Ludwig Rehn

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Ludwig Rehn (also Louis Rehn ; born April 13, 1849 in Allendorf , Electorate of Hesse ; † May 29, 1930 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a German surgeon and the first " cardiac surgeon ".

Live and act

Ludwig Rehn was the youngest of five children of the doctor who was born in Allendorf. After attending the monastery school in Bad Hersfeld , he studied medicine at the Philipps University of Marburg from 1869 to 1874 - interrupted from serving as a volunteer in the Franco-German War . There he became active in the Corps Hasso-Nassovia . 1874 Dr. med. after receiving his doctorate , he settled in Griesheim and later in Rödelheim as a general practitioner . During this time he also worked as a company doctor in the Griesheim chemical factory . He became known for clarifying the causes of bladder cancer among workers in the local aniline factories (in 1885 he had pointed out the connections between cancer and chemical influences ).

As Paul Jules Tillaux have also succeeded Rehn the successful surgical treatment of hyperthyroidism by removing (secretion forming) parts of the thyroid gland. From 1886 Rehn was a surgeon and later chief physician of the surgical clinic of the municipal hospital in Frankfurt am Main.

On September 9, 1896, Ludwig Rehn succeeded in suturing a stab wound in the human heart and thus the first successful heart suture ever. The patient was the 22-year-old gardener journeyman Wilhelm Justus, who was injured on September 6th in a knife stabbing in Nice , a park on the Frankfurt bank of the Main. The pioneering act was preceded by successful experiments on the heart of rabbits as well as a series of fatal rescue attempts in humans, which - without Rehn's knowledge - had occurred in Italy and Norway. From 1914 he was professor of surgery at the newly founded foundation university in Frankfurt am Main . He last took part in the First World War as a senior general practitioner. Rehn died at the age of 81 and was buried in the Frankfurt main cemetery.

His son Eduard Rehn and his grandson Jörg Rehn were also surgeons. His great-grandson Götz Rehn runs the organic company Alnatura , which he founded in 1984 .


Honorary grave of Ludwig Rehn in the Frankfurt main cemetery


  • Reinhard Frost: Rehn, Ludwig , in: Wolfgang Klötzer (Hrsg.): Frankfurter Biographie . Personal history lexicon . Second volume. M – Z (=  publications of the Frankfurt Historical Commission . Volume XIX , no. 2 ). Waldemar Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-7829-0459-1 , p. 177 f .
  • M. Sachs, A. Encke: Ludwig Rehn (1849–1930) and its importance for the development of modern surgery. In: Zentralblatt für Chirurgie. 121: 1005-1013 (1996).

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Kösener Corpslisten 1960, 99/328
  2. Holger Georg Dietrich, Klaus Golka: Bladder tumors and aromatic amines - historical milestones from Ludwig Rehn to Wilhelm Hueper . Frontiers in Bioscience 4 (2012), pp. 279-288
  3. ^ Otto Westphal , Theodor Wieland , Heinrich Huebschmann: life regulator. Of hormones, vitamins, ferments and other active ingredients. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1941 (= Frankfurter Bücher. Research and Life. Volume 1), p. 22 f.
  4. ^ JW Blatchford: Ludwig Rehn: the first successful cardiorrhaphy. In: Ann Thorac Surg. 39, 1985, pp. 492-495.
  5. Ernst Kern : Seeing - Thinking - Acting of a surgeon in the 20th century. ecomed, Landsberg am Lech 2000, ISBN 3-609-20149-5 , p. 198.
  6. ^ Hermann Mannebach: Hundred Years of Heart History. Development of cardiology 1887–1987 . Springer, Heidelberg 1988, ISBN 0-387-19299-9 , p. 109.
  7. ^ Gert Preiser: Ludwig Rehn and Victor Schmieden , in: Archive for Frankfurt's History and Art. Vol. 59, Frankfurt am Main 1985, pp. 423-438.
  8. Rainer Klawki: The heart medicine of the last 90 years. Science explosion. Edition Rarissima, Taunusstein 1988, ISBN 3-926625-03-1 .
  9. Grave of Ludwig Rehn in the Frankfurt main cemetery (grave V 143, location , pictures )
  10. Ludwig Rehn Prize of the Central Rhine Surgeons Association