Gustav Giemsa

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Gustav Giemsa

Gustav Giemsa (born November 20, 1867 in Medar-Blechhammer ( Upper Silesia ; now part of the city of Kędzierzyn-Koźle ); † June 10, 1948 in Biberwier ) was a German chemist and bacteriologist .

life and work

Giemsa studied pharmacy and mineralogy at the University of Leipzig and chemistry and bacteriology in Berlin. During his studies he became a member of the Franconia Leipzig Landsmannschaft in 1893 . In the meantime, he worked from 1895 to 1898 as a government pharmacist and chemist in German East Africa . In 1900 he moved to Hamburg and took over the chemical department in the newly founded Hamburg Institute for Ship and Tropical Diseases, today's Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine . Giemsa received the title of professor in 1914 and read about chemotherapy at Hamburg University from 1919 .

His field of work was above all tropical hygiene . Here he successfully conducted research in the field of new active ingredients and introduced new therapeutics. The Giemsa stain for protozoa, which he developed as an improvement on the Romanowsky stain , bears his name and is still used today. Giemsa was the recipient of the Bernhard Nocht Medal . In 1936 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina .

After the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists , he became a member of the NSDAP in May 1933 . On November 11, 1933, he was one of the signatories of the “ Confession of German Professors to Adolf Hitler ” at the festive event “With Adolf Hitler for the German people's honor, freedom and justice! ”.

Giemsa spent his old age from 1937 in Biberwier / Tyrol, where a street is named after him. He was an uncle by marriage of Elisabeth Urbancic .


  • HW Frickhinger: On the 80th birthday of Professor Giemsa. Journal of Pest Science 21 (1948) No. 2, 28-29.
  • Ernst G. Nauck:  Giemsa, Berthold Gustav Carl. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7 , p. 371 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Antoni Jonecko: The Upper Silesian Gustaw Giemsa (1867-1948), his universal microscopic staining method and his tropical medicine and chemotherapeutic services. in: Archiwum Historii i Filozofii Medycyny 59.1 (1996), 31-40.
  • G. Klinkhamer: In honor of Gustav Giemsa. German Doctor bl. 95 (1998) No. 23, p. 48.
  • B. Fleischer: 100 years ago: Giemsa's solution for staining of plasmodia. Trop Med Int Health. 9: 755-756 (2004).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Berthold Ohm and Alfred Philipp (eds.): Directory of addresses of the old men of the German Landsmannschaft. Part 1. Hamburg 1932, p. 130.
  2. a b Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 182.