Neuburger, Max

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NEUBURGER, MAX (1868–1955), Austrian medical historian. Born in Vienna, Neuburger worked at the Rudolfspital and the Allegemeines Krankhaus and in 1898 went to teach at the University of Vienna. There he devoted himself more and more to medical history and was appointed professor of the history of medicine in 1904. He developed the department into a proper institute for the study of medical history and built up its library and museum (later described by A. Levinson, see bibl.). From 1901 to 1913 he collaborated with J. Pagel on a revised and enlarged edition of the history of medicine by his mentor, Theodor Puschmann. It appeared in three volumes, under the title Handbuch der Geschichte der Medi zin (1902–05), a comprehensive and authoritative account of medical history. At the same time he wrote Geschichteder Medizin (vol. 1, 1906; vol. 2, 1911; Eng. trans. by E. Playfair 1910–25) which served at the time as the most authoritative textbook on medical history of the ancient and medieval period, and aroused much interest in its treatment of Arabic and Jewish medicine. In 1928 on the occasion of his 60th birthday, he was presented with a Festschrift by his colleagues, friends, and disciples, Festschrift zur Feier seines 60. Geburtstages… Max Neuburger.

He showed an interest in Jewish aspects of medicine, writing Die ersten an der Wiener medizinischen Fakultaet promovierten Aerzte juedischen Stammes (1918), and in 1936 he read a paper on Jewish doctors at the international congress for history of medicine in Jerusalem, published as Die Stellung der juedischen Aerzte in der Geschichte der medizinischen Wissenschaften (1936). Neuburger fled from the Nazis in 1938, settling in England, where he worked in The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum (1938–48). While in Britain he continued his research, writing British Medicine and the Vienna School (1943), in which he showed the reciprocal influence of both countries in medicine in the 18th and 19th centuries, and British and German Psychiatry in the Second Half of the Early Nineteenth Century (1945).

On his retirement in 1948 he was presented with Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag Max Neuburgers in his honor (containing a bibliography). He then went to live in the U.S. until 1952, when he moved to Vienna, where he died. His other works include Die Medizin im Flavius Josephus (1919); Hermann Nothnagel; Leben und Wirken (1922); Die Lehre von der Heilkraft der Natur im Wandel der Zeiten (1926); and Gomez Pereira, ein spanischer Arzt des 16. Jahrhunderts (1936).


The Times (March 17, 1955), 8e; jc (March 25, 1955), 35; A. Levinson, Professor Neuburger and his Institute for the History of Medicine (1924); E. Berghoff, Max Neuburger, Werken und Wirken (1948), incl. bibl.