Sue Young Histories

Gustav Kuschinsky 1904 - 1992

December 26, 2008

Gustav Kuschinsky 1904 - 1992 was a German Pharmacologist, who held the Chair in Pharmacology in Mainz, and who laid the basic structure for German law to balance risk and benefits for pharmaceuticals, and he was also influential in pharmacology emerging as a separate discipline in Germany.

Gustav Kuschinsky looked favourably on homeopathy, and Kuschinski and his colleagues were involved in homeopathic research in Germany before World War II, but this work was interrupted and all records lost in the war. However, Kuschinski returned to investigate homeopathy after the war, conducting further research into homeopathy in 1975.

Between 1936 and 1939 drug provings were carried out on behalf of the Reich health authorities in various homeopathic hospitals.

Their “main purpose was to research the reliability of former provings and the validity of the drug pictures that were based on them”.

The research team consisted of homeopath Professor Hanns Rabe, internist Professor Werner Siebert and the professors of pharmacology Gustav Kuschinsky (1904-1992) and Richard Bonsmann (life dates not known). Fritz Donner, who practised at the time in the homeopathy department of the Rudolf Virchow Hospital in Berlin, was also involved in the programme.

Kuschinscki also conducted research into the harmful effects of tobacco:

The pharmacologist Gustav Kuschinsky of Prague received a total of 17 444 RM that same year from Astel’s institute, to conduct a series of rat experiments to prove (with Karl Thums of Prague) that smoking caused heritable genetic damage. Kuschinsky was still doing work on this project (without success) as late as September 1944; he also worked for the Reemtsma tobacco company after the war, doing similar work.

Gustav Kuschinsky was a prolific author.


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