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The tragedy of the emeritus and the fates of anatomical collections: Alfred Benninghoff's memoir of Ferdinand Count Spee

  • NICK HOPWOOD (a1)

Abstract

Retirement can be a significant period in modern academic careers, and emeritus professors have shaped the fates of collections in departments and disciplines. This is evidenced by reconstructing the meanings of Alfred Benninghoff's remarkable memoir of Ferdinand Count Spee, sometime director of the anatomical institute in the University of Kiel. Thematizing the ‘tragedy’ of the emeritus, Benninghoff's 1944 article recalls his predecessor's possessive interactions with his collections as these approached assorted endings. With nostalgia and humour, it places the old aristocrat physically, intellectually and emotionally in a building that bombing would soon destroy. Benninghoff's Spee retained control over the microscope slides with which he engaged colleagues in conversations about research in embryology and physiological anatomy. He lost authority over the teaching charts and wet preparations, but still said a long farewell to these things; he tried, like a conductor alone after a concert, to recapture an experience he had once shared. The elegy is interpreted as apologetic about anatomy under National Socialism, and as offering a model of collegiality. It illustrates how collections have mediated relations between scientific generations at the end of a career.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Footnotes

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I thank Boris Jardine and Jenny Bangham for prompting me to prepare this article and for comments on drafts, and am also grateful for the input of Silvia De Renzi, Sabine Hildebrandt, Andreas Winkelmann, Hansjakob Ziemer, Gerhard Aumüller, Tatjana Buklijas and two anonymous referees. I am indebted to those who helped with items in their care, especially Gesine Brakhage, Bernd Reifenberg, Dagmar Bickelmann, Ralph Lucius, Christoph Freitag, Matthias Roese, Hans-Werner Langbrandtner, Gadso Werner and Christoph Viebahn. Alison Zammer and Julie Inwood obtained numerous interlibrary loans, Ian Bolton and Adrian Newman prepared the figures, Wellcome (088708) and my department funded the research.

Footnotes

References

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1 Benninghoff, A., ‘Erinnerungen an den Anatomen Graf F. von Spee’, Anatomischer Anzeiger (28 September 1944) 95(15/20), pp. 331347. References to pages in this work are given parenthetically in the text.

2 On obituaries see, for example, Outram, Dorinda, ‘The language of natural power: the “éloges” of Georges Cuvier and the public language of nineteenth century science’, History of Science (1978) 16, pp. 153178; on memory in German anatomy, Hopwood, Nick, ‘A marble embryo: meanings of a portrait from 1900’, History Workshop Journal (Spring 2012) 73, pp. 536; and Hildebrandt, Sabine, The Anatomy of Murder: Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich, New York: Berghahn, 2016, pp. 258295; on physical spaces, Simon David John Chaplin, ‘John Hunter and the “museum oeconomy”, 1750–1800’, PhD dissertation, King's College London, 2009, pp. 174–214; and on emotions, Samuel Alberti, J.M.M., Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 163195.

3 Bourdieu, Pierre, Homo Academicus (tr. Collier, Peter), Cambridge: Polity, 1988; Knoeff, Rina and Zwijnenberg, Robert (eds.), The Fate of Anatomical Collections, Farnham: Ashgate, 2015; Lubar, Steven, Rieppel, Lukas, Daly, Ann and Duffy, Kathrinne, ‘Lost museums’, Museum History Journal (2017) 10, pp. 114; Boris Jardine, Emma Kowal and Jenny Bangham, ‘How collections end: objects, meaning and loss in laboratories and museums’, this issue.

4 Hildebrandt, op. cit. (2).

5 Flemming to Kurator, 3 May 1902, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz (hereafter GStA PK), I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Sekt. 9 Tit. IV Nr. 3 Bd. 4, Bl. 6; Spee, F. Graf v., ‘Walther Flemming†’, Anatomischer Anzeiger (1906) 28, pp. 4159.

6 Spenkuch, Hartwin, ‘Einleitung: Republikanische Wissenschaftspolitik im Freistaat Preußen: Problemlagen, Professorenberufungen, Leistungen’, in BBAW and Neugebauer, Wolfgang (eds.), Acta Borussica, Neue Folge, ser. 2: Preußen als Kulturstaat, part II: Der preußische Kulturstaat in der politischen und sozialen Wirklichkeit, vol. 9: Wissenschaftspolitik in der Weimarer Republik: Dokumente zur Hochschulentwicklung im Freistaat Preußen und zu ausgewählten Professorenberufungen in sechs Disziplinen (1918 bis 1933), Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016, pp. 1186, 444–464, 37–38.

7 For the retirement see Kurator to Minister für Wissenschaft, Kunst und Volksbildung, 11 October 1922 and 19 April 1923, and Minister to Spee and to Kurator (office copies), 11 May 1923, GStA PK, I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Sekt. 9 Tit. IV Nr. 3 Bd. 6, Bl. 369, 389–390.

8 On Benninghoff see Putscher, Marielene, ‘Alfred Benninghoff (1890–1953)/Anatom’, in Schnack, Ingeborg (ed.), Marburger Gelehrte in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Marburg: Elwert, 1977, pp. 3136; Loremarie Rauch, ‘Alfred Benninghoff 1890–1953’, diss. med. dent., Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, 1990; and Grundmann, Kornelia and Aumüller, Gerhard, ‘Anatomen in der NS-Zeit: Parteigenossen oder Karteigenossen? Das Marburger Anatomische Institut im Dritten Reich’, Medizinhistorisches Journal (1996) 31, pp. 322357, 345–354; for his appointments see Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein (hereafter LASH), Abt. 47.6 Nr. 54, Bl. 1–15; and Archiv der Philipps-Universität Marburg im Hessischen Staatsarchiv Marburg (hereafter UniA MR), Best. 310 Nr. 2327.

9 Spee contributed to a bronze relief of Flemming for the institute: Spee to Kurator, 12 June 1908 (copy), GStA PK, I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Sekt. 9 Tit. X Nr. 3 Bd. 2, Bl. 21. Flemming's ‘bust’ later shared the foyer with portraits of Spee, Benninghoff and others: ‘Mit Mikroskop, Seziermesser und Kamera …: NR-Besuch im Anatomischen Institut der Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel’, Nordische Rundschau, 20 January 1942, clipping in Universitätsbibliothek Marburg, Depositum Benninghoff (hereafter DB), Box 10, folder ‘Abgeschlossene Akten’.

10 Schmidt, Heinrich, Ernst Haeckel und sein Nachfolger Professor Dr Ludwig Plate, Jena: Volksbuchhandlung, 1921.

11 Dabelow, A., ‘Alfred Benninghoff†’, Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1953) 78, pp. 788789 (quotations); Rauch, op. cit. (8), p. 7 (socializing). On Möllendorff see Bargmann, W., ‘Wilhelm v. Möllendorff† (6.12.1887–10.2.1944)’, Zeitschrift für Zellforschung und mikroskopische Anatomie, Abt. A (1945) 33, pp. 167186, 168, 178–179; Töndury, Gian, ‘Wilhelm von Möllendorff†, geb. 6.12.1887, gest. 10.2.1944’, Vierteljahrsschrift der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Zürich (1944) 89, pp. 141145, 141–142; Zurgilgen, Benno Maria, Der Anatom Wilhelm von Möllendorff (1887–1944), Zurich: Juris, 1991, p. 50.

12 A. Benninghoff, ‘Abschiedsrede vom 12.XII 1940’, fol. 4 (quotation), DB, Box 10, folder ‘Vorträge – Reden’; Rauch, op. cit. (8), p. 57; for Anne-Marie Benninghoff as ‘my most faithful collaborator’ see Benninghoff, Alfred, Lehrbuch der Anatomie des Menschen: Dargestellt unter Bevorzugung funktioneller Zusammenhänge, 2 vols. in 3, Munich: Lehmann, 1939–1942, vol. 2, part 1: Eingeweide, p. vi.

13 Benninghoff, A., ‘Ernst Göppert†’, Anatomischer Anzeiger (1952) 98, pp. 410420, 420, recalled how, from an ‘out-of-the-way’ room, Göppert ‘reigned quietly and discreetly like a good spirit over his old [Marburg] institute’, never interfering; ‘he always kept a certain distance … which was happily combined with a warm, human concern’.

14 On aristocratic science see Nye, Mary Jo, ‘Aristocratic culture and the pursuit of science: the de Broglies in modern France’, Isis (1997) 88, pp. 397421; and on the Weimar professoriate, for example, Döring, Herbert, Der Weimarer Kreis: Studien zum politischen Bewußtsein verfassungstreuer Hochschullehrer in der Weimarer Republik, Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1975. Before Spee's promotion in 1902, his wife, Countess Anna, used an audience with Wilhelm II, on his yacht Hohenzollern, to require the Kultusminister to keep His Majesty informed; but Spee, a local who had deputized successfully, faced no serious competition: GStA PK, I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Sekt. 9 Tit. IV Nr. 3 Bd. 4, Bl. 37–39, 51–59.

15 For those present see Spee to Wilhelm Graf von Spee, 11 April 1925, Archiv der Grafen von Spee, Schloss Heltorf, Düsseldorf, T 27; for Keibel's role see Benninghoff, op. cit. (1), p. 337; and for Möllendorff's see preface to Zeitschrift für Anatomie und Entwicklungsgeschichte (1925) 76.

16 A draft called the coat ‘shabby’: A. Benninghoff, ‘Erinnerungen an den Anatomen Graf F. v. Spee’, fol. 1, DB, Box 8, thick cardboard wrapper.

17 Benninghoff, ‘Abschiedsrede’, op. cit. (12).

18 Wilhelm Anschütz to Anne-Marie Benninghoff, 20 February 1953, DB, Box 6, folder ‘Teilnehmer an der Trauerfeier, Liste Nr. 4’.

19 Anatomischer Anzeiger (1935) 80, p. 160; ‘Trauerfeier für Geheimrat Prof. Dr Ferdinand Graf von Spee’, Kieler Neueste Nachrichten, 18 March 1937, clipping in LASH, Abt. 47 Nr. 1595; Benninghoff, ‘Abschiedsrede’, op. cit. (12) (quotations).

20 Benninghoff, ‘Abschiedsrede’, op. cit. (12), all emphases original.

21 On slides see Löwy, Ilana (ed.), Microscope Slides: Reassessing a Neglected Historical Resource, special issue, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (2013) 35(3).

22 Möllendorff, Wilhelm v., ‘Ferdinand Graf v. Spee zum 70. Geburtstag’, Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1925) 51, p. 573.

23 For the method see F. Graf Spee, ‘Beitrag zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der frühen Stadien des Meerschweinchens bis zur Vollendung der Keimblase’, Archiv für Anatomie und Entwickelungsgeschichte (1883), pp. 45–60 and Plate II, 47–49; on Hensen the embryologist see Porep, Rüdiger, Der Physiologe und Planktonforscher Victor Hensen (1835–1924): Sein Leben und sein Werk, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 1970, pp. 8184; and Hopwood, Nick, Haeckel's Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015, pp. 218220.

24 Spee's published account of the preparation of embryo v.H.: F. Graf v. Spee, ‘Neue Beobachtungen über sehr frühe Entwickelungsstufen des menschlichen Eies’, Archiv für Anatomie und Entwickelungsgeschichte (1896), pp. 1–30 and Plate I, 4–5. Further: Jochen Krüger, ‘Die Implantation des Keimes in die Uteruswand: Eine historische Betrachtung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Kieler Anatomen Ferdinand Graf von Spee’, diss. med., Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, 1969; Hopwood, Nick, ‘Producing development: the anatomy of human embryos and the norms of Wilhelm His’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine (2000) 74, pp. 2979; Hopwood, , Embryos in Wax: Models from the Ziegler Studio, Cambridge: Whipple Museum of the History of Science, 2002.

25 Founded in 1914, the collection of the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Embryology incorporated some foreign specimens. The standard survey mentions Spee's and notes their destruction in the Second World War: O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola, Developmental Stages in Human Embryos, Including a Revision of Streeter's ‘Horizons’ and a Survey of the Carnegie Collection, Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1987, pp. 51 (‘unsatisfactory’), 79, 104 (‘destroyed’), 121, 138. Further on the Carnegie Department see Morgan, Lynn M., Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

26 Benninghoff, Alfred, ‘Über den funktionellen Bau des Knorpels’, Verhandlungen der Anatomischen Gesellschaft (1922) 31, pp. 250267; Benninghoff, , ‘Die Anatomie funktioneller Systeme’, Gegenbaurs Morphologisches Jahrbuch (1930) 65, pp. 110; Benninghoff, Lehrbuch, op. cit. (12); Drenckhahn, Detlev and Waschke, Jens (eds.), Benninghoff Taschenbuch Anatomie, 2nd edn, Munich: Urban & Fischer/Elsevier, 2014. For sustained engagement with Roux see Benninghoff, Alfred, ‘Form und Funktion’, Zeitschrift für die gesamte Naturwissenschaft (1935) 1, pp. 149160, (1936) 2, pp. 102–114; and Benninghoff, , ‘Eröffnungsvortrag’, Verhandlungen der Anatomischen Gesellschaft (1938) 46, pp. 622, esp. 13–14; on Benninghoff's unacknowledged debt to Braus see Herrlinger, Robert, ‘Wandlungen im anatomischen Unterricht seit Hermann Braus’, Sudhoffs Archiv (1953) 37, pp. 266277, esp. 275.

27 Following Möllendorff, op. cit. (22). Spee in fact habilitated in ‘anatomy and embryology’: Dean Arnold Heller to Kurator, 29 April 1885, GStA PK, I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Nr. 10207, Bl. 36. In 1898, already an associate professor, Spee was appointed to a new ‘extraordinary professorship of anatomy’: ibid., Sekt. 9 Tit. IV Nr. 3 Bd. 3, Bl. 199–200, 207–212.

28 Transplantation of teeth was out of vogue, but the many other transplants in the period perhaps lent tooth-bud transplantation plausibility: Henry W. Noble, ‘Tooth transplantation: a controversial story’, Newsletter (History of Dentistry Research Group) (October 2002) 11, at www.historyofdentistry.group/index_htm_files/2002oct4.pdf, accessed 4 October 2018; Schlich, Thomas, The Origins of Organ Transplantation: Surgery and Laboratory Science, 1880–1930, Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2010.

29 Spee, Graf F., ‘Zur Vorweisung von Präparaten menschlicher Lungen, die in natürlicher Spannung konserviert wurden’, Verhandlungen der Anatomischen Gesellschaft (1928) 37, pp. 302306. On frozen sections see Al-Gailani, Salim, ‘The “ice age” of anatomy and obstetrics: hand and eye in the promotion of frozen sections around 1900’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine (2016) 90, pp. 611642.

30 For a review that distributes credit a little more see Benninghoff, Alfred, ‘Anatomische Beiträge zur Frage der Verschiebung der Ventilebene im Herzen’, Ärztliche Forschung (1948) 2, pp. 2732.

31 Benninghoff, ‘Eröffnungsvortrag’, op. cit. (26), p. 18. For a prospectus of, and clip from, Benninghoff and K. Nitzschke, ‘Über den Gestaltwechsel des Herzens während seiner Tätigkeit’ (1936), see http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/library/data/lit38405, accessed 5 January 2018; further see Ulf Schmidt, Medical Films, Ethics and Euthanasia in Nazi Germany: The History of Medical Research and Teaching Films of the Reich Office for Educational Films/Reich Institute for Films in Science and Education, 1933–1945, Husum: Matthiesen, 2002.

32 Benninghoff again followed Möllendorff, op. cit. (22).

33 Benninghoff, ‘Abschiedsrede’, op. cit. (12), fols. 4–5.

34 The concert experience was standardized by this time: Ziemer, Hansjakob, Die Moderne hören: Das Konzert als urbanes Forum, 1890–1940, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2008.

35 According to Feneis, H., ‘Klaus Niessing†’, Anatomischer Anzeiger (1965) 116, pp. 417422, 419, Niessing ‘greatly admired’ Spee. Altered passages in Benninghoff's manuscript suggest that respect coexisted with occasional ridicule (see below).

36 Kiel als Universitätsstadt, Kiel: Mühlau, 1921, p. 22. For numbers of medical students see Löhr, Hanns, ‘Die medizinische Fakultät’, in Ritterbusch, Paul, Löhr, Hanns, Scheel, Otto and Hoffmann, Gottfried Ernst (eds.), Festschrift zum 275jährigen Bestehen der Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Leipzig: Hirzel, 1940, pp. 164215, 209.

37 Möllendorff, op. cit. (22).

38 Kurator to Minister, 12 June 1924, GStA PK, I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Sekt. 9 Tit. X Nr. 3 Bd. 2, Bl. 256–257.

39 For example, Rabl, Carl, Geschichte der Anatomie an der Universität Leipzig, Leipzig: Barth, 1909, pp. 107118.

40 Möllendorff to Kurator, 17 May 1925, GStA PK, I. HA Rep. 76 Kultusministerium, Va Sekt. 9 Tit. X Nr. 3 Bd. 2, Bl. 284–287. On Ziegler models see Hopwood, Embryos in Wax, op. cit. (24).

41 Möllendorff to Kurator, op. cit. (40). On renewing and handling see Heike Martine Huistra, ‘Preparations on the move: the Leiden anatomical collections in the nineteenth century’, doctoral dissertation, Universiteit Leiden, 2013, pp. 11–41; for the introduction of learning collections see Tonkoff, W., ‘Über die Einrichtung der anatomischen Lernsammlungen’, Anatomischer Anzeiger (1906) 29, pp. 479489.

42 Kurt Feyerabend, Die Universität Kiel: Ihre Anstalten, Institute und Kliniken, Düsseldorf: Lindner, [1929], p. 34.

43 Benninghoff, op. cit. (16), fol. 12.

44 Benninghoff, op. cit. (16), fol. 12.

45 Grundmann and Aumüller, op. cit. (8), pp. 345–354; Hildebrandt, Sabine, ‘Anatomische Gesellschaft from 1933 to 1950: a professional society under political strain – the Benninghoff papers’, Annals of Anatomy (2013) 195, pp. 381392; Karl-Werner Ratschko, Kieler Hochschulmediziner in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus: Die Medizinische Fakultät der Christian-Albrechts-Universität im ‘Dritten Reich’, Essen: Klartext, 2014, pp. 45–46, 362–364, 501–503; more generally see Hildebrandt, op. cit. (2); and Winkelmann, Andreas, ‘The Anatomische Gesellschaft and National Socialism: an analysis based on newly available archival material’, Annals of Anatomy (2015) 201, pp. 1730.

46 Ratschko, op. cit. (45); for the quotation see Benninghoff to Spruchkammer I, Marburg-Stadt, 24 October 1946, DB, Box 10, folder ‘Abgeschlossene Akten’.

47 A. Benninghoff, ‘Die Wandlung der geistigen Grundlagen in Biologie und Medizin. Fachschaftsvortrag von Professor Benninghoff am 13.VI.34’, fols. 6–7, DB, Box 10, folder ‘Vorträge – Reden’; see also Benninghoff, ‘Ansprache an die Mediziner. Beginn W.S. 1937/38’, ibid. Pace Rieppel, Olivier, ‘Karl Beurlen (1901–1985), nature mysticism, and Aryan paleontology’, Journal of the History of Biology (2011) 45, pp. 253299, 256, 281–282, Benninghoff's brief founding co-editorship of the Zeitschrift für die gesamte Naturwissenschaft, when based in Kiel and before its radicalization, indicates that he worked with ideological Nazis, but not that he endorsed their ‘Aryan science’.

48 A. Benninghoff, ‘Medizinervollversammlung 13.4.38’, fols. 2–3, DB, Box 10, folder ‘Vorträge – Reden’.

49 A. Benninghoff, ‘FestE[ssen]’, DB, Box 10, folder ‘Vorträge – Reden’.

50 Benninghoff to Spruchkammer I, Marburg-Stadt, 24 October 1946 (quotation) and to Spruchkammer Marburg Stadt, [autumn 1947], DB, Box 10, folder ‘Abgeschlossene Akten’.

51 Ratschko, op. cit. (45), pp. 502–503.

52 On Austria see Benninghoff, op. cit. (48), fol. 1; and Benninghoff, A., ‘Ansprache’, Verhandlungen der Anatomischen Gesellschaft (1938) 46, pp. 34.

53 Quoted in Grundmann and Aumüller, op. cit. (8), p. 348.

54 For the leave see Benninghoff to Dean, 24 August 1942, UniA MR, Best. 307c Nr. 5105; and to Reichsminister, 29 October 1943, ibid., Best. 305a Nr. 4007, Bl. 56.

55 Griese to Benninghoff, 27 November 1943, DB, Box 10, folder ‘Abgeschlossene Akten’.

56 Benninghoff to Spruchkammer Marburg Stadt, [autumn 1947], DB, Box 10, folder ‘Abgeschlossene Akten’.

57 Benninghoff, op. cit. (56). Before his Marburg appointment, the NSDAP judged that Benninghoff had ‘done nothing that was in any way directed against the Nat[ional]-Soc[ialist] state’: Gaudozentenbundesführer Bersin to Rector, 21 October 1940, UniA MR, Best. 305a Nr. 4007, Bl. 9. In general see Mehrtens, Herbert, ‘Irresponsible purity: the political and moral structure of mathematical sciences in the National Socialist state’, in Renneberg, Monika and Walker, Mark (eds.), Science, Technology and National Socialism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 324338, 411–413; on anatomy see Hildebrandt, op. cit. (2), pp. 258–295; and Winkelmann, op. cit. (45).

58 A. Benninghoff, ‘Immatrikulationsfeier, 28.11.1951’, fol. 4, DB, Box 1, folder ‘Anatomen-Gesellschaft’.

59 Hildebrandt, op. cit. (2). Some anatomists did worse; see also Weindling, Paul, Victims and Survivors of Nazi Human Experiments: Science and Suffering in the Holocaust, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015, pp. 119125.

60 Hildebrandt, op. cit. (2), p. 275.

61 On the bombing see Ratschko, Karl-Werner, ‘Kieler Hochschulmedizin im Krieg: Zerstörung der Kliniken und medizinischen Institute im 2.Weltkrieg’, Schleswig-Holsteinisches Ärzteblatt (2009) 62(1), pp. 5661, 60; on the post-war ruin see Herre, Wolf, ‘Die Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel nach 1945’, in Schauenburg, Brigitte (ed.), 750 Jahre Kiel: Beiträge zu Geschichte und Gegenwart der Stadt, Kiel: Mühlau, 1992, pp. 141156, 142, 147–149, 152.

62 Buddecke, Julia, Endstation Anatomie: Die Opfer nationalsozialistischer Vernichtungsjustiz in Schleswig-Holstein, Hildesheim: Olms, 2010.

63 Göppert to Benninghoff, 6 December 1936, DB, Box 10, folder ‘Abgeschlossene Akten’.

64 Benninghoff to Johannes Hett (copy), 21 August 1950, DB, Box 9, folder ‘20. Mai 1949 bis 29. Dez. 1950’: Flemming's widow had sold his slides to Lund. ‘During his life as emeritus Count Spee kept all his material including the microsc[opical] demonstration collection for himself. V[on] Möllendorf[f] took all his material with him from Kiel to Freiburg.’

65 Rauch, op. cit. (8), p. 67; also Putscher, op. cit. (8), p. 33. I have yet to find the ‘many letters’ that Rauch reported in Benninghoff's (uncatalogued) papers.

66 Rostock to Benninghoff, 28 December 1944 (office copy), Bundesarchiv, R 9361/62293, Bl. 930.

67 Schröder to Benninghoff, 31 October 1944, DB, Box 7, beige folder.

68 Quotation: Benninghoff, untitled farewell speech to friends and colleagues at home, December 1940, DB, Box 1, brown A5 envelope.

69 Netter to Benninghoff, 21 November [1945], and Benninghoff to Netter, 30 November 1945 (copy), DB, Box 1, brown A5 envelope; Netter to Benninghoff, 22 September 1949 and Benninghoff to Netter, 26 September 1949 (copy), DB, Box 9, folder ‘20. Mai 1949 bis 29. Dez. 1950’.

70 Ratschko, op. cit. (45), pp. 496–498.

71 Two ring binders in the Institut für Anatomie und Embryologie, Zentrum Anatomie, Universität Göttingen, document the story; see especially Erich Blechschmidt to President Norbert Kamp, 17 July 1988: ‘This request corresponds to an old tradition, that research collections remain for the length of his life in the possession of the emeritus who built them up for his research and from whom scientific work is expected even after his retirement.’ On Blechschmidt, see the in some respects problematic Mildenberger, Florian G., ‘Anatom, Abtreibungsgegner, Antidarwinist: Die drei Leben des Erich Blechschmidt (1904–1992)’, Medizinhistorisches Journal (2016) 51, pp. 246279.

72 An American reflection, also from 1944, Mosher, Harris P., ‘On being a professor emeritus’, reprinted in Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology (1994) 103, pp. 919928, includes the rules ‘Give advice only when asked. Don't expect to be asked … Don't feel openly hurt if your pet instruments, especially those you invented, are not used, but are put in the historical collection.’

I thank Boris Jardine and Jenny Bangham for prompting me to prepare this article and for comments on drafts, and am also grateful for the input of Silvia De Renzi, Sabine Hildebrandt, Andreas Winkelmann, Hansjakob Ziemer, Gerhard Aumüller, Tatjana Buklijas and two anonymous referees. I am indebted to those who helped with items in their care, especially Gesine Brakhage, Bernd Reifenberg, Dagmar Bickelmann, Ralph Lucius, Christoph Freitag, Matthias Roese, Hans-Werner Langbrandtner, Gadso Werner and Christoph Viebahn. Alison Zammer and Julie Inwood obtained numerous interlibrary loans, Ian Bolton and Adrian Newman prepared the figures, Wellcome (088708) and my department funded the research.

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