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Biographical entry König, Franz (1832 - 1910)

Hon FRCS July 25th 1900; MD Marburg 1855.

10 February 1832
Rotenburg-on-Fulda Hesse, Germany
12 December 1910
General surgeon


Born at Rotenburg-on-Fulda, in Hesse, on Feb 10th, 1832, the son of the medical attendant of the Landgrave. He graduated MD at the University of Marburg in 1855, in particular being a pupil of W Roser. After serving as assistant in the Surgical Clinic he studied in Berlin - surgery under Langenbeck and ophthalmology under Graafe; he then returned to Marburg as assistant to the Professor of Surgery, Roser. In 1860 he was appointed Surgeon to the Hospital and Medical Officer of Health at Hanau. He became well known through his advocacy of early and active surgical treatment of tuberculous disease of joints by excision. (See "Die Tuberculose der Knocken und Gelenke, und die Fortschritte in der Behandlung dieses Krankheit." - Volkmann's Sammlung klin Vorträge, 1882, No 214, Chir. No 69, 1865.)

In 1875-1877 he published his Lehrbuch des Specielle Chirurgie in two volumes, which became the popular text-book in Germany and ran through a number of editions. Commencing before the introduction of Lister's methods, he added "Antisepsis", and later still "Asepsis", up to the eighth edition (1904-1905). The active surgical treatment of tuberculosis was disputed by Howard Marsh (qv) in particular and was superseded.

König was appointed to follow Hueter as Professor of Surgery at Rostock; during the Franco-German War (1870-1871) his most active work was at the temporary hospitals on the Sempelhofer Feld in Berlin; in 1875 he succeeded Baum at Göttingen, in 1882 he moved to Berlin in succession to Bardleben with the titles of Professor and Medical Geheimrath. With Volkmann and Richter he edited the Centralblatt für Chirurgie from 1880, and continued to be one of the editors for thirty years. In 1904 he resigned, and after his retirement he lived first in Jena and then in Berlin, being, after von Esmarch, the oldest of the German Professors of Surgery. He died on Dec 12th, 1910, after a few days' illness due to pneumonia.

Besides König's text-book and his publications on tuberculosis and diseases of bones and joints, he contributed articles to the Pitha and Billroth Handbuch, and to the Deutsche Chirurgie, and wrote many other surgical communications.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England