- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Hans Goldmann

Born  1899
Died  1991

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Swiss ophthalmologist, born 1899, Komotau, Deutsch-böhmen, later Chomutov Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic; died November 19, 1991, Bern.

Biography of Hans Goldmann

Hans Goldmann demonstrated great skill in mathematics and science early in life. He attended the Gymnasium in Komotau and decided to become an astronomer. However, his father urged him to do something more practical. He therefore studied medicine at the German university in Prague, the Karls-Universität, graduating in 1923. That year he also obtained is medical doctorate.

From 1919 to 1924 Goldmann was assistant to Professor Armin Tschermak von Seyseneck (1870-1952) in the physiologic institute. In Prague he was also the assistant of the ophthalmologist Anton Elschnig (1863-1939). In 1924 he came to the eye clinic in Bern as an assistant under August Siegrist (1865-1947). In 1927 he was appointed Oberarzt and in 1930 Privatdozent at the clinic. In 1935 Goldmann married Erna Renfer and that year succeeded Siegrist as director of the clinic and professor of ophthalmology. He was dean of the faculty 1945 to 1947 and rector of the univesity 1964/1965. He retired in 1968.

At the physiological institute in Prague Goldmann developed a life-long interest in optics, physics, and instruments. His major contribution to ophthalmology was in the development and refinement of instruments, including the slit lamp, colorimeter, bowl perimeter, applanation tonometer, gonioprisms, dark adaptometer, and fluorophotometer. These were developed in cooperation with the company Haag-Streit AG.

In 1962 Goldmann was made Doctor honoris causa of the University of Uppsala, Sweden, in 1965 he received the same honour from the University if Strasbourg, and in 1976 from the University of Geneva.

We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.


  • Die Dozenten der bernischen Hochschule.
    Supplementary volume to Hochschulgeschichte Berns 1528-1984. Bern, 1984.
  • F. Fankhauser:
    Remembrance of Hans Goldmann, 1899-1991.
    Survey of ophthalmology, September-October 1992, 37 (2): 137-142.
  • F. Fankhauser:
    Hans Goldmann. Ophthalmic Surgery, January 1994, 25 (1): 8-12.
  • Huldrych M.F. Koelbing:
    Goldmann, Hans. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz
    (electronic version 2004-03-09).

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