the succession states of the Habsburg Monarchy. At this Institute he produced
a stream of research publications about the demographic, social and economic
situation of these ethnic minorities in Europe. His research had an impact on
the political struggle to find solutions for these minorities in the new
European successor states after World War I.
W. Winkler also established contacts with the international statistical
community. As a result, his work, especially his studies in statistical theory
for the social sciences, became recognized beyond the German speaking realm.
After his election as a member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI)
in 1926 he participated actively in most bi-annual congresses of the ISI,
establishing a reputation as a strong advocate and debater in favor of
mathematical formulations in statistics instead of the wordy and vague
formulations that then prevailed in continental Europe.
The {\it Anschluss} of Austria to the German Third Reich in 1938 interrupted
his career. He was dismissed as director of the population census, expelled from
the University and banned from giving the invited lecture that had been
scheduled for the ISI congress in Prague. The reason was his public opposition
to Nazism and his marriage to a spouse of Jewish descent. In 1945, after seven
years of severe deprivations, difficulties and the persecution of his family by
the Nazi party, W. Winkler was rehabilitated and rewarded with the upgrading of
Statistics as a fully recognized academic discipline, required for the study of
economics, management and jurisprudence. He was appointed as the first
Ordinarius of Statistics - the Full
Professor - at the University of Vienna since 1883, when the last Full Professor
of this field retired. In 1950/51 he was honored by election as Dean
of the {\it Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Facult\"at} of that University.
He continued his efforts for the further improvement and recognition of Statistics
in Austria as an academic discipline in its own right, and as a recognized field of
study. He had to overcome the stiff resistance by the faculty who opposed
statistics on philosophic grounds, opposition that today is
difficult to understand.
After his retirement at age 71, in 1955, he continued working vigorously for
the progress and recognition of statistics. As Vice President of the
International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) he organized
the International Population Congress of 1959 in Vienna. In 1973 he was the
driving force behind the ISI congress in Vienna. During his last years of life
W. Winkler received numerous national and international honors in recognition of
his role for the advancement of statistics. In 1952 he was elected Corresponding
Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and in 1961 he became an Honorary Fellow
of the Royal Statistical Society. In 1966 he was elected Honorary Member of ISI.
He also
received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Munich and Vienna.
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\noindent{\bf Contributions to the development of statistics}
Wilhelm Winkler's
early interest in the statistics of ethnic minorities stemmed from his personal
experience of the tensions between Czech and German population groups in Prague.
His career as a statistician emerged from a background of the multiethnic and
multilingual structure of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In the 19th century the
Austrian government, requiring extensive data on the different nationalities
living in its empire, had to develop specific statistical methods to provide
that information. W. Winkler began in that tradition. As a result of the
disintegration of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1918, the rise of the succession
states, and the decline of the German hegemony, he developed new concepts for
the research of ethnic minorities, beyond the concepts then in use. He also
developed new demographic methods, among them the matching of population- and
economic census data with data from other statistical sources. The most
important result of these studies was his ``Statistical Handbook of the German
Populations" financed by the {\it Stiftung f\"ur Deutsche Volks- und
Kulturbodenforschung}, the leading organization for German
{\it Volksforschung} in the Weimar Republic. The handbook used the new paradigm
of statistics of ethnic minorities acknowledging the fact that ethnic groups
often cross the borders of nations. W. Winkler can be regarded as one of the
most influential demographers of his time, not only of Austria but also of the
German speaking countries in general. Among German statisticians he was
well-known for his efforts to introduce the mathematical methods, developed in
the Anglo-American world, for socio-economic statistics, at a time when these
new developments were hardly known on the European continent. It was his
persistent, hard work of many years to convince his German colleagues of the
need to open up academic statistics, as taught in the social sciences, to
British and American developments in statistics.
The main concern of demographers in the period between the two World Wars was
the assumption of a precipitous decline of births threatening the quantity and
quality of the population, presaging a loss of power and influence of Europe,
and of the German speaking population in particular. W.Winkler proposed to
reverse these demographic trends through specific tax politics to encourage the
formation of new families by taxing unmarried adults. His fertility index, based
on the results of the Austrian population census of 1934, became the basis on
which population politics was widely discussed in the late 1930s, though never
acted on.
After World War II W. Winkler turned from his earlier research on ethnic
minorities to intensify his efforts to develop and disseminate new methods in
statistics. By publishing his works on Econometrics (1952) and on Demometrics
(1969) he rejoined the international statistical discussion, although the
backwardness of German and Austrian statistical research relative to the
statistical advances in the West made it increasingly more difficult to
contribute successfully to international debates.
W. Winkler was the leading government statistician and organizer of
statistics as a science during the years of the First Republic of Austria
(1925-1938), and after World War II ( 1945-1955). In that time he occupied the
most important positions in statistics at the University and in Government in
Austria. W. Winkler was the founder of the Austrian statistical Journal,
{\it Statistische Vierteljahresschrift}, whose first volume appeared in 1948,
and the Co-Editor of {\it Metrika}. He also founded the Austrian Statistical
Society and created, praeter legem, a graduate program for statisticians from
which the nucleus of the junior staff of Austrian and also some German
statisticians emerged in the 1950s and 1960s.
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\noindent{\bf References}
\noindent Adam, Adolf (Ed.) (1984). Festschrift f\"ur Wilhelm Winkler: anl\"a{\ss}lich des 100.
Geburtstages am 29. Juni 1984 (Wien 1984) (= {\it Schriftenreihe der \"Osterreichischen
Statistischen Gesellschaft}, {\bf 1}).
\noindent Johnson, N.L. and Kotz, S. (Eds) (1987). Winkler, Wilhelm, in {\it Leading
Personalities in Statistical Sciences}, Wiley, New York, pp. 322-324.
\noindent Schmetterer, Leopold (1984). Wilhelm Winkler at his 100th Anniversary,
{\it International
Statistical Review}, {\bf 52}, 227-228.
\noindent Schubnell, Hermann (1984). Wilhelm Winkler zur Vollendung seines hundertsten
Lebensjahres, in: {\it Zeitschrift f\"ur Bevˆlkerungswissenschaft: Demographie}, {\bf 10},
109-114.
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\hfill{Alexander Pinwinkler}
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