Oppenheim, Hermann

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OPPENHEIM, HERMANN (1858–1919), German neurologist and researcher of the nervous system. Oppenheim, born in Warburg, published many studies on the anatomy and pathology of the brain, the spinal cord, and the peripheral nerves. He improved the methods for examining patients with nervous disorders, and introduced many important innovations in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, especially in the diagnosis of brain tumors and their localization, as well as in meningitis aphasia. A congenital disease of the brain stem and spinal cord in infants is named after him. The fruits of his rich experiments were assembled in his work Lehrbuch der Nervenkrankheiten fuer Aerzte und Studierende, which was published in seven editions (first in 1894) and translated into many languages. It became the textbook for neurologists throughout the world for decades. Oppenheim was the founder and organizer of the German Neurological Association and its chairman for many years. Despite his international reputation and a unanimous recommendation by the medical faculty of Berlin University that he be appointed to the chair in neurology, the Prussian government refused to sanction this unless he be converted to Christianity, which Oppenheim resolutely refused.


A. Stern, In bewegter Zeit (1968), 55–60.

[Joseph Prager]