1854 - 1946
Albert Lorenz Memorial
A-1010 Vienna, Rathausstrasse 21
April 21, 1854: Adolf Lorenz was born in Weidenau, Austrian-Silesia, son of Johann Lorenz, harness-maker and inn-keeper, and his wife Agnes, maiden name Ehrlich.
1860-65: Attendance of primary school.
1866: Adolf moves to his mother's brother in Graz, starting an apprenticeship in a grocery. Discontinuance of apprenticeship and decision to attend the grammar school in St. Paul im Lavanttal.
August 5, 1874: Graduation from the upper secondary school in Klagenfurt (Carinthia) under very difficult living conditions, followed by the start of his medical studies at the University of Vienna.
February 13, 1880: Graduate of Doctor der gesamten Heilkunde.
Assistant at the Rudolph Hospital under Prof. Weinlechner, from October 1 surgeon at the 1st Department of Surgery under Prof. Johann von Dumreicher.
1882: from October 1 instructor at the 1st Department of Surgery under Prof. Eduard Albert.
1883: Lorenz publishes his Thesis on the acquired flat-foot.
1884: Application for habilitation; opinionsi delivered by Prof. E. Albert and Prof. Th. Billroth.
May 19: Award of the 1, 400 guilder Haber-Linsberg travel award. Stay in Munich.
June 28: Trial lecture on Recent advances in surgical orthopaedics.
August 24: Confirmation of habilitation (private docent for surgery) at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Medicine.
On October 17, Lorenz requests the Office of the Dean of the Medical Faculty for permission to give lectures with a duration of 5 to 6 weeks on orthopaedic surgery at the department of Prof. E. Albert.
October 5: Marriage to Emma Lecher (1862-1936).
September 2, 1885: Birth of son Albert.
1889: Proposition by the professors Billroth and Albert to appoint Doz. Lorenz professor extra-ordinarius of surgery with special lectureship.
December 27: Appointment as professor extra-ordinarius at the University of Vienna.
1896: With decision dated October 16, the emperor, Franz-Joseph I., grants Prof. Adolf Lorenz taxfrei the title of Counsellor of the Government.
1901: Co-founder of the German Society of Orthopaedic Surgery.
1902/03: Treatment of a private patient in Chicago, afterwards demonstration surgeries in Denver, Boston, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Rochester (N.Y.); reception by President Th. Roosevelt at the White House.
November 7, 1903: Birth of the second son, Konrad.
December 17, 1912: Prof. Lorenz supports the initiative to raise orthopaedics to an independent field of habilitation.
June 17, 1916: Prof. Eiselsberg proposes Lorenz for the honour of the title and character of an ordinary professor.
January 7, 1920: With decision of the president of the National Assembly dated December 1919, Lorenz is awarded the title and character of a professor ordinarius.
July 13, 1921: Federal president Hainisch awards Regierungsrat Prof. Lorenz the title and character of a Hofrat.
1924: Prof. Lorenz retires waiving the conventional honorary year.
1924-1937: Father and son hold regular winter consultations in New York.
1935: His native town, Weidenau, honours Lorenz with a commemorative plaque at his parents' house.
1944: Award of the Goethe medal for Art and Science and of the Billroth Prize on the occasion of his 90th birthday. An oil portrait of Prof. Lorenz is added to the Honorary Gallery of the City of Vienna.
February 12, 1946: Prof. Lorenz dies at the age of 92 in his retirement residence in Altenberg and is buried in an honorary grave at the cemetery of St. Andrä-Wördern.
1950: A plaque at the convent of St. Paul im Lavanttal commemorating Adolf Lorenz is unveiled by his son Albert.
1959: A street in the 13th district of Vienna (Hietzing) is named after the father of modern orthopaedics.
May 6, 1992: Foundation of the Adolf-Lorenz-Society.
December 17, 1993: A commemorative plaque is unveiled at his Viennese address Rathausstrasse 21, A-1010 Vienna.
Albert Lorenz was born on September 2, 1885. Instead of going to a public primary school he was educated by a private tutor and afterwards he attended the Schottengymnasium in Vienna which he finished in 1903. He did his military service as a one-year volunteer with the Ulan regiment No. 8 and in 1904 he was transferred to the Ulan regiment No. 3 "Erzherzog Karl".
He then studied medicine at the University of Vienna and finished his studies on
March 13, 1910.
After his graduation he worked as a surgical assistant at the II. Surgical Department under Prof. Hochenegg for three years and for one year he took care of the orthopaedic division organized by himself.
Between 1910 and 1914 he received his postgraduate education at different orthopaedic departments, e.g with Prof. Lange in Munich, Prof. Vulpius in Heidelberg, Prof. Schulze in Duisburg, Prof. Schanz in Dresden, Prof. Preiser in Hamburg, Prof. Biesalski in Berlin and Prof. Gocht in Halle/Saale. Furthermore, he spent time at clinics in London and Paris for research purposes.
In 1912 Albert Lorenz married for the first time. His wife first was Elisabeth Trubel (1888-1920), daughter of a silk factory owner.
With the outbreak of World War I, Albert Lorenz was drafted on July 28, 1914. Initially orderly officer in the automobile corps, he was soon transferred to the sanitary corps, partially as a consiliary surgeon and partially as head physician and served in different mobile reserve and field hospitals. He was assisted by his wife Elisabeth who worked as a surgical nurse and accompanied him wherever he had to work. For her bravery on frontline - she transported wounded soldiers by car during the night - she was awarded the Goldenes Verdienstkreuz am Band der Tapferkeitsmedaille, simultaneously her husband was decorated with the Ritterkreuz des Franz-Josefs-Orden am Bande.
During his recovery in Vienna, following a serious bout of pneumonia, Albert Lorenz was appointed assistant at the department of Prof. Hochenegg.
However, already in February 1915 he returned to his position as a head physician of the Red Cross hospital at the frontline in Futak near Uiridek. From March 1916 he was chief surgeon at the reserve hospital in Pécs and head of both its surgical departments.
In 1918 he was promoted to regimental medical officer of the reserve in Pécs.
Back in Vienna, he worked as a private assistant at the Orthopaedic University Clinic of his father between 1924 and 1937 and accompanied him every winter on his travels to America to perform orthopaedic surgery. He took a keen interest in studying American orthopaedic surgical methods in different hospitals in New York, New Jersey and other renowned hospitals. Between 1936 and 1938 he researched in American libraries for a textbook on orthopaedics which he published later on.
The charitable activities which father and son Lorenz had performed in American clinics after World War I caused American benefactors to assist in Austria's reconstruction. They were also an important precondition for the foundation of the Adolf Lorenz fund for the promotion of Austrian medical students.
In 1938 Albert Lorenz was appointed head of the orthopaedic clinic at the Viennese General Policlinic and of the orthopaedic clinic at the Paediatric Department at the University of Vienna. The beginning of World War II interrupted this activity and he was appointed head of different military hospitals in Krakov, Poland.
On October 30, 1940 Albert Lorenz received his habilitation at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna and was appointed head of the hospital for amputees in Gassergasse (Vienna). He received his teaching licence for orthopaedic surgery at the Medical Faculty at the University of Vienna on August 25, 1943.ii
Between December 1, 1945 and December 1, 1951 he was head of the orthopaedic station of the 1st Department of Surgery at the University of Vienna (head: Prof. Schönbauer).
After his retirement from the university he headed the orthopaedic clinic of the local health insurance in Andreasgasse and until shortly before his death he run his private practice in Rathausstrasse 21. Among the impressive number of his scientific publications special mention must be made of those on fractures of the femoral neck, hollow foot deformities, acetabular roof reconstruction and hallux valgus surgeries. Albert Lorenz became prominent not only as a physician but also as an author. He wrote several contributions for Austrian and foreign newspapers on different topics such as medicine, sports and nature as well as several autobiographical books. His probably most import and often cited book Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne - Erinnerungen an Adolf Lorenz (When the father with the son - memories about Adolf Lorenz), published in 1955, has gone into 16 editions. Later on his commemorative books Der Schattenreiter and Alte Autos - Junge Liebe were published.
Albert Lorenz died in Vienna on July 13, 1970.
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