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Alfred Hauptmann

Born  1881
Died  1948

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German physician, born August 29, 1881, Gleiwitz in Oberschlesien; died April 5, 1948, Boston, USA.

Biography of Alfred Hauptmann

Alfred Hauptmann attended the Gymnasium in Gleiwitz and in Frankfurt am Main, where he passed the Abitur in 1900. He studied medicine in Heidelberg and Munich, and then again in Heidelebrg, where he graduated and obtained his doctorate in 1905. From 1905 to 1908 he was with the army, first serving with a corps of chasseurs, then for one year as a volunteer physician. From 1908 to 1909 he was an assistant under Wilhelm Heinrich Erb (1840-1921) at the university medical polyclinic in Heidelberg, and from 1909 to 1911 under Max Nonne (1861-1959) at the university clinic for neurology ans psychiatry at Hamburg-Eppendorf. His next stop was Freiburg im Breisgau where he was habilitated as a lecturer in 1912.

During the war years from 1914 to 1918 he served with distinction as a platoon physician in the artillery. He was awarded the iron Cross II class and the Knight’s Cross II class of the Zähringer Löwenorden with oak leaves and swords. After the war, in 1918, he was appointed professor extraordinary and that same year received a lectureship in forensic pyschiatry.

In 1926 Hauptmann accepted an invitation to become Ordinarius for Psyhiatry and Neurology as well as director of the university nerve clinic at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Halle an der Saale. However, due to his Jewish ancestry he was fired from his position in 1935 on the basis of the „Berufsbeamtengesetz" (the Act of Aril 7. 1933 applying to civil servants with tenure). He then established a practice in Halle, but had no success, and in 1938 he moved to Freiburg to establish a practice there, also without success. He subsequently spent some time in the Dachau concentration camp and in 1939 emigrated to England. From there he went to Boston where he was a physician and reseracher in a nerve clinic.

Today Hartmann is remembered for his success in the clinical use of phenobarbitone in cases of epilepsy. Phenobarbitone was produced and marketed under the name Luminal by Farbwerke Fr. Bayer and Co.

Hauptmann devoted much of his efforts to the study of syphilis and the nervous system. He was a collaborater in the Lehrbuch der Nervenkrankheiten by Curschmann-Kramer.

We thank Uwe Ehrt for information submitted.


  • Luminal bei Epilepsie.
    Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, 1912, 59: 1907-1909.
    Introduction of phenobarbitone in the treatment of epilepsy.
  • Die diagnostische Bedutung der Lumbalpunktion.
    Sammlung von Abhandlungen über Nervekrankheiten, volume 10, 1. Halle, 1913.
    (The title of the journal/book is uncertain)
  • Der Hirndruck. Neue deutsche Chirurgie, volume 11. Stuttgart 1914.
  • Hirnödem. Neue deutsche Chirurgie, volume 12. Stuttgart 1914.
  • Über Epilepsie im Lichte der Kriegserfahrungen. Berlin, 1917.
  • Krieg der Unfalls-Hysterie! ¨
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde, Berlin, 1925, 88: 193.
  • Ätiologie und Pathogenese der syphilitischen Geistesstörungen.
    Handbuch der Geisteskrankheiten, volume 8. Berlin : Julius Springer, 1930.

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