Kurt Dresel

born on 05/25/1892 in Berlin
died on 10/30/1951 in New York

DGIM Member 1920 – 1937

Kurt Dresel grew up in Berlin. He studied medicine in Berlin and Freiburg and received his license to practice medicine in Berlin in 1917.1 He worked as an assistant at the II Medical Clinic of the Charité Hospital in Berlin under Friedrich Kraus (1858-1936) and Gustav von Bergmann (1878-1955) from 1919 to 1930.2 He was appointed chief physician at the Britz Municipal Hospital in Berlin in 1930.3 He habilitated and was appointed associate professor in 1923 and non-tenured Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in 1927.4 As a member of the medical faculty, he lectured at the II Medical Clinic of the Charité on "Die Bedeutung des vegetativen Nervensystems insbesondere für die Innere Medizin" (The Significance of the Vegetative Nervous System, Particularly for Internal Medicine).5

Dresel's teaching license was revoked in 1935, due to the "Reichsbürgergesetz" (Reich Citize Law).6 He had been dismissed as chief physician even prior to this.7

Emigration to New York

Dresel emigrated to New York with his family in 1938.8 There he continued to practice medicine, as documented by a trichinosis warning he published in the New York Times.9 He served a physician in the U.S. Army from February 1944.10

Kurt Dresel died from a heart attack in New York.11 He was survived by his wife Mathilde and his son Peter.

Scientifically, Dresel was primarily concerned with experimental pathology and the study of the autonomic nervous system. Thus, he published a total of 68 papers,12 including studies on the determination of heart beat volume and hemoglobin value13 as well as the overall presentation "Erkrankungen des vegetativen Nervensystems" (Diseases of the Vegetative Nervous System).14


See Reichsmedizinalkalender 1933, p. 71; Isidor Fischer, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre, vol. II, Berlin/Wien 1933, pp. 892f.See Isidor Fischer, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre, vol. I, Berlin u.a. 1932, p. 330.See Reichsmedizinalkalender 1931, p. 70.See Udo Schagen, Wer wurde vertrieben? Wiewenig wissen wir? Die Vertreibungen aus der Berliner Medizinischen Fakultät in 1933. An Overview, in Udo Schagen/Sabine Schleiermacher (eds.), Die Charité im Dritten Reich. Zur Dienstbarkeit der medizinischen Wissenschaft im Nationalsozialismus, Paderborn 2008, pp. 51-65, p. 58.See Andreas D. Ebert, Jüdische Hochschullehrer an preußischen Universitäten (1870-1924). Eine quantitative Untersuchung mit biographischen Skizzen, Frankfurt a. M. 2008, p. 450.See Schagen, Wer wurde vertrieben, p. 58; Festkomitee des Rates der Medizinischen Fakultät zur Vorbereitung der 250-Jahr-Feier der Charité (ed.), 250 Jahre Charité, Berlin 1960, p. 90.See Reichsmedizinalkalender 1937, p. 184.See New York Times, 10/31/1951, p. 28.See New York Times, 0/22/2940, p. 22.Kurt M. Dresel Collection, 1844-1944, War Department to Kurt Dresel, 12. 2.1944 (, p. 8, ins. on 7/2/2018).Schagen, Wer wurde vertrieben, p.58 incorrectly gives 10/31/1951 as the date of death.For an overview of the scholarly work, see Kurt M. Dresel Collection, Kurt Dresel, Verzeichnis meiner wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten (, p.7, ins. 2.7.2018). Most of the texts can be found in this Internet archive.Kurt Dresel, Bestimmung der Blutmenge, des Gesamthämoglobins und des Herzschlagvolumens, o.O. o.J.Kurt Dresel, Erkrankungen des vegetativen Nervensystems, Berlin 1922.

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