Medical Academy Erfurt

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Medical Academy Erfurt
activity September 1, 1954 - December 31, 1993
Sponsorship state
place Erfurt

The Medical Academy Erfurt (MAE), in 1992/1993 as Medizinische Hochschule Erfurt referred (MHE), was established on September 1st, 1954 Medical University with doctoral and habilitation degrees in Erfurt , at the time the district capital of the district of Erfurt in GDR and since 1990 capital of the Free State of Thuringia . The study at the MAE comprised the clinical part of the medical studies after the students had completed the pre-clinical part up to the physics at the medical faculties of various universities in the GDR. The university was closed on 31 December 1993, as a successor to the originated the Helios group belonging Klinikum Erfurt , a hospital of maximum care and academic teaching hospital of the University of Jena .


Foundation and expansion

The Medical Academy Erfurt was founded in 1954 together with two other medical academies in Dresden and Magdeburg . The background was the inadequate training capacity of the medical faculties at the universities in the GDR, not least in view of the ongoing migration of doctors and medical students to West Germany . The university emerged from the existing municipal hospitals in the city of Erfurt, which were extensively expanded in the following years through renovations and new buildings. For example, an institute for pathology , an ENT and eye clinic , an institute for pharmacology and a cafeteria were newly built, and the surgical clinic was enlarged with an extension. The women's clinic received a newly built ward block in 1974 and, with over 400 beds, became the largest facility of its kind in the GDR.

For the basic stomatology course introduced at MAE in 1973 to train 100 graduates per academic year, a new ten-story building followed in 1975, in which an institute for pathobiochemistry and an institute for pathophysiology were set up. For the overarching management of the dental study process, the sectional model with five independent chairs was introduced for the first time: the classic chairs for conservative, orthopedic and prosthetic dentistry as well as for maxillofacial surgery and, for the first time, a chair for preventive dentistry at a German university.

The training of doctors and dentists at the MAE was limited to the clinical part of medical studies and dentistry , after passing the first section of the medical and dental examination (Physikum). The students completed their pre-clinical study years at the Humboldt University in Berlin , at the Karl Marx University in Leipzig , the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena or at Eastern European universities. In 1961, the academy was expanded to include a medical college , where students were taught various medical-related occupations. At the turn of the year 1989/1990 around 600 students were enrolled at the Medical Academy Erfurt, as well as 85 university lecturers and around 3,500 employees in 38 clinics, institutes and other independent facilities. As at all higher education institutions in the GDR, there was an institute for Marxism-Leninism at the MAE for the ideological training of the students, but also of the staff including professors, lecturers and academic assistants. With around 2,100 beds, the MAE was the central hospital for the city of Erfurt and the surrounding district of Erfurt-Land and the district of Erfurt .

Changes after 1989

At the time of the political change in the GDR, there were also efforts to democratize the MAE, for example through the establishment of the working group “Democracy at the MAE” in November 1989. On their initiative, a round table and free elections for the Scientific Council followed in early 1990 , Senate and Rector, and last but not least a staff council as employee representative. Bodies and institutions such as the management department, the university party group of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the Vice Rector for Social Sciences, the SED-led university union management, the university management of the Free German Youth (FDJ) were dissolved, as was the civil defense department , the Institute of Marxism-Leninism and the Department of Military Medicine . The company newspaper Akademie-Spiegel , published by the SED party leadership , was renamed the university newspaper in 1990 and was given an independent editorial team headed by Winfried Müller .

After German reunification , the MAE was renamed "Medical University Erfurt" (MHE) in July 1992 by the Thuringian University Act and thus confirmed. Efforts were made as early as 1990, including a pilot study, to expand medical training at the university to include the pre-clinical area. As at all universities in the former GDR, heads of clinics, institutes and departments had to face a “question of trust” from employees. Professors and lecturers had to undergo a technical and political evaluation and were then appointed by the Thuringian Minister of Science as “university lecturers under the new law”. Vacancies were advertised and filled accordingly.

Abolition of the college

At the beginning of November 1992 the government and the state parliament of Thuringia decided - despite a positive evaluation of the university by the Science Council and strong public protests by university teachers and students - to discontinue the MHE on December 31, 1993 for financial reasons. A citizens' initiative was already in place in June 1992 was founded to maintain the MHE, in which high-ranking personalities from the city and the university participated, including all former rectors still alive. At the beginning of November 1992 there was a "call to rescue the MHE" by the Senate and the City of Erfurt. 20,000 Erfurt citizens took part in a protest rally on Domplatz. By December 1993, a collection of signatures resulted in 76,000 signatures for the receipt of the MHE.

The students present at the university in 1993 were able to continue their studies in Erfurt until 1996 and finish with the state examination. The right to confer doctorates (with transitional provisions until the end of the 1990s) and the right to habilitation expired. In contrast to the existing medical academies in Dresden and Magdeburg , which were integrated into the respective universities as medical faculties, the MHE was not incorporated into the University of Erfurt , which was re-founded a year later and whose specialist focus was to be on the humanities and social sciences . The Thuringian "Law for the Establishment of the University of Erfurt and for the Abolition of the Medical University of Erfurt" of December 23, 1993 makes clear the connection between the establishment of the university and the abolition of the MHE. On December 17, 1993, an “Academic Requiem” took place in the ballroom of the town hall, where the rector of the MHE handed over the university's academic insignia to the city of Erfurt for “safekeeping”.

The operation of the new Klinikum Erfurt GmbH - as a maximum care hospital and as an academic teaching hospital of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena - took over after a transition period of several years with another private provider (GFK Krankenhausmanagement GmbH Teltow) with the participation of the city of Erfurt, the private Helios -Group . The Center for Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine was closed in 1996. The libraries of the individual institutes and clinics were closed in 1994, the central library of the MHE was initially a branch of the Thuringian university and state library in Jena and closed at the end of the 1990s.

Traditions and personalities

Classification in the history of the Erfurt university

Rector's seal of the old Erfurt University

When it was founded, the Erfurt Medical Academy saw itself in the tradition of Hierana , the first Erfurt university that existed from 1392 to 1816. A visible expression was the execution of the chain of office of the rector of the MAE donated by the Erfurt City Council for the opening . It contained the rector's seal of the University of Erfurt from the beginning of the 15th century, the seal of the medical faculty from 1475, the seal of the second rector of the university (1394/1395) Amplonius Rating de Berka and the Erfurt city arms. The rector's seal of the old university was also used for all official documents and certificates of the academy.

After lectures on the history of medicine had been given by external lecturers since 1956, a department for the history of medicine was established in 1960. In the following decades, under the direction of Horst Rudolf Abe , extensive research was carried out on the medical history of Erfurt and the history of the University of Erfurt. This department was also responsible for the publication of the series of publications, Contributions to the History of the University of Erfurt (1392-1816), which has been published since 1956 and which appeared from 1984 under the title Contributions to the history of science and universities in Erfurt . By 1991 a total of 22 volumes and five new editions with contributions by 103 authors had been published.

Persons working at the university

The founding rector of the Medical Academy Erfurt was the surgeon Egbert Schwarz from 1954 to 1959 , director of the surgical clinic of the municipal hospitals since 1934. He was followed from 1959 to 1963 by the pathologist Harry Güthert , from 1963 to 1965 by the ENT doctor Kurt Schröder , from 1965 to 1965 In 1970 the internist August Sundermann , from 1970 to 1973 the pediatrician Helmut Patzer , from 1973 to 1985 the surgeon Werner Usbeck , from 1985 to 1989 the cardiologist Joachim Knappe and from January to May 1990 the surgeon Rudolf Henke. The first freely elected rector after the reunification in the GDR was the dentist Walter Künzel on May 8, 1990 , who headed the university until it was hired at the end of 1993.

Other well-known university lecturers at the academy included the pharmacologist Fritz Markwardt , who succeeded in isolating and characterizing hirudin in the 1950s , Karl Leonhard , who worked in Erfurt as professor of psychiatry and neurology, Klaus Niedner and Heinz Spitzbart , as professors for gynecology and obstetrics, Bernd Nilius as professor of physiology and the medical historian Horst Rudolf Abe . The graduates included, for example, the long-time President of the German Red Cross of the GDR Werner Ludwig , who received his habilitation at MAE in 1962, and Klaus Thielmann , who served as Minister for Health Services of the GDR in 1989/1990.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Christoph Matschie , since 2009 Minister of Culture and Deputy Prime Minister in Thuringia , worked in vain expecting a place in medicine as a nursing assistant at the ENT clinic of the MAE. The RAF terrorist Silke Maier-Witt worked as a nurse in the same clinic under the code name “Angelika Gerlach” .

University building (selection)


  • Horst Rudolf Abe : The Medical Academy Erfurt as the traditional bearer of the Erfurt University. In: Festschrift of the Medical Academy Erfurt on the occasion of the foundation of the Erfurt University in 1392: 600 years University of Erfurt, four decades of the Medical Academy Erfurt. Published by the Rector of the Medical Academy Erfurt, Erfurt 1992, pp. 13–45.
  • Horst Rudolf Abe: The Medical Academy Erfurt (1954–1991). In: Festschrift of the Medical Academy Erfurt on the occasion of the foundation of the Erfurt University in 1392: 600 years University of Erfurt, four decades of the Medical Academy Erfurt. Published by the Rector of the Medical Academy Erfurt. Erfurt 1992, pp. 46-75.
  • Harry Güthert (Ed.): Festschrift for the opening of the Medical Academy Erfurt . Erfurt 1954.
  • Jutta Krüger: Hope and fall. The Erfurt Medical Academy 1990–1993: Report and documentation of a contemporary witness . Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2014, ISBN 978-3-7386-0915-8 .
  • Walter Künzel , Edwin Lenz: The dentistry, oral and maxillofacial medicine at the Medical Academy Erfurt. In: Festschrift of the Medical Academy Erfurt on the occasion of the foundation of the Erfurt University in 1392: 600 years University of Erfurt, four decades of the Medical Academy Erfurt. Published by the Rector of the Medical Academy Erfurt, Erfurt 1992, pp. 102-131.
  • Walter Künzel: A foreword on the establishment of the Stomatology Section at the Medical Academy Erfurt. In: Stomatology of the GDR. 26/1976. Society for Stomatology of the GDR, ISSN  0302-4725 , pp. 299-303.
  • Steffen Raßloff : University tradition . To the memorial for the Medical Academy in Castel Sant'Angelo. In: Thuringian General . Edition March 10, 2012.

Web links

Commons : Medical Academy Erfurt  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Order on the establishment of medical academies of July 20, 1954 (Zentralblatt p. 351)
  2. Jutta Krüger: Hope and Fall. The MAE 1990–1993 . Norderstedt 2014, p. 76.

Coordinates: 50 ° 59 ′ 29 ″  N , 11 ° 0 ′ 45 ″  E