Agnes Karll

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Agnes Karll (born March 25, 1868 in Embsen ; † February 12, 1927 in Berlin ) was a German nurse and reformer of German nursing .


Agnes Karll was born as the daughter of the landowner Theodor Karll and his wife Ida. Her parents separated in 1881.

At first she was interested in the profession of teacher and therefore attended Johanna Willborn's advanced training school in Schwerin. Through the friendly contact with Willborn, Agnes Karll came close to the women's movement at the time and got to know Helene Lange . Since she could not take the teacher examination because she was too young, she started as an educator and private teacher in Retgendorf (today Dobin am See ) and Alt Gaarz in 1886 .

At the age of 19, Agnes Karll realized that teaching was not for her, and from then on she linked her professional future with nursing. On August 26, 1887, she therefore began training as a nurse in the Clementinenhaus in Hanover, a motherhouse of the Red Cross . Then she worked as a nurse at the Göttingen university clinics.

From 1891 Agnes Karll worked in private nursing for ten years, mostly around Berlin. At that time she also had the opportunity to live in America for a few months and to get to know nursing from a local perspective (1894). Later she began to establish further contacts with professional colleagues from abroad, especially England, Finland, Italy, Austria and the United States.

Within the General German Women's Association , Karll drew up the statutes of the professional organization of nurses in Germany and infant and welfare nurses (short: BOKD or BO) founded in 1903 and became its first chairman. The association provided its members with jobs, offered insurance cover and legal advice. It was later renamed the Agnes-Karll-Verband , in 1973 this was incorporated into the German Professional Association for Nursing eV (DBfK). Today it is called the " German Professional Association for Nursing Professions " (DBfK).

In addition to the recognition of the profession, Agnes Karll campaigned for a well-founded three-year training course in nursing. Nursing should be more than the technical auxiliary function of medicine, if it does not want to neglect an essential part of its mission. The uniform job title nurse can also be traced back to Agnes Karll.

In 1909 Agnes Karll became President of the World Association of Nurses in London , and she was also an honorary member of the Union of Superiors in Great Britain and Ireland. At the Leipzig woman high school she was in 1913 as the first woman as a lecturer operates. During the First World War she avoided the spirit of the times by traveling abroad and the like. a. in the USA. So she wasn't used at the front. In 1926 she led a national congress on nursing in Düsseldorf.

Agnes Karll's companion in later years was the Swiss Emmy Oser. Through her she got to know the Protestant theologian and religious socialist Leonhard Ragaz in Zurich, who was open to the concerns of freelance nursing and became one of Agnes Karll's ideas.

Agnes Karll died in 1927, she was buried in the family grave at the cemetery in Gadebusch .


  • The Institute for Nursing Research in Berlin (AKI), clinics in Bad Schwartau and Laatzen , nursing schools in Frankfurt am Main and Tettnang , one street each in Gadebusch , Mainz and Embsen as well as in Elmshorn and some old people's homes were named after Agnes Karll .
  • On March 25, 2018, a photo exhibition “750 years of existence of the Hospital zum Heiligen Geist Foundation” was opened in the premises of the Agnes Karll School in Frankfurt am Main in honor of Agnes Karll's 150th birthday.
  • 2018 was in Cologne-Lindenthal , the Agnes-Karll street named after her.



  • Margarete Lungershausen: Agnes Karll: Your life, work and legacy. Staude, Hanover 1964
  • Eduard Seidler : Agnes Karll in her time , Agnes Karll Association Frankfurt / M. 1968 Agnes Karll in her time
  • Anna Sticker : Agnes Karll: the reformer of German nursing; a guide for today on the 50th anniversary of her death on February 12, 1927. 3rd edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-17-008452-6 .
  • Horst Rüller: Sister Agnes Karll founds the professional organization. In: Horst Rüller (Ed.): 3000 years of care. Volume 1, 2nd edition. Prodos Verlag, Brake 1995, ISBN 3-9803168-0-7 , pp. 67-69.
  • Peter Schneck: History of Medicine Systematically , UNI-MED Bremen and Lorch / Württ. 1997, Agnes Karll p. 186, ISBN 3-89599-138-4
  • Stephan Dorschner: The seeds will come up one day ... In: Teaching Care. 1 / 4th / 1999. Prodos Verlag, pp. 14-18, ISSN  1615-1046
  • Helene Blunk: Agnes Karll: Your life and work. o. O., o. J .; New edition: Henrich, Frankfurt / M. 1968 ( PDF online ).
  • Manfred Vasold: Karll, Agnes. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 728.
  • Christoph Schweikardt: In the struggle for recognition: the BOKD sisters between parent company associations and trade unions , in: ders .: The development of nursing into a state-recognized activity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The interaction of modernization efforts, medical dominance, denominational self-assertion and the guidelines of Prussian government policy , Martin Meidenbauer Verlag Munich 2008, pp. 158–165. ISBN 978-3-89975-132-1 . Online resource RUB
  • Rudolph Bauer : Karll, Agnes , in: Hugo Maier (Ed.): Who is who of social work . Freiburg: Lambertus, 1998 ISBN 3-7841-1036-3 , pp. 288f.

Individual evidence

  1. Christine R. Auer: History of the nursing professions as a subject. The curricular development in nursing education and training. Dissertation Institute for the History of Medicine (today: History and Ethics of Medicine), supervisor Wolfgang U. Eckart , self-published HD 2008, on the situation of Agnes Karlls in private care, pp. 97-104.
  2. Heinz Schott : The Chronicle of Medicine. Chronik-Verlag, Dortmund 1993, ISBN 978-3-611-00273-1 , p. 353 u. 355.
  3. Antje Grauhan : The situation of modern nursing , lecture given on July 9, 1965 at the Institute for the History of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, in: Christine R. Auer: And then suddenly it was said: “No longer the Schipperges control loop , but instead whose take the care theory of Roper , Logan, Tierney ”, comments Antje Grauhans for Reinald Schmidt-Richter , Heidelberg 2014, pp. 25–30.
  4. ^ Daniela Wittmann: BA Nurse - A System for Germany ?! A historical-critical view of Germany and its new perspectives. Thesis, Institute for Gerontology, Heidelberg University, supervisor Eric Schmitt, September 2015, p. 2, p. 9–13.
  5. ^ Hospital website, accessed February 18, 2020
  6. Agnes Karll Schule Frankfurt am Main , accessed on November 14, 2017.
  7. Press releases Krankenhaus Nordwest, Frankfurt am Main, March 23, 2018: Happy Birthday Agnes Karll , accessed on March 25, 2018.
  8. Central name archive. (pdf, 361 kB) In: Official Gazette of the City of Cologne. July 25, 2018, pp. 304/308 , accessed July 28, 2018 .

Web links