100 Years FDI (1900-2000)
The History of the Frankfurt Dental Clinic and its Relationship
to the FDI
Senckenbergisches Institut d'Histoire de
Francfort sur le Main, Allemagne
The nineteenth century is, in
the history of dentistry, the year of its institutionalization as an academic
discipline. You see here some of the dates which show this process of
institutionalization during the nineteenth century.
In the United States, the first academic
training sites for dentists were founded in the year 1839 in Baltimore by Chapin
Aaron Harris (1806 – 1860) and Horace H. Hayden (1769 – 1844)
who assumed their teaching duties in 1840. In the same year, the first
nationally-based dental organization, the "American Society of Dental
Surgeons," was established. Already one year after its founding, the
"Baltimore College of Dentistry" conferred the title of "Doctor
of Dental Surgery" (D.D.S.) for the first time in its history.
The evolution in academic dentistry begun twenty years earlier in the
United States resumed its progress in Germany in 1855. In that year, the
physician Eduard Albrecht established the first independent German academic
training site for dentists in Berlin, the "Public Clinic for Diseases of
the Mouth." Four years later, in 1859, the "Central Association of
German Dentists" was founded in Berlin and still exists today under the
designation "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zahn-, Mund- und Kieferheilkunde
As of the mid-nineteenth century in the United States and in Germany –
but also in other countries, especially in France and England – dental
associations were founded, and the professionalization, establishment, and
transformation of dentistry into an academic profession commenced.
At this point, I would like to illustrate this evolutionary process in
greater detail by using the history of the Frankfurt Dental Clinic and the
founding of the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (FDI) as examples.
Before I begin with the history of the Frankfurt Dental Clinic, I would
like to provide you with some information regarding the situation of the
Jewish community in Frankfurt during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
because the foundress of this institution belonged to one of the most renowned
Jewish families of her day.
You see Hannah Louise von Rothschild (1850-1892) portrayed.
Although you are all familiar with the
philanthropist family ROTHSCHILD, nonetheless, I want to supply you with a
brief sketch of the first generations in Frankfurt of this world-famous family.
You can read in the next table the names of the founders of the Rothschild
dynasty, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, together with his wife Gutle
Schnapper, who raised five daughters and an equal number of renowned sons:
Amschel Mayer, Salomon Mayer, Nathan Mayer, Carl (Karlmann) Mayer, and
Jacob (James) Mayer von Rothschild.
The sons laid the foundation in the major European cities of their day – Frankfurt
am Main, Vienna, London, Naples, and Paris – for their family’s
future financial network. The Rothschilds financed the ruling dynasties of
By way of example, Nathan Mayer Rothschild funded in London the war
led by Arthur Wellesley Wellington against Napoleon, thereby playing a decisive
role in the victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the
nineteenth century, the idiom was coined that war in Europe was impossible
against the wishes of the Rothschild House, and the following quote is
attributed to Rothschild’s widow in the year 1847: "Do not worry! There
won’t be a war. My sons aren’t going to provide the money for one."
In the same manner, the Rothschild family achieved exceptional feats in the
civil sphere. The Rothschilds contributed substantially to the funding of the
first railroads, especially in France. In Paris, Jacob Mayer Rothschild
exerted his influence and financed the construction of the Gare du Nord, Gare
Saint-Lazare et Gare de Lyon.
I come back to my theme of the origins of the Rothschild family in the city
of Frankfurt. The founding father Mayer Amschel, who was born just five
years earlier than another famous citizen of Frankfurt, Johann Wolfgang
Goethe, grew up in underprivileged conditions in Frankfurt’s Jewish
ghetto, the so-called "Judengasse." You are viewing in the next
figure the Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt which was separated by a high wall and
gates from the remaining "Christian" city beyond.
These gates were manned by guards and were locked on Sundays as well as on
all church holidays. On this single street, the largest Jewish community in
Germany lived against its wishes in virtual isolation. In the mid-nineteenth
century, this Jewish community amounted to about three thousand souls within a
total population of thirty-two thousand city dwellers.
Mayer Amschel’s forebearers in the Jewish ghetto inhabited a house named
"Zum roten Schild" ("to the red sign"). The family name
"Rothschild" was derived from this house’s name.
Next, I turn to the third and fourth generations of the Rothschilds in
Frankfurt, namely, Mayer Carl and Hannah Louise Rothschild. Here, you
are looking at Mayer Carl von Rothschild.
After the death of his uncle Amschel
Mayer, Mayer Carl von Rothschild assumed the directorship of the Frankfurt
"Rothschild and Company, Bankers." Together with his wife Louise, he
had seven daughters, among them Hannah Louise, who lived and remained
unmarried in Frankfurt while devoting herself to helping the poor. After her
father’s death in 1886, Hannah Louise established the foundation "Heilanstalt
Carolinum" in the year 1890. Heilanstalt is an old-fashioned term for
hospital. The Latin name "Carolinum" was intended in memoriam
of her father Carl and, even today, the citizens of Frankfurt call the Dental
Clinic "Carolinum" for short. In the following figure, you see the
newly erected foundation edifice on Bürgerstraße near Frankfurt’s Main
Modeled on a clinic in Paris, the "Heilanstalt Carolinum,"
originally a hospital and dental clinic, consisted of a medical ambulatorium
complete with adjacent hospital ward and a dental clinic whose design was
inspired by an American dentist. By way of example, you can see here what an
enormous influence American and French medical facilities had, above all in
dentistry, in Germany. It is perhaps not accidental that the building of the
"Heilanstalt Carolinum" resembles that of the "College of Dental
Surgery" founded fifty years earlier in Baltimore.
The foundress Hannah Louise von Rothschild died some years later, in 1892,
at the age of forty-two. The next slide provides several important dates in the
history of the Carolinum. Following Hannah Louise’s decease, her mother,
Louise von Rothschild, decided to endow the foundation permanently, and, in
1893, the Carolinum as foundation came into existence in the juridical sense of
In 1906 a contract was made between the Carolinum Foundation and the City of
Frankfurt to regulate the construction of a Dental Clinic on the property of
the Frankfurt City Hospital. The medical side of the Dental Clinic was
eliminated under the conditions of this contract. A new priority within the
purview of the Dental Clinic consisted of the examination and treatment of
grammar school children and the poor free of charge. In 1910 the Dental Clinic
in its new home opened its doors to the public. This buildiing housed the very
first Frankfurt Dental Clinic for school children. The impressive wealth of the
Rothschild’s Carolinum Foundation, a sum of one million German Mark, made
this new building possible.
These years, especially the time-span from 1909 to 1919, were extremely
important for dentistry’s being accorded equal status as an academic
discipline in Germany.
With the introduction of the new examination regulations in 1909, dental
students could matriculate for the study of "dentistry" for the first
time in Germany’s history. Prior to that date, they only were permitted to
enroll at university in the faculty of philosophy. The Reich Health Insurance
Decree of 1914 defined the role of the dentist as "teeth therapist"
for National Health patients. In the same year, the University of Frankfurt was
founded, and the Frankfurt Dental Clinic became a university institute devoted
to dentistry. With the introduction of the general law in the year 1919 which
allowed dentists to receive their doctoral degree, dentists attained equality
of academic status with physicians.
It is within this context of the transformation of dentistry into an
academic discipline that the opening of the new Frankfurt Dental Clinic in 1910
has to be viewed. In the following figure, you see the new Dental Clinic
The clinic was housed in the basement and ground-floor levels, whereas the
Eye Clinic and Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic were located on the remaining
levels. The Eye Clinic and Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic are still in this
In accordance with the example set by other university institutes, the
Carolinum was divided into three divisions: surgery, restoration, and
prosthetics. Beginning in 1920, a division of orthodontics was added. The
following tables inform the reader about the number and kind of therapeutic
services available in the aforementioned three divisions.
The surgical division was directed by Prof. Dr. Otto Loos. You can see here
for the years 1910 to 1918 the number of patients, how often they received
treatment, and the number of extractions that took place under the different
types of available anesthesia.
The prosthetics division was led by Prof. Dr.
Carl Fritsch. You likewise see for the same time period from 1910 to 1918 the
number and type of prosthetic measures that were performed. In the first line,
for instance, you see the number of caoutchouc prosthetics made, in line four
the number of teeth needed for them, and, in the second and third last lines
the number of bridges and crowns fitted.
The restoration division was under the
directorship of Prof. Fritz Schäffer-Stuckert. There, you find a listing of
the fillings performed. Amalgam was the most common material used for fillings.
Also noteworthy is the large number of root canals performed.
As typical of the many outstanding
personalities in the dental history of the Carolinum, I now would like to
present you with a brief biography of the first director of the Frankfurt Dental
Prof. Schäffer-Stuckert was born
in 1868 in Frankfurt. He studied in Berlin and received his dental degree in
the year 1889. His decision to become a dentist was determined by his love of a
dentist’s daughter whose father only wanted her to marry a dentist. After
setting up his dental practice in his home city of Frankfurt in 1891, he went
to New York City for two years to obtain his doctorate. (This was, by the way,
typical for many German dentists of his day.) In 1895 he passed the examination
as "Doctor of Dental Surgery." The doctorate in dentistry first
became a reality in Germany in 1919. After his return from America, he felt
obligated to improve the status and training of his German colleagues. In the
years that followed, he became very actively involved in this area. He was
active in dental associations and he held papers at sessions devoted to
continuing education for dentists both in the fields of dental radiology and
modern methods in anesthesiology. Finally, after having been named assistant
secretary in 1904 during the Fourth International Dental Congress in St. Louis,
Dr. Schäffer-Stuckert was appointed to the rank of secretary general of the
FDI at the FDI’s Congress in Berlin in the year 1909.
In what follows, I would like to show you in greater detail
Schäffer-Stuckerts commitment within the framework of the FDI and, prior to
that, a brief summary of the FDI’s early history.
The founding of the Fédération Dentaire Internationale must be
understood as the terminal point of the process of institutionalization
undergone by the field of dentistry in the nineteenth century. The preeminent
personality in this evolutionary process was none other than the Dean of the
Ecole Dentaire de Paris, Dr. Charles Gordon. He had organized the First
International Dental Congresses and was in overall charge at the founding of
the FDI on the fifteenth of August 1900 on the site of the Ecole Dentaire in
Paris. The members of this first Executive Council of the FDI were pledged to
achieve the following goals:
- They would represent the dental profession without bias based on
- They would decide on the date and place of the next International
- The costs should be equally divided among members
- They would choose seventeen of their colleagues to become the first
International Commission on Dental Education
The last point pertaining to the training of dentists was assigned
particular significance since the national differences in this area were
The next general meetings of the FDI took place in 1901 in Cambridge (England),
in 1902 in Stockholm, and in 1903 in Madrid. With the Fourth International
Dental Congress in St. Louis, where Willoughby Dayton Miller succeeded Charles
Gordon as President, the foundational phase of the FDI was concluded.
As previously mentioned, Schäffer-Stuckert
– and now I want to close the circle begun with the Frankfurt Dental Clinic
– was appointed to assistant secretary in 1904 in St. Louis. Thereby began
his exceptional career as leader of the German contingent of dentists in the
FDI, which reached its peak in Schäffer-Stuckert’s appointment to the rank
of Secretary General of the FDI in 1909 at the Fifth International Dental
Congress in Berlin.
Schäffer-Stuckert, who was an honorary member of the Société
odontotechnique de Paris, the Association générale des Dentistes de France,
and the British Dental Association, was made Director of the Frankfurt Dental
Clinic in 1909. In 1914 he received a special teaching post at the newly
founded University of Frankfurt. Schäffer-Stuckert died in 1938, having ended
his active professional career already in 1917.
The years following the departure of Schäffer-Stuckert in 1917 constituted
an endurance test for the Carolinum Foundation owing to the difficult economic
conditions after the First World War.
The Foundation was at the verge of financial collapse. The savior of the
hour was the Rothschild family. The sisters of Hannah Louise von Rothschild
donated 70,000 Mark in 1920 and 400,000 Mark in 1921. The survival of this
Jewish foundation was, for the time being, guaranteed until the National
Socialists seized power in the year 1933. The activities of the Frankfurt
Dental Clinic could even be expanded.
In 1920 the division of orthodontics was added to the Dental Clinic. Dr.
Peter Paul Kranz received the first special teaching post for Orthodontics in
In 1929 and 1930 the clinic building had to be enlarged because of the
increasing lack of space. Although the Frankfurt Dental Clinic had originally
been planned for twenty students, there were already ninety-six students
enrolled in 1928. Nearly one-hundred patients were being treated on a daily
In 1933 there were 200 dental students distributed among the four divisions
of the Dental Clinic. They received instruction from 4 professors and 16
I come, now, to my final point: the survival of a Jewish foundation under
the National Socialists.
Following the Nazi rise to power in January 1933, Jewish colleagues were
discriminated against and persecuted. The successor of Fritz Schäffer-Stuckert
as Director of the conservation division was Prof. Dr. Erich Feiler. On account
of his Jewish roots, Feiler was forced to flee Germany and to emigrate to
London in 1934. Erich Feiler shared this same fate with approximately one-third
of his fellow-teachers at the University of Frankfurt. The Frankfurt University
was an institution based upon private foundations, mostly sponsored by
Frankfurt Jews. Accordingly, it was one of the most modern and most liberal
universities in the German Reich. For the National Socialists, however, it was
a so-called "Jewish-Liberal Nest".
In the years that followed, the Jewish Carolinum Foundation experienced
increasing discrimination. In 1936, for example, a Rothschild portrait had to
be removed from view. Then, in 1939, all Jewish foundations were forcibly
combined into a single entity, the "Reichs Association of the Jews."
In the year 1943, this so-called "association" was compelled to
surrender its property to the Nazi dictatorship. In Frankfurt, this act of
confiscation involved more than fifty non-profit organizations with a capital
in excess of eight million Mark. These organizations included most of the
Rothschild family’s other large foundations but not the Carolinum Foundation.
In 1939 the surname of the Jewish philanthropic family Rothschild was
deleted from the foundation’s statutes, but the name "Carolinum"
was permitted to remain following long discussions. Nevertheless, not only the
name "Carolinum" outlived the Nazi insanity but also the foundation’s
wealth. After difficult negotiations, the Carolinum Foundation kept its status
both as sponsor of the Frankfurt University’s dental institute and as owner
of the foundation’s building. Most probably, it was the skilful negotiating
tactics of the Carolinum’s directorium that prevented this Jewish foundation
from being dissolved.
In 1946 teaching resumed at the Carolinum. Today, Frankfurt‘s Carolinum is
a modern and spacious dental clinic like that seen in many other large cities.
All of this began with the founder of a large
family, whose tombstone you see here. Mayer Amschel Rothschild’s grave was
found hidden beneath the ruins of the Jewish Cemetery in Frankfurt following
the Second World War.
|Bald-Duch, Elke (1977)
Zahnärztliche Universitätsinstitut (der Freiherr Carl von Rothschild'schen
Stiftung) CAROLINUM in Frankfurt a. M. von den Anfängen bis zum Tode von Otto
Diss. med. dent. Frankfurt am Main
|Elon, Amos (1996)
Der erste Rothschild.
Biographie eines Frankfurter Juden.
Reinbek: Rowohlt 1998.
|Heuberger, Georg (Hrsg.)
Die Rothschilds. Eine europäische Familie.
Bd. 1. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke
|Heuberger, Georg (Hrsg.)
Die Rothschilds. Beiträge zur Geschichte einer europäischen
Bd. 2. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke
Die Geschichte des Zahnärztlichen Universitätsinstitutes der
Freiherr Carl von Rothschild'schen Stiftung Carolinum zu Frankfurt a. M. von
1936 bis 1981.
Diss. med. dent. Frankfurt am Main
|Windecker, Dieter (1990)
Jahre Freiherr Carl von Rothschild'sche Stiftung Carolinum. Die Geschichte der
Stiftung und die Entwicklung der Zahnklinik an der Johann Wolfgang
Goethe-Universität zu Frankfurt am Main.
Berlin: Quintessenz Verlag