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Hirsch, August


HIRSCH, AUGUST (Aron Simon ; 1817–1894), German physician, founder of the branch of historical and geographical pathology. Hirsch, who studied in Leipzig and Berlin, had originally intended to enter the Anglo-Indian service. His monumental work, Handbuch der historisch-geographischen Pathologie (2 vols., 1860–64), was translated into English (1883). It deals with the geographical distribution of diseases and with their appearance and disappearance throughout the ages. It became a standard textbook on the subject. From 1863 until his retirement he held the chair of medical history at Berlin University. Hirsch was active in the fight against cholera and the plague. He was cofounder of the German Public Health Association and its president from 1871 to 1885. In this capacity, he described various outbreaks of cholera in Prussia and Russia. Hirsch was a prolific writer and made numerous contributions on medical historical subjects. He was also interested in ophthalmology and his Geschichte der Augenheilkunde was published in 1877. From 1884 to 1888 he was one of the editors of the Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte aller Zeiten und Voelker.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 554.

[Suessmann Muntner]

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