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May 8, 1967

ROBERT REMAK (1815-1865)

JAMA. 1967;200(6):550-551. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120190176034

Brilliant scientific achievements and deep-seated frustrations of a Polish Jew in Prussian Berlin in the first half of the 19th century were the warp and woof of the life of Robert Remak. He was born in the ghetto of Posen, a town turned over to Prussia after the fall of Napoleon I. His father conducted a cigar store and sold lottery tickets.1 Robert received a good Gymnasium education and graduated at the age of 18, with honors, which entitled him to attend any school of higher learning in Germany. He made a wise scholastic choice in the University of Berlin, one of the youngest in Germany and especially noted for its research and teaching in the biological and medical sciences. Johannes Müller, who had only recently (1833) been offered the chair of anatomy and physiology, in turn, attracted such pupils as Schwann, Henle, DuBois-Reymond, Helmholtz, Kölliker, Virchow, Haeckel, Meissner, and