XVIth Convention of the Julius-Hirschberg-Gesellschaft
|Cornea – Sheep||WUTZER/Bonn 1835||“sceral pupil“|
|Cornea – Pig||KISSAM/New York||Keratoplasty|
Globe – Rabbit
|Globe– Dog||ROHMER/Nancy 1885||post enucleation|
|Vitreus – Rabbit, Calf||DEUTSCHMANN/
|Ant. Eye-Segm. Human||SHIMANOVSKI/ Kiev 1912||Leucoma corneae|
|Lens – Human||CHAVKA/Beograd 1955||i.c. Aphaki|
Prof. Dr. H. Remky, Arabellastraße 5–9, D-81925 München
Gerhard Holland (Kiel):
Nyktalopie – Hemeralopie: How it is correct?
In the opinion of Hirschberg (1899) the term nyctalopia has for Hippokrates the
sense day blindness, for Galen and the after him coming ancient physicians as
Oribasius, Aetius and Paullus of Aegina however night blindness. The latter
definition was used till the end of the 17th century. Then a new expression for night
blindness was introduced: hemeralopia. This term is only once to be found in
ancient literature together with the term nyctalops but without any explanation.
Nyctalopia again became the word for day blindness. Is this change of definition
perhaps due to the famous Boerhaave? Since that time we find the term
hemeralopia in nearly all ophthalmological textbooks, in medical reference books
and in dictionaries with the exception of English literature in which meanwhile
again the term nyctalopia for night blindness is used. In 2001 Brouzas and others
from the “Hippocration” General Hospital of Athens published an investigation of
“Nyctalopia in Antiqity” with the result, that the term nyctalopia should exclusively be
used for the description of defective dark adaptation.
In our investigation a review is given about the historical development in the use of
the terms nyctalopia and hemeralopia from antiquity till now, we discuss the
question how the controversial meanings could be possible and why Hirschberg’s
opinion concerning Hippokrates from his point of view was wrong. We agree with
Brouzas and his colleagues. The correct expression for night blindness is
Prof. Dr. G. Holland, Esmarchstraße 51, D-42105 Kiel
Gerhard Keerl (Düsseldorf):
The Myth of Argos, the “Hundredeyed”
The fate of Argos is an only small event in all the circle of Greek myfhs. But from the
ophthalmological point of view he is of interest for his numerous eyes. His story
and his sufferings are caused by quarrrels of the highest God Zeus with his wife
Hera. For Zeus went astray with Io, the daughter of the inferior God Inachos. The
legend is taken for a local myth of the district of Argos and is mentioned first by
Hesiod (700 B.C.). Newer excavations found that al least fundamentals of Greek
mythology were known in the Mycenian period (1400–1200 B.C.) already. Is the
story of Argos as old too? This, the miserable instructions of watching Io, and his
death by Hermes will be reported. On other things, his fate was illustrated on
vases and some wallpaintings, found preserved by ashes in Pompei. As well the
names of Argos as well of Io were used in binary classification of biology.
Dr. med. G. Keerl, Droste-Hülshoffstraße 2, D-40474 Düsseldorf
A Last Will of the Oculist Joseph Hillmer and His Wife Charlotte Henriette von
Loeben of 1764
Among the documents of the Royal Prussian Chamber Court the Brandenburg
Landesarchiv at Potsdam helds a reciprocal last will and testament from February
8th in 1764 of the oculist Joseph Hillmer (born at February 8th in 1719) and his
wife Charlotte Henriette, signed by both with Joseph v. Hillmer Königl. Preuß.
HofRath and Maria Charlotte Henriette v. Hillmern gebohrne v. Löben. When his
34 years old wife has died at December 14th in 1767, Hillmer let publish the will by
the chamber court. It determined by Saxonian law the heritage for the oculist’s two
still living daughters who he had with his other wife Christiane Teischer from
Leipzig, deceased before, Johanna and Sophia von Hillmer, and for two children,
born to him by Charlotte Henriette: Charlotta Friderica Josepha and Constantin
Friderich Bogislaw. If the oculist would die, their mother should be universal heir.
The Hillmer’s will makes evident, the son Johann Joseph Hillmer, born in 1952 by
Christiane Teischer (Teutsch), had already died at the time (cf. Mitt. der JHG 2
(2001) pp. 65–82). The will announces a contract to Hillmer’s daughters with
Christiane Teischer on their maternal heritage by an uncompleted date.
Dr. med. Aloys Henning, Spandauer Straße 104 K, D-13591 Berlin
Marcus Blum (Erfurt):
200 years of Ohthalmology in Erfurt – from 1802 to 2002
In 1802 an article from Dr. Johann Friedrich Christoph Fischer was printed in the
newspaper in Thuringia, asking for support on the foundation of an eye hospital.
Few months later Fischer began to perform cataract surgery in Erfurt. Very soon
Fischer was given financial support by the state of Prussia and he remained head
of his hospital until 1845. From the funds he had raised a “Fischer Foundation“
existed until 1941, when during World war II the city council of Erfurt became the
In the second half of the 19th century the eye hospital had a number of different
doctors and finally was amalgamated with the general hospital run by the city
council. From 1906 onwards Dr. Otto Herzau was in charge of the eye hospital,
passing this position on to his son, Dr. Werner Herzog. However, when Herzau jun.
was appointed professor and chair at the University of Jena in 1953, the Erfurt
clinics became “Medizinische Akademie“.
After 1989 the Erfurt clinicum lost the status of an University Hospital and today,
after 200 years, the eye department is part of a large hospital complex in the capital
of the State Thüringen. The hospital is qualified as “academic teaching hospital“ of
the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.
Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. habil. Marcus Blum,
Dept. of Ohthalmology, Helios Klinikum
Erfurt, Nordhäuser Straße 11, D-99089 Erfurt
Jokl (New York):
Von Siebold in Japan – The Beginning of German Influence on Medicine
Phillip Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) born in Wuerzburg, Bavaria where, following
a family medical academic tradition, he trained in medicine and, 2 years later, was
posted by the Dutch East India Company to Deshima at Nagasaki, Japan. There,
he introduced Hippocratic traditions of bedside clinical observation and medical
management based on scientific Western concepts of medicine, surgery and
ophthalmology, founding the first European-run medical school. A botanist and
anthropologist as well, he, to this day, is upheld in Japan as the most influental
European physician responsible for restructuring Japanese medicine.
Prof. D. Hirsch-Kauffmann Jokl, M.D., New
York Medical College, Columbia
University, One Stone Place, Bronxville; NY 10708, USA
Dr. August Fabritius (1857–1945): A Transylvanian Ophthalmologist in the Light
of His Memories
Recently I could buy the memories of the Transylvanian ophthalmologist Dr.
August Joseph Fabritius (1857–1945) from the antiquarian booktrade. The
typewritten and hectographed manuscript contains 117 pages with handwritten
corrections by the author and a portrait photograph. It was written by the director of
the Kronstadt ophthalmic hospital in 1932 and distributed among a narrow circle of
friends and relatives. Fabritius, son of a Kronstadt ophthalmologist, studied
medicine in Vienna and Heidelberg, before he became „Operationszögling“
(surgeon trainee) of Theodor Billroth and Vinzenz Czerny. Later he returned to
Kronstadt and became assistant and finally successor of his father as a director of
the Kronstadt ophthalmic hospital. Apart from a detailed description of the situation
at the Surgical Clinics in Vienna and Heidelberg his memories give an insight into
the friendships with important ophthalmologists and surgeons of his times, e.g.
Karl Koller, Theodor Axenfeld, Anton von Eiselsberg. Furthermore, Fabritius, who
has also earned merits in the town politics of Kronstadt, offers an impression of
the political development of Transylvania and the situation of the Germans in this
area from the reign of the Habsburg monarchy to the Kingdom of Rumania.
Dr. med. Andreas Mettenleiter, Frankfurter Straße 11, D- 97082 Würzburg
Hans Berger, the “Father of Electroencephalography”
Berger was born in Neuses near Coburg (May 21st, 1873). His father was a
physician. His mother was a daughter of the famous German poet Friedrich
Rückert. After his final school examination in 1892 (Gymnasium Ernestinum at
Coburg), he was a medical student in Würzburg, Berlin, München, Kiel, and Jena.
In 1897, he passed the final medical examination (Staatsexamen) in Jena and
specialized in Neurology and Psychiatry as a Medical Assistant under his famous
teacher Professor O. Binswanger. In 1901 he passed the faculty examination at the
University of Jena (Habilitation) in Neurology and Psychiatry, 1906 he was
appointed Professor and 1912 Consultant (Oberarzt). As a military surgeon he
participated in the First World War in a military hospital at Sedan and Rethel. After
the war, he was appointed the director of the Department of Neurology and
Psychiatry at the University of Jena (1919–1938). He was president of the
University of Jena in 1927/28. He wrote more than 100 publications, Pierre Gloor
(Montreal) called him (1969) the “father of electroencephalography”. He
participated in important international congresses, such as the International
Congress of Psychology in Paris (1937). The topic of his numerous publications –
which are important for ophthalmology – was on developmental disturbances of
the occipital lobe deprived by optical stimuli in dogs and cats (1900), on
experimental examination of eye movements elicited by visual stimuli (1901), on
the reaction time of the reflex action by threatening the human eye (1913), on two
cases of juvenile amaurotic (family) idiocy (1913), on pupilloplegia and its relation
to an organic disease of the central nervous system (1917), and on focal diseases
of the occipital lobe (1923)
Prof. Dr. D. Schmidt, Universitäts-Augenklinik Freiburg, Kilianstraße 5, D-79106
Jens Martin Rohrbach (Tübingen)
The Project “Ophthalmology 33–45“: Intentions and Current State
The history of ophthalmology in German-speaking countries from 1933 to 1945
has been hardly investigated. It can be assumed that ophthalmology was less
“near the system“ in comparison to e.g. anthropology, pediatry, or psychiatry. On
the occasion of the reconstitution of the German Ophthalmological Society
(Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft (DOG)) in 1948, Walter Löhlein
(1882–1954) stated “that the German Ophthalmological Society in all the time
behind us did not exclude a member because of political, racial, or national
reasons”. From the standpoint of today there are some doubts whether this
statement was totally correct because it cannot be denied that leading
ophthalmologists like Aurel von Szily (1880–1945), Alfred Bielschowsky
(1871–1940) or Karl Wolfgang Ascher (1887–1972) lost their positions in university
eye clinics and as editors of ophthalmological journals and that they had to
emigrate. It is unclear till today how many jewish ophthalmologists shared that
same fate. On the contrary it cannot be denied too that some questions like
sterilizaiton of children with congenital cataract, which had arisen after declaration
of the “law for the prevention of offsprings with genetically transmissable
diseases” („Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses“) in July 1933 were
discussed controversely and by far not only “in the sense of the system”.
It is unknown how many ophthalmologists were members of nationalsocialistic
organizations. To the best of the author’s knowledge, the director of the university
eye clinic Tübingen at that time, Wolfgang Stock (1874–1956), did not support the
political system, and it is said that he wanted do “capture” his friend, field marshal
Erwin Rommel, in his clinic in order to hide him.
The purpose of the project is not only to deal with victims, with those who
committed crimes, and with prominent ophthalmologists of that period. It is rather
planned to investigate the following themes:
A detailed documentation will be finished, if at all, not until some
years. However ,
first results can be presented. Though are some reservations about the project its
initiation seems justified in the light that few and fewer witnesses of that time are
Prof. Dr. Jens Martin Rohrbach, Universitäts-Augenklinik, Schleichstraße 12, D-72076
It is well known, that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe after variola was
scars in his face. At that time many people became blind because of corneal
scars. This was not the case in Goethe. May be otherwise the development of
cornea transplantation would have been quicker. So the report on the first
successful cornea transplantation by Eduard Zirm was published not before 1906.
On the territory of the former GDR – and at the time in whole Germany – Walter
Löhlein was the pioneer of cornea transplantation who in Berlin at the Charité
performed the first keratoplasty disseminating it in Germany. His pupils like H.
Harms and G. Günther brought the idea to Tübingen and Greifswald. For that
reason Greifswald became the GDR centre of cornea transplantation. Georg
Günther performed the first studies on cornea preservation by liquid mediums
(patient‘s serum). His pupil K.-E. Krüger established this surgery at Halle. Also at
the second medical faculty of Saxony-Anhalt the keratoplasty was already
established in the seventies and eighties (“Medizinische Akademie” Magdeburg).
From Magdeburg Günter Franke changed to Greifswald to continue G. Günther’s
tradition of cornea grafting, when the Head of the ophthalmic department Hans
Gliem, also a pupil of Günther, had become Director of the ophthalmic clinic at the
Berlin Charité. Thereafter numerous keratoplasties have been performed at
Greifswald and in Berlin. And consistently the first eye bank on the former territory
of the GDR (4th in Germany) was established there in 1992.
At Zittau (Saxony) G. Sommer has performed keratoplasties already at the time.
Additionally he was specialized in performing keratoprothesis. A lot of patients
went to Zittau for keratoprothesis. Sommer was supported in Zittau by the firm
Wilhem Deutschmann. This firm produced a suction trephine “Asmotom” –
developed by Gliem and Franke, and well established in the former GDR. Later
Sommer’s pupil M. Jähne was specialized in keratoplasty and established a
centre for cornea transplantation at Aue.
Reviewing the GDR the ophthalmic clinics at the Berlin Charité, of the University
Greifswald, at Aue and of the Medical Faculty Magdeburg and specialized on
caustic injuries the eye clinic of the University Halle-Wittenberg have been its most
important centres for cornea transplantation.
Prof. Dr. F. Wilhelm, Augenklinik der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg,
Magdeburger Straße 8, D-06097 Halle