- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Ernst Schweninger

Born  1850
Died  1924

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German physician, born June 15, 1850, Freistadt i. d. Pfalz; january 13, 1924, Munich.

Biography of Ernst Schweninger

Ernst Schweninger studied in Munich from 1866. After graduation he was assistant to Ludwig von Buhl (1816-1880) from 1870 to 1879. He was approbiert 1873, and in 1875 was habilitated for pathological anatomy. In this period he published works on diphteriae and tuberculosis.

Due to his success with the cure introduced by Max Joseph Oertel (1835-1897), Schweninger became acquainted with Prince Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) who invited him to Berlin as his personal physician. Against the vote of the Berlin medical faculty, in 1884 he was appointed ausserordentlicher professor of dermatology and head of the department for diseases of the skin at the Berlin Charité. In 1902 he received the assignment of teaching general pathology and therapy and the history of medicine, renouncing his teaching in dermatology.

In 1900 Schweninger he was chosen as director of the newly built Kreiskrankenhaus in Lichterfelde near Berlin. At this institution he established a school of natural therapy, and attracted large numbers of students. In 1906 he left Berlin to settle in Burg Schwaneck, and later moved on to Munich, where he died in 1924.

Schweninger’s personality and medical views were highly controversial in his time, because he maintained that medicine is neither science nor applied science.


  • Gesammelte Arbeiten. Berlin, 1896.
    A compilation of Schweninger’s various works.
  • Cur und Curen.
    In: Anton Drasche:(1826-1904): Bibliothek der gesammten medicinischen Wissenschaften. 11 volumes, supplement and register, Teschen; Wien, Leipzig, 1894-1903.
  • Die Fettsucht. With F. Buzzi.
    In: Anton Drasche: (1826-1904) Bibliothek der gesammten medicinischen Wissenschaften. Teschen; Wien, Leipzig, 1894-1903.
  • Zum Andenken an . . .
    Published on the occasion of the first anniversary of Otto von Bismarck’s death. Leipzig, 1900.
  • Der Arzt. Frankfurt am Main, 1906.

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