Hugo von Ziemssen

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Professor Ziemssen
Grave of Hugo von Ziemssen on the old southern cemetery in Munich location

Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (born December 13, 1829 in Greifswald , † January 21, 1902 in Munich ) was a German internist , university professor, Royal Privy Council and director of the Municipal General Hospital (left the Isar) in Munich.


The son of the Swedish court judge Wilhelm Karl Ludwig Ziemssen (1786–1842) studied medicine from 1848 at the universities of Greifswald , Berlin and Würzburg . In Würzburg he was Rudolf Virchow's private assistant for a year . From 1852 to 1854 he studied again in Greifswald , where he received his doctorate in 1854 . He passed the state examination in Berlin in 1854 “summa cum laude”. He then worked, initially under Heinrich Haeser , later under Felix von Niemeyer and Hugo Ruehle , until 1861 as an assistant in Greifswald. He completed his habilitation in 1856 and became an associate professor in Greifswald in 1861.

Two years later he became professor of clinical medicine at the University of Erlangen and received the chair for special pathology and therapy. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 , he led a medical train from Nuremberg to France and worked in the Metz hospitals on behalf of an auxiliary committee .

Ziemssen moved to Munich in 1874, where he took over a chair at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and became director of the Municipal General Hospital (hospital on the left of the Isar). Until 1885 he headed the 2nd Medical Clinic and from 1885 the 1st Medical Clinic. In 1877 he founded the first German clinical institute. Ziemssen was dean of the medical faculty in Munich several times and in 1890 also rector of the university. He is one of the most important doctors of the second half of the 19th century and was the author of many specialist books.

Ziemssen was chairman of the 13th Congress for Internal Medicine, which took place from April 2nd to 5th, 1895 in Munich. In 1896 he was chairman of the Society of German Natural Scientists and Doctors . In 1898 he initiated the chair for hydro-, mechano-electrotherapy and physical medicine at the University of Munich. In 1899 he became an honorary citizen of the city of Munich .

With special electrophysiological examinations, Ziemssen was able to prove in 1882 that electric shocks lead to a change in the heart rate: he stimulated the heart of the patient Catharina Serafin, a 46-year-old day laborer from Upper Silesia, who had surgically removed an ecchondroma of the ribs and resected the left one anterior chest wall was only covered by a thin layer of skin, with Faraday's and galvanic currents, which led to a decrease in heart rate.

In recognition of his achievements, a street was named after him in 1903 , which is located at what is now the Medical Clinic downtown of the Ludwig Maximilians University. In addition, the Inner City Medical Clinic awards the Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen Prize every 2 years for outstanding scientific publications on medical issues. The German Society for Cardiology - Heart and Circulatory Research (DGK) has awarded the Hugo von Ziemssen Poster Prize annually since 2002.


The tomb of Ziemssen is on the old southern cemetery in Munich (burial ground 9 - number 80 - Place 51/53) Location .


The Munich gynecologist Max Stumpf received his doctorate from von Ziemssen in 1875 with a dissertation on the effects of Herba Jaborandi . Oskar Panizza received his doctorate summa cum laude from von Ziemssen on October 18, 1880 with a dissertation on myelin, pigment, epithelia and micrococci in sputum .

Fonts (selection)

  • Hugo Ziemssen and FA Zenker: German Archive for Clinical Medicine
  • Hugo von Ziemssen: Handbook of skin diseases . Vogel, Leipzig 1883-
  • Pharmacopoea Clinici Erlangensis: brief instructions for the ordination of the most important medicines; with special consideration for poor practice; compiled for clinical interns and prospective poor doctors . Besold, Erlangen 2nd edition. 1874 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Hugo von Ziemssen (Ed.): Handbook of general therapy . Vogel, Leipzig 1880/81
  • Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (ed.): The diseases of the liver . Vogel, Leipzig 1878
  • Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (Ed.): Handbook of the diseases of the chylopoetic apparatus . 6 volumes, Vogel, Leipzig 1874/80
  • Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen: Electricity in medicine. Studies . Hirschwald, Berlin 1866
  • Hugo (Wilhelm) Ziemssen: Difference in the excitability of paralyzed nerves and muscles against the faradic and galvanic current . 4 parts. 17 S. In: Berliner Klin. Wochenschrift . Volume 3, pp. 40–53. Hirschwald, Berlin 1866
  • Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen: pleurisy and pneumonia in childhood. A monograph based on my own observations . Hirschwald, Berlin 1862


  • Ziemssen, Hugo von . In: Grete Grewolls: Who was who in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania? A dictionary of persons . Edition Temmen, Bremen 1995, ISBN 3-86108-282-9 , p. 483.
  • Julius Pagel : Biographical lexicon of outstanding doctors of the nineteenth century . Berlin, Vienna 1901, Col. 1899–1902. ( Digitized at )
  • Brigitte Hoffmann: Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen: (1829-1902) - a bibliography . Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Munich, 1972
  • Angelika Pierson: Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (1829-1902): the scientific work. Dr. Hat, 2007, ISBN 3899635302
  • Wolfgang G. Locher: Ziemssen, Hugo Wilhelm von. In: Encyclopedia of Medical History. Edited by Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil and Wolfgang Wegner, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and New York 2005, p. 1529 f.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wolfgang G. Locher: Ziemssen, Hugo Wilhelm von. 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 , pp. 1529 f .; here: p. 1529.
  2. Locher (2005), p. 1529
  3. ^ Hugo von Ziemssen Poster Prize. Accessed November 5, 2019 (German).