Ernst Ludwig Heim

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Ernst Ludwig Heim, portrayed by Julius Huebner , 1833
Heim as a Knight of the North Star Order
Postage stamp 1984

Ernst Ludwig Heim (born July 22, 1747 in Solz , Thuringia ; † September 15, 1834 in Berlin ) was a German doctor who was made an honorary citizen of Berlin in 1822 .


Heim was born as the son of pastor Johann Ludwig Heim (1704–1785), who among other things wrote the "Hennbergische Chronik". His mother was his wife Dorothea Regina Wagner (1719–1764) the daughter of the pastor in Friedelhausen Christoph Sigismund Wagner and Magda Regina Schelhas . He had some siblings who were also active in science.

  • Brother Johann Ludwig Heim (1741-1819): Acting councilor and Vice-Consistorial President in Meiningen, wrote: "Geological description of the Thuringian Forest Mountains" (1796-1812)
  • Brother Georg Christoph Heim (1743–1807): Pastor in Gumpelstadt , wrote the "Flora germanica" (1799–1800)
  • Brother Friedrich Timotheus Heim (1751–1820): Pastor in Effelder , wrote the "Systematic Classification of Cherry Varieties" (1819)


After completing his studies, Heim received his doctorate in medicine in 1772 . From 1775 he lived in Spandau near Berlin, was appointed city ​​physician in 1776 and later district physician of the Havelland . At Reformationsplatz 2 in the old town of Spandau, the former officers' house, a memorial plaque (see: Monuments in Spandau ) commemorates Ernst Ludwig Heim, who had his official residence here.

In 1783 he moved to the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin and opened a practice on Markgrafenstrasse . There he gained great recognition and popularity. Annually he treated three to four thousand patients, whereby as a poor doctor he treated many of the poor patients free of charge and not infrequently also took over the medical costs. Heim did not make any distinctions when it came to treating the patients, but caught the eye with funny or sometimes rough remarks, which are considered examples of his popularity with the common people. As a result, Heim was seen as an “ original ” in his time , for which the following examples can be cited: To the Elector of Hesse, he casually remarked “Your Highnesses are just as stiff as I always imagined a real Elector to be” or to a lieutenant “You either cough from the lungs or he comes from drinking. But your cough does not come from your lungs. "

In Berlin he carried out the first vaccinations ( smallpox vaccination ) with the cowpox vaccination developed by Edward Jenner . Since a doctor's visit to the Humboldts in Tegel, he taught the eight-year-old Alexander von Humboldt in botany. He was the last attending physician of the Prussian Queen Luise .

Along with Carl Ferdinand Sigismund Boehm († 1828), Georg Heinrich Boehr , Johann Goercke , Abraham Wall († 1805) and Georg Adolph Welper (1762–1842), he was a founding member of the Six Doctors' Association founded on January 15, 1799, which presumably in the medical-surgical society founded in 1810. In May 1801, Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland joined them. The meetings took place in the doctors' private apartments.


He married Charlotte Maecker (1764–1842) in Spandau in 1780. She was the daughter of the businessman Johann Peter Maecker († 1794) and Maria Catharina Tesmer. Heim and his wife had two sons and six daughters:

  • Johann Ludwig Ernst (* / † 1781)
  • Marie Christiana (* / † 1781)
  • Marie Christiane (1782–1850) ⚭ 1804 Carl Wilhelm Eimbeck (1776–1840), member of the Council of State
  • Henriette Wilhelmine (1783–1820) ⚭ Wilhelm Heinrich von Grolman (February 28, 1781 - January 1, 1856), President of the Supreme Court, son of Heinrich Dietrich von Grolman
  • Caroline Ernestine (1786–1786)
  • Caroline Wilhelmine (* October 30, 1787; † March 30, 1862) ⚭ 1810 Abraham Friedrich Heinrich von Arnim (* March 3, 1777; † January 30, 1845)
  • August Wilhelm (1789–1850) ⚭ Friederike Caroline Wilhelmine Juliane von Faudel (* September 12, 1803; † 1873)
  • Auguste Juliane (* May 31, 1792; † August 3, 1820) ⚭ 1812 Georg Wilhelm Keßler (* March 24, 1782; † May 18, 1846), District President in Arnsberg
  • Ida (born September 12, 1796; † January 28, 1873) ⚭ 1815 Ulrich von Barner (1786–1846), Prussian lieutenant general

At the end of the 19th century, a Luise Heim donated a Kühn organ to the church in Solz , where she was born, and in 1890 the church tower clock, which still works today.


Memorial plaque on Reformationsplatz 2 in Berlin-Spandau

Heim became an honorary citizen of Berlin in 1822 on the occasion of his 50th doctoral anniversary due to his decades of altruism . On November 28, 1822, he was awarded the academic nickname Zimmermann I. a member (Matriculation no. 1246) of the Leopoldina selected.

Heim was a knight of the Red Eagle Order III. Class and Knight of the North Star Order .

His grave, which is located in Cemetery II of the Jerusalem and New Church in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Zossener Strasse , Section 3.1, was included in the list of honorary graves of the city of Berlin .

Public facilities and streets in Berlin are named after Heim, and numerous monuments have been erected for him - u. a. In Berlin-Marzahn, on Helene-Weigel-Platz, there is a bust created by the sculptor Siegfried Wehrmeister in 1986 - and over 16 biographies have appeared so far.

The Deutsche Bundespost Berlin honored the doctor on the 150th anniversary of his death in 1984 on a postage stamp on which his humor was also expressed through a wink.

An American plant genus was named Heimia in his honor .



Web links

Commons : Ernst Ludwig Heim  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Juliane Bluhm: Ernst Ludwig Heim. In: Memorial days of the month. Historical Cemeteries Foundation in Berlin-Brandenburg, September 2013, accessed on September 19, 2018 .
  2. ^ Rolf Straubel : Biographical manual of the Prussian administrative and judicial officials 1740–1806 / 15 . In: Historical Commission to Berlin (Ed.): Individual publications . 85. KG Saur Verlag, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-23229-9 , pp. 240 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  3. Deutsche Adelsgenossenschaft (Ed.): Yearbook of the German Adels . Volume 1, 1896, published by WT Bruer, p. 126 digitized
  4. Church Chronicle Solz
  5. ^ Johann Daniel Ferdinand Neigebaur : History of the Imperial Leopoldino-Carolinian German Academy of Natural Scientists during the second century of its existence. Friedrich Frommann , Jena 1860, p. 255 digitizedhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3D~IA%3Dgeschichtederka00neiggoog~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3Dn280~ double-sided%3D~LT%3D~PUR%3D
  6. ^ David Gledhill: The Names of Plants. 4th edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-86645-3 , p. 193.