Ernst Schweninger

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Ernst Schweninger

Ernst Schweninger (born June 15, 1850 in Freystadt , † January 13, 1924 in Munich ) was a German physician and medical historian .


Ernst Schweninger with his patient Otto von Bismarck and Reich dog Tyras in Bad Kissingen
Grave of Ernst Schweninger in the Solln cemetery in Munich

Ernst Schweninger was the son of a doctor from Freystadt (Upper Palatinate). From 1866 he studied in Munich, Strasbourg and Vienna. In 1870 he became an assistant to Ludwig von Buhl . Schweninger completed his studies in 1872 with the state examination, received his doctorate in Munich in 1873 and qualified as a professor at the University of Pathological Anatomy in 1875 with a thesis on " Transplantation and Implantation of Hair ". In 1879 he began extensive practical medical work a. a. at the then newly established district hospital in the villa village of Groß-Lichterfelde near Berlin.

After he had completely cured Chancellor Prince Otto von Bismarck , he was appointed associate professor at Berlin University in 1884 , as an associate member of the health department and director of the department for skin diseases at the Charité . In 1886 he built a sanatorium in Heidelberg to treat obese people using a cure method developed by Max Joseph Oertel . From 1900 to 1906 Schweninger managed the newly built district hospital in Groß-Lichterfelde, which he expanded into a center for naturopathy. During this time he and his assistant doctor Georg Hauffe developed the technique of descending and ascending forearm baths ("increasing forearm baths according to Hauffe-Schweninger"). In doing so, Schweninger built on his father's experiences and woke the partial baths "as an ancient German cultural asset from their slumber." For the management of this district hospital he gave up almost all of his private work with heavy financial sacrifices. He pursued the claim to treat all sick people himself. With the greatest care he looked for a surgeon who would be suitable to be a specialist under him. He chose Carl Ludwig Schleich (1859–1922), who was still one of the outlaws of science. In Schweninger's self-image, the doctor was not a “template doctor” who equips his consulting room with machines and equipment, but “an artist doctor”.

He treated many celebrities of his time, e.g. B. Cosima and Winifred Wagner , Alfred Krupp , Ernst Haeckel , Leo Slezak .

In 1902 he was appointed full professor of medical history at the University of Berlin instead of Julius Pagel .

In 1898 Schweninger married Countess Magdalena Moltke (1864–1957), who had been divorced from the painter Franz von Lenbach two years earlier , and who had belonged to Otto von Bismarck's circle of friends with her first husband.

Ernst Schweninger died in Munich in 1924 at the age of 73 and was cremated in the municipal crematorium there . His grave is in the Solln cemetery there .

The doctor and psychoanalyst Georg Groddeck (1866–1934) dedicated his work “NASAMECU. The healthy and sick person presented in a commonly understandable way "to the" doctor and human being Ernst Schweninger ". Ernst Schweninger was Georg Groddeck's doctoral supervisor. Georg Groddeck is considered to be one of Ernst Schweninger's most talented students.

Fonts (selection)

  • Collected works. Berlin 1886.
  • About Koch's cure for tuberculosis . Hamburg and Leipzig 1890–1891.
  • Obesity. Berlin 1894.
  • In memory of Bismarck on April 1, 1899. Leipzig 1899.
  • From my work in the Gross-Lichterfelde district hospital 1900-1906. Berlin 1906.
  • The doctor (= society . Vol. 7). Frankfurt am Main 1906, written by Emil Klein , Schweninger's student.
  • On the cancer question . Berlin 1914.


  • Georg Otto Schwarz: Ernst Schweninger. Bismarck's personal physician. Leipzig 1941.
  • Karl Ed. Rothschuh : Ernst Schweninger (1850-1924). To his life and work. Additions, corrections. In: Medizinhistorisches Journal 19, 1984, No. 3, pp. 250-258 ( JSTOR 25803792 at JSTOR ).
  • Alfred Brauchle : The first naturopathic hospital. The district hospital in Groß-Lichterfelde . Prof. Dr. med. Ernst Schweninger, Bismark's personal physician. In: the same: history of naturopathy in life pictures . 2nd, expanded edition of Große Naturärzte . Reclam, Stuttgart 1951, pp. 305-327.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Manfred Stürzbecher : Schwenninger, Ernst. 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. 1311.
  2. a b c Wolfgang U. Eckart : Ernst Schweninger , in: Wolfgang U. Eckart and Christoph Gradmann (eds.): Ärztelexikon. From antiquity to the 20th century , 1st edition 1995 CH Beck Munich pp. 325 + 326, medical dictionary. From antiquity to the present , 2nd edition 2001, pp. 284 + 285, 3rd edition 2006 Springer Verlag Heidelberg, Berlin, New York p. 296. Ärztelexikon 2006 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-540-29585 -3 .
  3. Oliver Hilmes: Mistress of the Hill. The life of Cosima Wagner. Siedler, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-88680-836-6 , p. 338 f.
  4. ^ So Georg Hauffe: The physical therapy of the general practitioner. Berlin 1926, p. 4.
  5. a b Georg Groddeck: From the human belly and its soul. Psychosomatic Writings 1917–1934 , edited by Michael Giefer on behalf of the Georg Groddeck Society, Stroemfeld / Roter Stern, Frankfurt am Main and Basel 2011, p. 254.
  6. Müller-Plathe, Oswald: Bismarck's "Schwarzer Tyrann", In: Hamburger Ärzteblatt, May 10, 2016, p. 35
  7. ^ Heinz Goerke:  Pagel, Julius. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 19, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-428-00200-8 , p. 759 ( digitized version ).
  8. Sonja L. Baranow née Mehl:  Lenbach, Franz. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 14, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-428-00195-8 , pp. 198-200 ( digitized version ).
  9. ^ Georg Otto Schwarz: Ernst Schweninger. Bismarck's personal physician. Leipzig 1941.
  10. ^ The grave of Ernst Schweninger
  11. Georg Groddeck: NASAMECU. The healthy and sick person presented in a generally understandable way, edited by Michael Giefer on behalf of the Georg Groddeck Society, Stroemfeld / Roter Stern, Frankfurt am Main and Basel 2014, dedication p. 10.
  12. Karl E. Rothschuh : The book "The Doctor" (1906) does not come from Ernst Schweninger! In: Medizinhistorisches Journal 18, 1983, pp. 137-144.