In this Geochemical Perspectives I discuss the beginning and growth of cosmochemistry in Germany and my contributions to the development of this field. Cosmochemistry in the sense I use it, implies chemical and isotopic analyses of extraterrestrial materials including relevant terrestrial samples. Theoretical and experimental studies of the early solar system, the formation of planets, remote sensing, asteroid and comet research as well as impact-related research are not included in the present discussion.

With the appointment of Fritz Paneth in 1953 as director at the Max-Planck-Institute in Mainz cosmochemistry was established as a major research area in Germany. For the...

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