The story of the first homoeopathic hospital is an interesting bit of history,not only be because it was the first institution of its kind,but because it seems to have set the pattern followed by many Homoeopathic hospitals of later years. When it opened its door to the public on January 22d 1993, it enjoyed the loyal support of the majority of the homoeopathic fraternity.
Its dissolution,after four years of rather precarious existence,was due to the jealousy and butter strife among the homoeopaths themselves, in which, regrettably , Hahnemann himself took part,and to the “fifty- column activities” of its enemies. However,its inception of its successors; for even before the simple inaugural ceremony by which it was dedicated, it was doomed to failure.
In August of 1829, a friend of Homoeopathy donated 1250 Thaler for the erection of a Homoeopathic clinic. Naturally, Hahnemann received the news of this generous gift with the greatest satisfaction. Now at last his dream of an institution where the marvelous efficiency of his new system of therapeutics could to practice according to his teachings was to be realized. But his enthuse was dampened when he learned that Moritz Muller had been appointed as medical director of the proposed hospital as clinic. Muller, though sincere and one of the most gifted of those who claimed to practice Homoeopathy in Germany , was unable to dives himself himself of many of his allopathic ideas.
Hahnemann knew this hence he was in grave doubt as to the kind of treatment the inmates of the hospital would receive. Subsequent events did not allay his fears. Muller seems to have been the most enthusiastic of all in promoting the new venture. The fund had been increased to the amount of 3500 Thaler.
By his zeal and energy, Muller was able to purchase a house in one of Leipsic’s suburb’s and through his personal influence, and , despite the strenuous opposition of Medical Officer Clears, an against of all things Homoeopathic, obtained a permit from the local government that placed the hospital on a legal basis. but to Hahnemann, who had lost confidence in Muller’s honor, this was a positive induction that the latter, “well reputed and influential as he was in Leipsic, had brought all this to pass by means of astonishing zeal simply to appropriate to himself the position as chief physician”.
Probably Hahnemann did not know that, at a meeting of the Leipsic members of the directorate to elect the chief director of the hospital, Muller nominated Schweikert of Grimma, but Hobbled proposed Muller, who was elected, or that Schweikert, who was Hahnemann’s choice and a thorough going homoeopath, was given the position of Hospital Physician at a later date. Muller wrote on the back of ballots sent to out of town members, that Schweikert was the only suitable one for this office.
The fact that Muller kept Hahnemann informed of the course of events, seemed not to have altered the attitude of the latter toward the hospital regime. “But ” says Haggle. (Life and Letters of Hahnemann) ” when all obstacles seemed to be set aside in an unexpectedly short time’; when the house was bought for the institution through Mortise Muller’s zeal; when the official sanction was accorded; when even Leipsic town seemed to be promoting the affair and Hahnemann could assume that his ‘strict’ pupil Schweikert would be removing from Grimma to Leipsic in order to undertake the direction of the institution entirely according his theories, them even Hahnemann’s anxieties were allayed for the moment ,and he rejoiced at God’s remarkable guidance.
For weeks later all this was ruined and the germ of blight had been laid at the threshold of the institution as yet unopened, by Hahnemann himself. It is the most pain full fact in the whole history of Homoeopathy, that its founder, in clumsy and thoughtless haste, should deal the blow which stifled the movement; united enterprise as it was coming to live.” In a sharp and unexpected attack, published in the Leipsic Tafgeblatt, Hahnemann branded the physicians who were behind the movement to build a hospitals “pseudo-homoeopathic and unreliable.” It was like a stroke of lightning out of a cloudless sky and not only ruined the moral support of the hospital outside of Leipsic, but created dissension among the homoeopaths themselves and caused Schweikert to declare that he would not come to Leipsic.
However, he chanted his mind and, after arranging his affairs in Grimma, made the journey, arriving on October 6th. But he did not assume the position Hahnemann had anticipated he would, for, as previously noted, at a meeting of the directors, Muller was elected Director in Chief of the hospital., thus were Hahnemann’s fears realized. Schweikert and his pupil, Edward Seidel, who had been called from his native town of Ober- Lausitz, were the only genuine homoeopaths on the staff.
The hospital, situated in a beautiful spot in the only Johannis suburb of Leipsic was opened with a brief ceremony of the 22nd of January. 1833. Schweikert, in his capacity as delegate of the Central Society which head sponsored the movement presided. He said in part, “Near and far,m the eyes of our enemies and our friends are on our institution, the former spying, doubting, unbelieving, the latter full of hope, confidence and belief. In remains for us to justify her friends’ hopes and trusting belief.” Muller made a few remarks saying that “newly discovered natural laws led Hahnemann reconstruct the theory of therapy which seems to justify itself in practice as being the most admirable.
“No word was received from Hahnemann who had said that he had no sympathy with as institution directed by “in pure physicians” and even with held money that was sent to him for its support. Others shared his views. Stories of unhomoeopathic treatment of patients began to leak out. Homoeopaths who came from other countries, soon went away disappointed, Students who had already accepted the new therapy were the only visitors. Patients flocked to the hospital so long as they received free treatment. Although money was not electing in the earlier months, contributions from physicians and friends began began to fall off.
Then, owing to the attacks against him and the well-known fact that the majority of the Central Association were on Hahnemann’s side, Muller tendered him resignation. In his words of farewell, he emphasized the fact that, although patients were to be treated homoeopathically and the truths of HOMOEOPATHY were to be treated homoeopathically and the truths of Homoeopathy were to be demonstrated, in the hospital and out-patient department, the prime motive for its organization was the teaching of HOMOEOPATHY to members of the old school As he was not prepared to give them adequate instruction he was happy to make way for a veteran homoeopath like Schweikert.
Hartmann, who was not a strict Homoeopaths, took over Muller’s duties until Schweikert arrived. Hahnemann’s interest and support were at once restored. He even journeyed (in his eightieth year), to Leipsic to inspect the hospital and confer with the DIRECTORS and his more intimate friends. But while there, he announced that from henceforth he would undertake along the management of the institution in place of the Board of Directors, which had been appointed by the Central Association. This action, although it passed without protest from the Association, offended many friends of the new movement and
widened the gap between Hahnemann’s loyal disciples and the “half Homoeopaths”.
Hahnemann’s loyal disciples and the ” half homoeopaths.” Moreover, when Hahnemann moved to Paris in June 1935, after writing the Directors that he had no further use of the hospital, his enemies started a caused against Schweikert and his conscientious assistant, Seidel. Stung by their false accusations and innuendoes, Schweikert resigned. Then came Fickel.
Dr. Fickel was a young allopath who deliberately wormed his way into the confidence if the Leipsic homoeopaths by writing several learned treatises on Homoeopathy, first under an assumed name, later over his own signature. As the wrote after his resignation, “Up to that time I had been a physician, it is true, but never a homoeopath, and I had never had cause to alter the theories underlying my practice. I was a stranger to the homoeopathic institution, I had only to make the acquaintance of those homoeopaths who were influential in the affair. To my astonishment by Schumann, the book-seller and a member of the Board, and was immediately appointed, despite the warning that there were stories going about of the “malicious, moral perversion of his relations to Homoeopathy.”
He served for two years and then resigned, but not until after he had been exposed by Hartmann, Noack and others., And yet, according to Seidel, he had managed the hospital well. He deceived even his closest associate, for many times he had to call Seidel to assist him in selecting a remedy; in other cases that puzzled him, he simply gave a placebo. He confessed in court that he had perpetrated the hoax to obtain evidence that Homoeopathy was a fake.
Whether he was punished or not, our historians do not say, but as soon as he was free, he set about writing against Homoeopathy, making the not of his observations which be consistently twisted to further his purpose. Though not directly responsible for the demise of the hospital, his action brought it still further into disrepute. Hartmann for the second time became Director and treatment under his regime was anything but homoeopathic. He, too, was forced to resign when attacked, chiefly by members of the Central Association. He was succeeded by Dr.Noack who unjustly discharged the faithful Seidel.
On October 4th, 1842, the building was sold to a merchant who agreed to lease a large room on the first floor to Hartmann as a dispensary., Thus did the first Homoeopathic hospital pass into oblivion.
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