Article ID: CBB001421955

Pathology in Four Epochs: Max Borst (1869--1946), Chairman of Pathology at Munich University from 1910--46 (2013)


Max Borst was the pre-eminent tumour pathologist among Rudolf Virchow's (1821--1902) heirs. In his magnum opus of 1902 Borst established the first complete system of tumours based upon histogenetic and biological criteria. Borst was the Chairman of Pathology at Munich University from 1910--46, over a unique period in German history. In the 1930s he was the leading figure in German cancer research. Borst was no Nazi but neither did he join the Resistance. He came to an arrangement with the National Socialist regime, living with it in a relationship of mutual utilitarianism. He never belonged to a political party and he cultivated an image of an apolitical professor except for his engagement against the Räterepublik (Bavarian Soviet Republic) in 1918/19. During World War I, Borst was the first German pathologist to establish systematic `war pathology' and he served in the Army again in World War II as a septuagenarian. Art played an important part in his life. As a gifted musician he performed publicly and he published songs. Borst was an Idealist and Neo-Vitalist who always felt more obliged to authenticity and truthfulness than to truth. He died in a car crash in the Bavarian uplands in October 1946.

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Authors & Contributors
Brady, Tim
Whelan, Paul A.
Nettey, Isaac Richmond
Connolly, Thomas J.
Lehrer, Henry R.
NewMyer, David A.
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Acta Historiae Rerum Naturalium necnon Technicarum
Journal of the History of Sexuality
Air Power History
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Medizinhistorisches Journal
Southern Illinois University Press
Reaktion Books
Palgrave Macmillan
W. W. Norton & Co.
Simon & Schuster
World War II
World War I
Cancer; tumors
Science and war; science and the military
Virchow, Rudolf Carl
Wright brothers, Wilber and Orville
Lacassagne, Antoine
Rey Pastor, Julio
Cohnheim, Julius Friedrich
Somerville, Thomas
Great Britain
United States
New Zealand
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
20th century, late
21st century
Harvard University

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