Hermann Brehmer

Hermann Brehmer

German doctor, organizer of the first tuberculosis sanatorium in Germany.
Date of Birth: 14.08.1826
Country: Poland

  1. Biography of Herman Bremer
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Battling Tuberculosis
  4. Establishing the First Sanatorium
  5. Legacy and Influence

Biography of Herman Bremer

Early Life and Education

Herman Bremer was born in the town of Kurch near Strehlen in the Prussian province of Silesia, which is now part of Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. In 1847-1850, he studied mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences at the University of Breslau. However, in 1850, he switched his focus to medicine and enrolled at the University of Berlin. He obtained his doctorate degree in 1853.

Battling Tuberculosis

During his studies in Silesia, Bremer was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which prompted him to seek a change of climate. Continuing his education, Bremer traveled to the Himalayas, where he was able to improve his health. In 1854, he returned to Germany and soon after wrote his dissertation titled "Tuberculosis - A Curable Disease."

Establishing the First Sanatorium

In 1854, Bremer settled in Görbersdorf, Silesia. In 1863, he opened a hospital in this village, situated in a pine forest area at an altitude of 518 meters. The hospital specialized in treating patients with pulmonary diseases, who benefited from the abundant fresh mountain air, enhanced nutrition, and supervised physical exercises. Initially, this first sanatorium in Europe was housed in several cottages, but it later expanded to accommodate 300 beds. The results of this treatment proved to be more effective than any previous methods. Subsequent sanatoriums were established based on Bremer's model, including the one described by Thomas Mann in his novel "The Magic Mountain."

Legacy and Influence

Bremer passed away in Görbersdorf. One of his former patients, Peter Dettweiler (1837-1904), continued his work by opening his own sanatorium in Falkenstein, Hesse in 1876. Dettweiler emphasized the importance of rest for patients, rather than physical activity. The works of both Bremer and Dettweiler influenced American physician Edward Trudeau, who opened the Adirondack tuberculosis sanatorium in Saranac Lake, New York in 1885.