Otto Wilhelm Madelung
Biography of Otto Wilhelm Madelung
Otto Wilhelm Madelung was the son of a merchant in Gotha, a city on the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest. From 1865 he studied medicine at the universities of Bonn, Berlin, and Tübingen, obtaining his doctorate at Tübingen in 1869. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war he was an assistant - Voluntärarzt - at the mental hospital in Siegburg, 11 kilometres from Bonn and during the war worked at the military hospital - the Kriegs Reservelazarett - in Diez an der Lahn.
1871 to 1873 Madelung was an assistant to Carl David Wilhelm Busch (1826-1881) at the surgical clinic in Bonn, where he established surgical practice in 1872. He was habilitated at the Bonn surgical clinic in 1873, and 1873-1874 worked in the pathological institute under Georg Eduard Rindfleisch (1836-1908). In 1874 he travelled in England and America, 1874 to 1879 he was once more at the surgical clinic in Bonn, 1880-1881 physician at the surgical policlinic in that town, and 1881 was an interimist until the death of Busch, and became associate professor of surgery that year. In 1882 he was appointed full professor of surgery and director of the university surgical clinic in Rostock. In 1884 he moved to Strassburg to succeed Georg Albert Lücke (1829-1894) in the same positions.
Madelung had a successful career in Strasbourg where he established an efficient department. At the end of World War I when the city was ceded to France, French colleagues replaced Madelung and other German faculty members, Madelung being the last of the German lecturers to leave, two years later. After a short period of house arrest Madelung retired to Göttingen, where he died in 1926.