Heinrich Braun (medic, 1862)

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Heinrich Braun

Heinrich Braun (born January 1, 1862 in Rawitsch , Province of Posen ; † April 26, 1934 in Überlingen ) was a German surgeon and anesthesia pioneer.

life and work

Braun attended the Kreuzschule and the Vitzthum-Gymnasium Dresden , where he passed the Abitur in 1881. He studied medicine at the Kaiser Wilhelms University , the Royal University of Greifswald and the University of Leipzig . He passed the state examination on December 22, 1887 and was promoted to Dr. med. PhD. From 1888 to 1891 he held an almost three-year assistant position at the Halle Surgical University Clinic. In 1891 he opened a small private clinic in Leipzig and in 1894 also took over a second one. In the same year he completed his habilitation. In 1899 he was appointed senior physician in charge of the newly built deaconess hospital in Leipzig and in 1905 he was appointed professor of surgery at the University of Leipzig. In 1906 he moved to the Royal Hospital in Zwickau as Medical Director . Here he should have his sphere of activity for 22 years.

Braun introduced several innovations in surgery and anesthesia . Among them were the open wound treatment, the invention of the "Braun's splint" for positioning the legs, the invention of an anesthetic device for the dosage of the anesthetics ether and chloroform at the time and the introduction of the procaine developed by Alfred Einhorn with the addition of suprarenine to local anesthesia . His student Arthur Läwen was involved in Braun's local anesthetic research . Braun also used procaine solutions in anesthesia close to the spinal cord, which he had developed together with the Leipzig pharmacologist Oskar Gros . From 1912 onwards, together with the Hamburg surgeon Hermann Kümmell and the Berlin surgeon August Bier , he realized the idea of ​​an operating theory that appeared in 1913 and was to remain the standard work in this field for decades.

Braun realized the idea of ​​a "hospital in the countryside" on the outskirts of the industrial city of Zwickau. Construction began in 1913. After an interruption due to the First World War, the surgical clinic was inaugurated on December 1, 1921; others followed in the next few years. The "Zwickau pavilion style" of the then ultra-modern hospital became the model for a number of other hospital buildings in Germany and beyond. Heinrich Braun saw the functional building as his life's work.

In 1921, Braun was persuaded by the Chemnitz doctor Gustav Boeters to carry out eugenically indicated sterilizations in his hospital. The sterilizations of initially three boys and one girl were illegal under the law in force at the time and were also intended to bring about a corresponding legal regulation.

Heinrich Braun headed the Medical Society Zwickau from 1908 to 1927 and was made an honorary citizen of the city of Zwickau in 1926. On March 30, 1928, he was retired from active service.


  • 1915 Kussmaul Medal for services to medicine from the University of Heidelberg
  • 1923 Honorary doctorate in dentistry from the University of Marburg
  • 1923/24 chairman of the German Society for Surgery
  • 1926 Appointment as honorary citizen of the city of Zwickau
  • In 1934, six months after his death, the Zwickau Clinic, which he had largely created, was named Heinrich-Braun-Krankenhaus in his honor
  • Secret Medical Council
  • Braun was once a Nobel Prize candidate


  • Karsten Fröhlich: Heinrich Braun , in: City of Zwickau (Ed.): 875 years of Zwickau . Chemnitzer Verlag - Werk Zwickau, 1993, pp. 28-29.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. H. Braun: The artificial sterilization of the feeble-minded . Zentralblatt für Chirurgie 51 (1924), pp. 104-106
  2. Walter Marle (Ed.): Lexicon of the entire therapy with diagnostic information. 2 volumes, 4th revised edition. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin / Vienna 1935 ( list of employees ).
  3. Anesthesia and Pain Research