EK — Medicine

Ärzte-Tode: Unnatürliches und gewaltsames Ableben in neun Kapiteln und einem biographischen Anhang [Physicians’ Deaths: Unnatural and Violent Demise in Nine Chapters and a Biographical Appendix]. Volker Klimpel. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2005. 173 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-8260-2769-8: EUR 18 [06-1-160]

In this volume the author continues his compilations of biographies of physicians with a different approach from that of his former works, e.g., Lexikon fremdsprachiger Schriftsteller-Ärzte (Frankfurt am Main, 2006). Personal data such as birthplace, second profession, etc., are not the criteria for inclusion, but rather “violent and spectacular causes of death such as suicide, murder, homicide, execution, accident, and drugs.” Contrary to the title, however, the work does include some physicians who died natural deaths. Although the individuals chosen date as far back as the Middle Ages, most of them belong to the 20th century, and there are many who were victims of National Socialism or served under it and at the end of the Third Reich committed suicide or were executed. [sh/mjc]

Dtv-Atlas Sexualität [Dtv-Atlas on Sexuality] Erwin J. Haeberle. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2005. 219 p. ill. 19 cm. ISBN 3-423-03235-9: EUR 12.50 [06-1-161]

This visual dictionary is based on a series of lectures delivered by renowned sexologist Erwin J. Haberle from 1991 to 1993. The content of the lectures is updated and distributed over three chapters: male and female bodies, human sexual behavior, and sexuality and society. Ninety-eight illustrations sit side-by-side with extensive explanations and commentaries. The comprehensive index lists names and subjects. The four-page glossary includes laymen’s terms and popular expressions that should be avoided in scientific literature. The presentation is followed by a short, rather dated, bibliography and a list of Internet sites (up to 2005).

The list of Internet sites has many duplicate entries; for example, six references to Pro Familia, a family planning organization, five references to Onmeda, an Internet portal for medicine and seven references to the Rechtskommitee Lamda [Lamda Legal Committee], Austria’s lgbt-rights-organisation. Criteria for selection of sites are not clear, Onmeda should be excluded from this selection of recommended sites because of heavily targeted advertising; one URL is a dynamic search result within a popular journal and cannot be called up. The organization of this atlas around a lecture series by a specialist still makes this dictionary worthwhile as an introduction to the field of sexology. [jr/hm]

Atlas der Körperwelt [Atlas of the Body]. Pierluigi Diano. Transl. from the Italian by Peter Klöss. München: Frederking & Thaler, 2006. 184 p. ill. 29 cm. Uniform title: Le grand atlas du corps humain. ISBN 978-3-89405-671-1; ISBN 3-89405-671-1: EUR 50 [06-2-388]

Using source photographs from the Science Photo Library, Atlas der Körperwelt is divided into 27 thematic areas, covering the cell and various organ and body systems, and including a short excursion into bionics. Elaborate triptych panel foldouts, i.e., so-called altar or window foldouts, are reserved for the table of contents, the respiratory system, the eye, and bionics, although the rationale for the choice of these particular topics to receive such expansive treatment is not stated. The first of seven numbered chapters provides an introduction to and an explanation of the 16 photographic processes used to capture the images contained in the book, ranging from macro photography to positron emission tomography. Chapters with fold-out illustrations devoted to organ and body systems follow. The seventh chapter includes a chronology, glossary, bibliography, subject index, and a source index to the photographs.

Atlas der Körperwelt succeeds beautifully in presenting fascinating and esthetic aspects of the human body. It is recommended for all types of libraries. [jr/jb]

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race [Published in association with the exhibition “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race,” held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2004 to May 29, 2004]. Ed. Dieter Kuntz. Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2006. xiii, 226 p. ill. 33 cm. Catalog reissued for the specal exhibit “Tödliche Medizin: Rassenwahn im Nationalsozialismus” [Deadly Medicine: Racial Madness in National Socialism] at the German Museum of Hygiene, Dresden, Dec. 12, 2006-June 24, 2007. ISBN 0-8078-2916-1: EUR 29.90 (Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Lingnerpl. 1, D-01069 Dresden, http://www.dhmd.de) [06-2-389]

Deadly Medicine is the first large exhibition that explicitly and in detail covers the racial hygiene and “euthanasia” programs during the National Socialist period 1933-1945. The English-language catalog is designed to accompany the visitor, but it is so weighted as to allow the visitor to study the exhibit quietly before and afterward and encourage the reader to return for a second visit, The exhibition depicts the gruesomeness in such a way as to leave no observer untouched, even one who has read widely on this subject.

The book’s brown covers with black writing arouse threatening associations with the SA and the SS. Half the content of the catalog is printed on lab notebook paper commonly used by scientists. The dustjacket features a set of calipers (used for measuring head form and brain volume for racial classifications) and a chart of different eye colors for analogous purposes. The quality of the illustrations—photographs of persons and buildings, book and brochure titles, posters, maps, source documents, and medical instrument—is quite good, whether they be black-and-white or in color. Most are sepia-toned, imparting an effect of hominess and of times past, but which on closer inspection are revealed to be places of murder, subjects innocently allowing themselves to be measured and evaluated only to be later selected for exclusion and possibly extermination. Usually there is only one photo per page, preventing the reader from being distracted and holding the reader’s attention.

This work is divided into seven chapters compiled by scientists banned from Nazi Germany. The sections follow a fearsome crescendo from theoretical eugenics and race research to euthanasia/mass murder of the mental patients in Bemburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Haramar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein/Pirna. And these lead the way to the extermination camps Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno (Kulmhof), Maidanek, Sobibor und Treblinka.

The main contributors are Sheila Faith Weiss: German Eugenics, 1890-1933; Daniel J. Kevles: International Eugenics; Gisela Bock: Nazi Sterilization and Reproductive Policies; Benoit Massin: The “Science of Race”; Michael Burleigh: Nazi “Euthanasia” Programs; and Henry Friedlander: From “Euthanasia” to “Final Solution.” The catalog concludes with an essay by Benno Müller-Hill, one of the first postwar German scientists to undertake studies of science in the Third Reich and the author of Murderous science: The Elimination by Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and others in Germany, 1933-1945 (Plainview, NY, 1998), a translation of the 1984 German original. The endnotes and bibliography give many useful references. Only English-language titles are listed, but the important works have been translated into German.

Scholarly books and essays can inform and instruct, but a visual exhibition engages the observer’s mind and the senses in unique and crucial ways, for example, the sight of the asbestos glove used by the stoker of a crematorium, furnishings and equipment from examination rooms, personal effects from the victims, and photographs of men in white lab coats going about their work. These and more form a large collection of everyday objects and scenes that illustrate the “banality of evil” and the raise the question of whether the genetic research carried out during Third Reich had any scientific merit at all. [frh/ga]

Ärzte-Lexikon: Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart [Lexicon of Doctors: From Antiquity to the Present]. Ed. W.U. Ekkart and G. Gradmann. 3d rev. ed. Heidelberg: Springer-Medizin-Verlag, 2006. ix, 398 p. ill. 20 cm. ISBN 978-3-540-29584-6; ISBN 3-540-29584-4: EUR 24.95 [06-2-390]

The first edition of this work was published as a paperback by Beck-Verlag in 1995 (see IFB 99-B09-166). Springer took it over and in 2001 published a second, “completely revised” edition (see RREA 7:356), but which added only 12 new biographies to the 687 in the first edition. This third edition adds 28 more, bringing the total to 727 entries, each of which has brief biographical information, together with a black-and-white portrait, about selected doctors from antiquity to the present. It is unfortunate that the bibliographical information about each doctor, which was found in previous editions, has been significantly reduced. There are several indexes. Several other biographical dictionaries of physicians and similar medical professionals have been reviewed in RREA 9:357-361. [sh/ldl]

Bibliotheca Sudhoffiana: Medizin und Wissenschaftsgeschichte in der Gelehrtenbibliothek von Karl Sudhoff [… Medicine and the History of Science in the Scholarly Library of Karl Sudhoff]. Andreas Frewer. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2003. 406 p. ill. 25 cm. (Schriftenreihe, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2; Sudhoffs Archiv: Beihefte, 52). ISBN 3-515-07883-5: EUR 68 [06-2-391]

This bibliography is the first systematic catalog of the 3,000-volume library assembled by Karl Sudhoff (1853-1938), the founder of the German Society for the History of Medicine and the Natural Sciences. The core of his library (which contains some 4,000 works) is a collection of special works by the 16th-century Swiss alchemist and physician Paracelsus (cf. Sudhoff’s Bibliographia Paracelsica, Berlin, 1894; Graz, 1958), and this catalog preserves Sudhoff’s original subject categories. There are two indexes, neither of which is complete or comprehensive. Modern online catalogs and bibliographies, which list many more works by and about Paracelsus, now supersede this bibliography. [sh/ldl]

Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte [Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine]. Ed. Werner E. Gerabek. Berlin [et al.]: de Gruyter, 2005. xix, 1,544 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-11-015714-4: EUR 148 [06-2-392]

The Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte (EM) contains approximately 2,700 signed articles by 212 authors. Of these articles, 1,900 are devoted to persons, the other 800 to medical history topics. Survey articles are longer, but in general most entries are of short or medium length. Variation in the length of entries is difficult to explain, except as a result of the individual interests of the authors. For example, eight columns are devoted to Herophilos of Chalcedon, whereas only two and one-half are reserved for Hippocrates and only three for Robert Virchow. Moreover, many of the very short entries, e.g., those referring to authors of or persons in cited literature sources, could have been left out entirely to no one’s detriment. Source materials are likewise limited mainly to the Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte [Biographical Dictionary of Outstanding Physicians] (see IFB 02-2-498)the Dictionary of Scientific Bibliography, and Dictionnaire de biographie française. Missing is the Dizionario biografico degli italina and other key sources.

Topical articles are subject to the same deficits as those devoted to persons, as there seems to be no consistent criteria for their length in relation to the topic. Egyptian medicine is covered in 11 columns, Aztec medicine in one and a half. Arabian medicine of the Middle Ages occupies only five and a half columns, and at one half column the article on alchemy is so superficial that one would be better served consulting a general encyclopedia.

On the whole, the Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte makes a very inconsistent impression and seems to observe no guidelines and established criteria for the length and quality of entries. Additionally, the work is padded with entries on physicians of second and third rank treated in more recent biographical dictionaries. This comes at the expense of providing longer articles on physicians of the past. Other criticisms include the poor choice of black/white illustrations, the lack of consistency in the choice and use of topic references, and the disjointed approach to the use of cross-references. Lack of see-references at the end of articles and omission of a topical index further diminish the potential usefulness of the Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. [sh/jb]

Antike Medizin: ein Lexikon [Dictionary of Medicine in Antiquity]. Ed. Karl-Heinz Leven. München: Beck, 2005. xliv p. 968 cols. 25 cm. ISBN 3-406-52891-0: EUR 49.90 [06-2-393]

The authors of the Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte discussed above (RREA 12:286) stem exclusively from German-speaking countries; in contrast, the contributors to Antike Medizin come from across Europe, Israel, and North America. A fourth of the just over 1,000 articles are devoted to persons, the remainder to medical topics. Article length is generally short, but length also reflects the importance of the individual or topic being covered. For example, longer entries are devoted to Aristotle and Hippocrates and to anatomy and abortion. Cross-references are plentiful. Greek concepts are given in their Latin version, thereby easing the burden on lay reader. [sh/jb]

Suizid-Bibliothek: 1098 Werke [Suicide Library: 1,098 Works]. Erlangen: Fischer, 2005. 1,625 fiches in 3 containers. ISBN 3-89131-463-9: EUR 6,500 [06-2-394]

Catalog. 254 p. 21 cm.

1 CD-ROM. MAB2 Data. 12 cm.

1 CD-ROM. MARC Data. 12 cm.

This collection draws almost entirely on a private library collected by the Augsburg journalist Hans Rost (1877-1970), science writer for the Augsburger Postzeitung between 1903 and 1933. Presumably dismissed during the Nazi period for his religious and ecumenical writings. He published privately during this period, including a study on the Bible in the Middle Ages. There is an entry for him in vol. 13 of the Deutsches Literatur-Lexikon (Bern, 2000- ). Rost’s Bibliographie des Selbstmordes [Bibliography of Suicide] published in 1927 (Augsburg) was reprinted in 1992 (Regensburg). He left his private collection to the Augsburg City Library. In all, this catalog lists ca. 1,000 titles from Rost’s library, with some 100 titles added by the Augsburg City Library since 1970, and included in the catalog are many hand- and typewritten annotated lists prepared and annotated by Rost himself. Any errors in the 1927 bibliography have been corrected in this catalog.

The bibliography is organized into 60 subject groups, although there is no subject index; there are only indexes of publishers and titles. Monographs predominate, including numerous small tracts and offprints from journals. About two thirds of the works are in German, 15 percent in English, and 10 percent in French. In all, 3,771 titles are listed, due to these numerous small imprints. The printed catalog of the Suicide Library functions primarily as a selection tool for ordering titles from the publisher, on whose home page (http;//www.haraldfischerverlag.de) one can search for titles for this and other microfiche editions and order them. [sh/ga]

Previous Section
Table of Contents

Comments, suggestions, or questions
Last update: October 2010 [LC]
2010 Casalini libri - VAT no. IT03106600483