From the foundational time period in Berlin in which hospitals were built, and the development of clinical neurology until 1933

Bernd HOLDORFF
Neurology, Schlosspark Klinik, Berlin, Germany


During the so-called Gründerjahre or "founding years" in Berlin it became necessary to build new hospitals because of rapid population growth. As a result, several infirmaries, insane asylums and institutions for epileptics were built between 1877 and 1912. The University Neurology Clinic of the Charité was opened in 1905 according to plans made by Friedrich Jolly, the physician who named myasthenia gravis pseudoparalytica. A "Neurological Central Station" of Oskar and Cecil Vogt, in existence since 1895, was a research center dedicated more to morphology, where the study of the structure of the cerebral cortex by K. Brodmann and research into basal ganglia diseases by O. and C. Vogt began. The Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Cerebral Research which moved to a new building in 1931 also had its beginnings here. Hermann Oppenheim (1858-1918) promoted independent clinical neurology as did his younger contemporary Max Lewandowsky (1876-1918) who was already advising physician for neurology at the Berlin-Friedrichshain Hospital. Hugo Liepmann (1863-1925), the creator of apraxia teachings, worked at the insane asylums in Dalldorf (Berlin-Wittenau) and Berlin-Herzberge. In 1911 the first neurological unit was established in the large hospital in Berlin-Buch under the leadership of Otto Maas. Not until after the First World War were further neurological hospital units founded under the direction of Paul Schuster (1867-1940), Kurt Goldstein (1878-1965), Kurt Löwenstein (died 1953) and Friedrich Heinrich Lewy (1885-1950). These Jewish colleagues, as well as C. E. Benda and Otto Maas had to leave their posts in 1933 and emigrate. The clinical institutions and scientific achievements of these pioneers in independent clinical neurology will be presented up until the point of their violent dissolution.


Session X -- Politics of Science
Wednesday, 5 June 2002, 11:00 am

Seventh Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Los Angeles, California, USA