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German pathologist and medical author; born at Kluvensiek, near Rendsburg, in the province of Holstein, Prussia, May 2, 1842; died at Leipsic Nov. 19, 1899. He received his education at Kiel and Leipsic, graduating from the latter university as doctor of medicine. He was then appointed assistant at the pathological laboratory, and later at the university hospital. In 1869 he filled the position of assistant physician at the asylums for the insane at Sonnenstein and Kolditz, Saxony, successively.

During the Franco German war, in 1870, he was surgeon at the Reservelazareth at Uebigau, near Dresden. At the close of the war, in 1871, he became prosector at the municipal hospital in Dresden, of which institution he was appointed chief physician in 1882. From 1871 to 1875 Birch-Hirschfeld was lecturer on pathology at the postgraduate courses for military surgeons at Dresden. In 1875 he was appointed a member of the Sächsische Medicinische Kollegium. In 1885, when but forty-three years old, Birch-Hirschfeld succeeded Cohnheim as professor of pathology at the University of Leipsic, one of the leading medical institutes of Germany, and in 1891 he represented the university in the upper house of the Sächsische Ständekammer.

Among his prominent works are: "Lehrbuch der Pathologischen Anatomie," Leipsic, 1877; "DieBedeutung der Muskelübung für die Gesundheit, Besonders der Deutschen Jugend," Leipsic, 1883; "Grundriss der Allgemeinen Pathologie," Leipsic, 1892; and of his numerous essays the following are the more important:

"Hoden-Krebs," "Geschwulstembolie," "Cylindromfrage," "Ueber Akuten Milztumor," "Pyämie," "Syphilis Neugeborener," in "Archiv für Hygiene," vols. ix.-xvi.; "Die Entstehung der Gelbsucht Neugeborener Kinder," in "Virchow's Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medizin," vol. lxxxviii.; "Uebergang von Tuberkelbazillen aus dem Mütterlichen Blut auf den Fötus," in Ziegler's "Beiträge zur Allgemeinen Pathologie und zur Pathologischen Anatomie," Jena, 1890; "Ueber Sarkomatöse Drüsengeschwulst der Niere im Kindesalter," ib. 1898; "Skrofulose und Krankheiten der Lymphdrüsen," in Ziemssen's "Handbuch der Speciellen Pathologie," xiii., part 2; "Ueber die Krankheiten der Leber und Milz," in Gerhardt's "Handbuch der Kinder-Krankheiten," iv., part 2.

Birch-Hirschfeld's knowledge in his special branch of medicine was very extensive; and he was self-sacrificing in the practise of his profession.

  • Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, s.v., Vienna, 1884;
  • Pagel, Biographisches Lexikon, s.v., Vienna, 1901.
S. F. T. H.
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