After a long hiatus, work on fossil dinoflagellates was revived in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s by two geologists who were namesakes, but unrelated—Walter Wetzel (1887-1978) and Otto Wetzel (1891-1971). An account is presented of their lives and geological work, their contributions to micropaleontology being emphasized and their research approaches contrasted. It is hoped this may enable a greater insight to be gained, not only into their personal academic achievements but also into the peculiar influences exerted upon them by the events which both shaped and destroyed Germany in the first half of this century. Following this article, a comprehensive bibliographical list of works published by Walter Wetzel and Otto Wetzel is presented, with translations of titles.

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