Wilhelm Winternitz

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Wilhelm Winternitz (March 1, 1835), Josefov (Jaroměř) Josefstadt (now a part of Jaroměř, Okres Náchod), Bohemia – February 22, 1917, Vienna) was a Czech-Austrian Jewish physician and hydropathist. He was an influential neurologist[1] and hydropathist who at the time was commonly characterized as "the father of scientific hydrotherapy".[2][3][4]


Winternitz was educated at Vienna and at Prague (M. D. 1857), where he settled and became an assistant at the institute for the insane. In 1858 he entered the Austrian Navy, but resigned his position as surgeon in 1861 and established a practice in Vienna. There he became interested in hydropathy, and was soon regarded as one of the leading authorities.[5] Admitted to the medical faculty of the University of Vienna as privat-docent for hydropathy in 1865, he was one of the founders of the General Vienna Dispensary, where by 1905 he had become departmental chief. In the same year (1865?) he opened a private hospital at Kaltenleutgeben, near Vienna.[6] One of the people influenced by Winternitz was one of the Kellogg brothers involved in the Battle Creek Sanitarium.[6] In 1874 Winternitz became privat-docent in medicine, and was appointed assistant professor seven years later, becoming a full professor in 1899.

Winternitz was a collaborator for hydropathy on Von Ziemssen's Handbuch der Allgemeinen Therapie (ed. 1881), Albert Eulenburg's Realencyclopädie der Gesammten Heilkunde (ed. 1897), and Eulenburg's Lehrbuch der Allgemeinen Therapie und der Therapeutischen Methodik (Berlin, 1898–99). In 1890 he founded the Blätter für Klinische Hydrotherapie, of which he was still the editor in 1905.


In addition to several essays and monographs in medical journals, Winternitz was the author of the following works:

  • Kaltenleutgeben und Meine Wasserheilanstalt (Vienna, 1869)
  • Die Hydropathie auf Physiologischer und Klinischer Grundlage (ib. 1877-80; 2d ed. 1890-92; translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian)
  • Cholera, Lungenphthise und Fieber: Klinische Studien (ib. 1887-88)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jethro Kloss, and Promise K. Moffet. Back to Eden. Lotus Press, 1997. ISBN 0-940985-09-8. Quote from p. 781: "A famous neurologist in Vienna, Dr. Wilhelm Winternitz, went to observe Priessniz's water cure treatment center in Graefenberg, Austria."
  2. ^ Joseph Hersey Pratt. The Present Status of Hydrotherapy and Other Forms of Physical Therapeutics. Modern Medicine, vol. XIII (1904), no. 1, pp. 219–225
  3. ^ Simon Baruch. Hydrotherapy. A System of practical therapeutics. v. 1. (Hobart Amory Hare, editor), pp. 361–428, Lea Bros., 1901;
  4. ^ Joseph Hersey Pratt. The neglect of hydrotherapy in America. Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, vol. 168 (1913), no. 14, pp. 842–847
  5. ^ Metcalfe, Richard (1898). Life of Vincent Priessnitz, Founder of Hydropathy. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd. pp. 173–178. Retrieved 3 December 2009.  Full text at Internet Archive (archive.org)
  6. ^ a b Price, Robin (1981), "Hydropathy in England 1840-70", Medical History, 25: 269–280, doi:10.1017/s002572730003458x, PMC 1139039Freely accessible, PMID 7022064 

Bibliography of Jewish Encyclopedia[edit]