Friday, August 24, 2012

Bine - University of Vienna Medical School

René Bine is 22 as he writes his accounts of medical school in Vienna in 1904. He's full of observations on professors and fellow students as well as the cultural and political events of the day. 

Since Sigmund Freud was at the University of Vienna at the time, I am surprised that I have yet to come across any reference to him in René's cards. He does mention Alfred Fuchs though, who was also a professor of psychiatry and nervous diseases at the time. He also speaks of Dr. Edmund Neusser, another professor and, like René, an ardent music lover. In fact, Professor Neusser was himself a very accomplished pianist and married Paula Mark, a soprano with the Vienna Court Opera.

This is a picture of Professor Edmund Neusser.
Edmund Neusser
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Here's the card that René sent to his family back in San Francisco.

And here's what what he had to say:

Fuchs, the nerve man is popular as ever. Occasionally he hypnotizes a patient + thus livens up the otherwise quiet but most instructive and interesting demonstrations. Brother Eserich I have forgot to call on but 4 times this week as I preferred to favor Prof. Neusser for a change. Neusser gives lectures + demonstrations, but his voice is poor + hard to catch unless one be accustomed to it. He is to-day said to be the greatest diagnostician in Vienna, if not in the world, being chief over Kovack, ex-chief over Ortner, tho' for us Ortner seems as good. -
Nothing new otherwise. Everything is OK + I hope you can say ditto. Papa's foot I suppose is now a bobo long forgotten. Ma's cough, I know she does not want to lose, for without headaches she'd have no kick coming - Give my best regards to all the folks + receive best kisses from loving brother and son

You can read more about Dr. Norbert Ortner here. Of perhaps more interest is René 's reference to Brother Eserich, if as I believe, he is actually referring to Theodor Escherich, who was a professor at the University of Vienna at the time. It was Professor Escherich who discovered the bacterium Escherichia coli (also known as E. coli), which was named after him. He was also a very distinguished looking man.
Theodor Escherich
Source: Wikimedia Commons
This is one of many posts on the correspondence of Dr. René Bine of San Francisco. If you'd like to read more, go to the bottom of the web page and click on the tab for Dr. René Bine.

Here's the back of the card.


  1. i have missed a few posts..i will have to catch i find these so interesting!! thanks so much for sharing them!
    have a lovely weekend!!

  2. Rene's long, descriptive mailings remind me of the letters I sent in my 20's, when the energy and enthusiasm of discovering your path in life makes you want to share it with the world.

  3. ditto and bobo? I love Rene's vocabulary:) Am enjoying catching up, too!

  4. I'm playing catchup too. The details in Rene's notes are really illuminated by your extra research. And I can tell you are enjoying the history, so I'm glad you've found a copy of "Thunder at Twilight". Wien has a strange similarity to OZ, wonder and magic ruled over by a hidden emperor.

  5. Thank you so much for posting about Rene Bine! He's so great!

    University of Vienna Austria



Related Posts with Thumbnails