He studied medicine at the University of Marburg, Berlin and Halle, and earned his doctorate in 1904. Since 1905 he worked in Berlin-Friedrichshain hospital. His co-workers were Korbinian Brodmann, Cecile Vogt, Oskar Vogt and Max Bielschowsky.
Since 1910 he edited, together with Alois Alzheimer, Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie. He wrote also handbook of neurology, Handbuch der Neurologie. During World War I he became infected with typhus and died.
- Holdorff B. Founding years of clinical neurology in Berlin until 1933. J Hist Neurosci. 13, 3, 223-38. 2004. doi:10.1080/09647040490510524. PMID 15370309.