On the other side of the cemetery gate. Graves of physicians and pharmacists in Warsaw’s Protestant necropolises

In 2020, Museum of the History of Medicine offers a series of free walking tours with the main focus on Warsaw’s historic cemeteries. On Monday 7th September 2020, a group of history of medicine enthusiasts had the opportunity to visit the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery and the Evangelical-Reformed Cemetery. With passion and commitment typical of him, the director of the Museum of the History of Medicine of the Medical University of Warsaw, Dr. Adam Tyszkiewicz introduced the tour participants to profiles of many outstanding figures of the medical proffession buried at these Warsaw historical cemeteries. Academic community of Warsaw Medical University was represented by prof. Krzysztof J. Filipiak who spiced up the tour, reviewing  the evolution of cardiac rehabilitation in Poland at the grave of its pioneer, prof. Stanislaw Rudnicki.

Respects were paid at the graves of prominent founders of Warsaw medicine such as August Ferdynand Wolff . Group has also visited graves of such  outstanding figures , such as: pathologist Franciszek Venulet, pediatrician Władysław Szenajch, radiologist Maria Werkenthin and famous pharmacists: Samuel Elsner, Henryk Spiess and Henryk Klawe. All of them played vital role in shaping Warsaw medicine in the last 200 years. The tour was also opportunity to admire interesting examples of sepulchral art.

The memory of the Rector of the Medical Academy, Jerzy Szczerbań, was commemorated by laying a wreath, candles were lit on the graves of contemporary, recently deceased representatives of Warsaw medicine: prof. Andrzej Wojtczak, prof. Marek Pertkiewicz and prof. Stanisław Rudnicki.

Dr. Adam Tyszkiewicz has traditionally complemented the tour by stopping at the graves of outstanding figures from outside the medical field but equally important in the history of Warsaw, and often also of Poland.

The walk was organized as part of a series of meetings entitled “Coryphaeuses  of Warsaw academic medicine and their scientific schools”. Presenting the graves of famous anatomists, pathologists and surgeons was  a prelude to the project “Learn the secrets of the human body in the anatomical theatre of the 21st century”

Photo: The Photomedical Department of the Medical University of Warsaw.