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December 9, 1933


JAMA. 1933;101(24):1894-1895. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740490054025

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Was Semmelweis a Hungarian?  The Swabians, who were Saxons, at one time contested the Hungarian origin of Semmelweis, stating that he was of German nationality. In a recent address before a medical society, Dr. Alois Konrad, a pupil of Semmelweis, presented arguments that left no doubt as to the Hungarian origin of Semmelweis. He stated that formerly the Viennese Germans forced Semmelweis on Hungarians but now acknowledge that he was a Hungarian. When the theories of Semmelweis were new and he was being attacked, he was called "the fool of Vienna." He obtained a lectureship only after his second application, and even then for a long time an attempt was made to suppress his name. Today, educated foreigners recognize his Hungarian nationality. The Austrian obstetrician Chrobak regarded him as the greatest son of Hungary. Wyder, professor of obstetrics at Zurich, Switzerland, wrote a treatise about "the great son of Hungary."

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