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Oppenheimer, Carl


OPPENHEIMER, CARL (1874–1941), German biochemist. Born in Berlin, Oppenheimer was the second son of a reform rabbi, and brother of the economist Franz Oppenheimer. In 1902 he joined the Berlin Agricultural Academy, and was professor there from 1908 until dismissed by the Nazis in 1936. In 1938 he went to Holland as head of the agricultural department of a company in The Hague. He died in Zeist, Holland, probably murdered by the Nazis.

As a young man Oppenheimer wrote textbooks which were translated into many languages and became the most popular chemical books for medical students all over the world: Grundriss der organischen Chemie (1895, 193014); Grundriss der anorganischen Chemie (1898; 1934145). His Die Fermente und ihre Wirkungen (1900; 4 vols., 1925–305, suppl. 2 vols., 1935–38) gave enzymology its form and structure, and was followed by Toxine und Antitoxine (1904). Oppenheimer held that the study of living matter needed a knowledge of both the medical and the exact sciences. From 1909 to 1936 he published numerous basic texts in biochemistry as well as founding and editing the journals Zentralblatt fuer Biochemie und Biophysik (1910–21) and Enzymologia (1936–41).

[Samuel Aaron Miller]

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