Kurt Huldschinsky

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Kurt Huldschinsky (1883 in Berlin – 15 December 1940, in Alexandria) was a German pediatrician of Polish (Prussian) heritage. He served in the Wehrmacht as a field medic in World War I and later, as a medical doctor and research scientist, he successfully demonstrated in the winter of 1918/1919 how rickets could be treated with ultra-violet lamps. At that time perhaps half of all German children suffered from rickets. It was already understood that this disease was caused by calcium deficiency. Up to that point, heliotherapy was a common protocol for many illnesses and showed promise in relieving the effects of rickets. The bio-chemical mechanism triggered in the human dermis by the sun's electromagnetic radiation was not fully understood, and scientists were exploring mostly the long wavelength (red) end of the spectrum. To generate artificial UV, Dr. Huldschinsky originally tried to adapt existing X-Ray technology.[1]

As Dr. Huldschinsky was Jewish, he needed to flee Nazi Germany so he, his Christian wife Maria (née Straßer) and their only child Eva emigrated to Egypt in 1934. There, he continued his professional work in healthcare delivery and published further medical science articles. He died in Alexandria on 15 December 1940 from malignant hyperthermia after a minor operation to deal with a thrombosis. [2]