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The present paper deals with the history of the Marburg Institute of Pathology in the years 1918 to 1921. The basis of the study was the evaluation of autopsy documents generated in the corresponding period at the Institute of Pathology and the research of relevant literature.
Especially the first years of the investigation period were strongly characterised by the First World War, its consequences and a substantial shortage of resources and personnel.
Besides to civilians, particularly in the first years of the examined period the autopsy material also included the corpses of soldiers as well as prisoners of war from various nations who had received medical care in Marburg’s military hospitals.
Marburg was also not spared from the first influenza pandemic, the so-called “Spanish flu”. Many victims of “Spanish flu” were autopsied, particularly in 1918. Typical morphological findings were documented by Marburg pathologists thereby. However, the aetiology of the illness still was based on speculation at that time.
Professor Max Hermann Friedrich Löhlein, the director of the institute during the investigation period, was regarded as a renowned physician and scientist of his era. Löhlein’s essential fields of scientific interest were the research of the pathological processes of the kidney as well as bacteriological questions. A special form of focal glomerulonephritis – Löhlein’s nephritis – occurring after subacute endocarditis described for the first time by him has been named after him.