Sue Young Histories

Ferenc Franz Hausmann 1811 - 1876

January 30, 2009

Ferenc Franz Hausmann 1811 - 1876 was a German Hungarian orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become extremely influential in establishing of homeopathy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hausmann was the Medical Director of the Homeopathic Hospital in Pest, and in charge of an Institute for the testing of homeopathic remedies. Hausmann was a principle prover of coloycynth.

Hausmann’s work was far ahead of its time, and in 1889, The Homeopathic World compared his writings to Emanuel Swedenborg (Anon, The Homeopathic World, Volume 24, (Jarrold, 1889)).

From Robert Jütte, The Hidden Roots: A History of Homeopathy in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, (Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation, 1 Jan 2006) (  The Polish translation Dyetetyka homoeopatyczna of a paper by the German Hungarian homeopathic physician Franz Hausmann was published in Vilnius in 1858

In 1843 Hungarian homeopaths made their first attempt at forming an association. Initiators were Joseph Attomyr, who by then already practised in Pest, and Carl Heinrich Rosenberg, who was personal physician to Count Batthyany.

The small but nevertheless very presentable number of homeopaths in the country had, however, reservations with regard to this scheme, and the political climate, i.e. the looming Hungarian liberation fights of 1848-49, was not exactly conducive to this kind of endeavour.

In 1863, another appeal was launched for the foundation of a homeopathic association that should, however, not admit laypersons. This time the initiators were, among others, Tivadar Bakody, Janos Garay, Ferenc (Franz) Hausmann, and Abraham von Szontagh.

An association was founded on 28th December 1865…

In 1870 the second hospital for homeopathy opened its gates in Pest. Its benefactress was Countess Zichy (née von Metternich!). The hospital which was named after Elisabeth Queen of Hungary had 12 beds and was first situated on Fo Straße (later Fo Knezich Straße) in the Pest district of Franzstadt.

Its first medical director was Dr Ferenc Franz Hausmann and the nurses were nuns from the order of the Sisters of Mercy…

With a majority decision in 1870 the Hungarian Parliament endorsed the establishment of an academic chair at the University of Pest and of a public homeopathic hospital. In 1871 the first chair, which was more therapy based, was occupied by Ferenc Franz Hausmann who had had many years’ experience as medical director of a homeopathic hospital…

After Samuel Hahnemann’s discovery the theory found enthusiastic followers even in Hungary. The first generation of homeopathic physicians (Pal Almasi Balogh, Jozsef Bakody, Gyorgy Forgo and others) established a successful practice, although the doctrine had been banned in the Habsburg Empire from 1819 onwards.

Thanks to the activity of the so called second generation (Ferenc Hausmann, Istvan Vezekenyi Horner) Samuel Hahnemann’s main work, the Organon was translated into Hungarian (1830) and the first homeopathic hospitals were founded in Koszeg (1833) and in Gyongynos (1838).

In 1837 the order banning homeopathical practice was removed, and in 1844 the Hungarian Parliament decided to establish a homeopathic department at the University of Pest. In 1847 Dome Argenti published his extradinarily successful homeopathic book Homeopathic Treatment of Various Illnesses.

In the 1860s a new generation of physicians (Tihamer Almasi Balogh, Lorant Hausmann, Abraham von Szontagh and others) published the first Hungarian homeopathic periodicals the Hasonszenvi Kozlony and the Hasonszenvi Lapok and, at the same time, they founded the Society of Hungarian Homeopathic Physicians (1865).

In 1870 the first homeopathic hospital, the Elisabethinum, opened its gates, and at the University of Pest two different homeopathic departments began to operate. At the end of the century however, homeopathy entered into a period of decline, due to the resistance of the conventional physicians and the successes of conventional medicine.

Between the two World Wars only Gusztav Schimert and his circle substained the theory and practice in Hungary, so successfully that in 1935 the International League of Homeopathy held its congress in Budapest.

After the Second World War Gusztav Schimert emigrated, and homeopathy was informally banned in Hungary (although the practice itself survived in secrecy). The Society of Hungarian Homeopathical Physicians was re-established only in 1991.

Ferenc Franz Hausmann’s Obituary is in The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1876.

Ference Franz Hausmann contributed homeopathic publications, and he wrote a treatise on the homeopathic treatment of thyphoid in 1853. Hausmann’s provings, cases and articles were immensely influential to homeopathy, and widely publicised on both sides of the Atlantic.

Of interest:

George Hausmann was listed as a homeopathic pharmacist in America in 1897.

Hugo Hausmann was listed as a homeopath on the passenger list of the Arcadia in 1897, which travelled from Hamburg to Quebec.

A Dr. Hausmann was an assistant of Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow in Berlin in 1895.