- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Ludwig Pick

Born  1868
Died  1944

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German pathologist, born August 31, 1868, Landsberg an der Warthe; died February 3, 1944, Theresienstadt Concentration Camp.

Biography of Ludwig Pick

Ludwig Pick was the son of a businessman. He was a successful scholar with a talent for natural science and mathematics. He also had musical gifts, playing the cello and leading the school orchestra. Pick attended the universities of Heidelberg, Leipzig, Berlin, and Königsberg, at the latter university concentrating particularly on pathology under Ernst Neumann (1834-1918) and C. Nauwerck. He obtained his doctorate at Leipzig in 1893 and that year organised the establishment of the pathological institute in Leopold Landau’s (1848-1920) private clinic for women, where he remained until 1906. He was habilitated for pathological anatomy in 1899, and in 1906 became director of the pathological-anatomical department of the city hospital Friedrichshain-Berlin. He was made titular professor in 1909, and in 1921 was appointed ordinary honorary professor.

Pick served with distinction in the German army during the First World War. Despite this background he was evicted from his home by the Nazis and imprisoned in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp where he died on 3 February 1944 at the age of 76 years.

Pick was described as a very short and fat man, a workaholic starting work at six in the morning, finishing at 7 or 8 pm. He was a convinced bachelor, describing love in these words: "Love is a psychosis which may always be given a good prognosis".

Pick conducted many post-mortem examinations with great thoroughness. He was an innovator in histological techniques and made numerous contributions to academic pathology, especially in the fields of genito-urinary disease and melanotic pigmentation. He gained worldwide recognition for his expensive publications over a 40-year period.

It was Ludwig Pick who, in 1926, demonstrated histologically that Niemann-Pick is a separate entity from Gaucher's disease, and drew attention to Niemann’s original description. He reported a masculinising ovarian tumor in 1905.


  • Ein Beitrag zur Aetiologie, Genese und Bedeutung der hyalinen Thrombose.
    Doctoral dissertation, Leipzig, 1893.
  • Ueber Zwerckfelldurchbohrungen durch das runde Magengeschwür.
    Zeitschrift für klinische Medizin, Berlin, 1894.
  • Zur Symptomatologie und Prognose der Sarcome des Eierstocks.
    Centralblatt für Gynäkologie, Leipzig, 1894.
  • Ein neuer Typus des voluminösen paroophoralen Adenomyoms.
    Archiv für Gynäkologie, Berlin, 1897, LIV.
  • Zur Anatomie und Genese der doppelten Gebärmutter.
    Archiv für Gynäkologie, Berlin, 1897.
  • Ueber Adenomyome des Epoohoron und Paroophoron (mesenephrische Adenomyome).
    [Virchows] Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medizin, Berlin, 1899, CLVI.
  • Über das elastische Gewebe in der normalen und pathologisch veränderten Gebärmutter.
    (Volkmanns) Sammlung klinisher Vorträge, Leipzig, N. F., 1900, 283.
  • Über Hyperemesis gravidarum.
    (Volkmanns) Sammlung klinisher Vorträge, Leipzig, 1902, N. F., 325-326.
  • Ueber Neubildungen am Genitale bei Zwittern nebst Beiträgen zur Lehre von den Adenomen des Hodens und Eierstockes.
    Archiv für Gynäkologie, München, June 1905, 76 (2): 191-281.
  • Niemann-Picksche (sphingomyelinose).
    Ergebnisse der inneren Medizin, 1926, 29: 519.
  • Über die lipoidzellige Splenohepatomegalie, Typus Niemann-Pick, als Stoffwechsel-Erkrankung.
    Medizinische Klinik, München, 1927, 23: 1483.
  • Die Skelettform des Morbus Gaucher.
    In: Veröff. Kriegs- und Konstit.path. Jena, 1927, volume 4, H. 17.
  • Der Paratyphus.
    In: Handbuch der speziellen pathologischen Anatomie, Berlin, 1928, volume 4, 2.
  • Angeborene Knochentyphus.
    In: Handbuch der speziellen pathologischen Anatomie, Berlin, 1929, 9, 2.
  • Niemann'Pick's disease and other forms of so-called xanthomatoses.
    American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Thorofare, N.J., 1933, 185: 601.

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