["If Berger had survived the second world war - he certainly would have been a candidate for the Nobel Prize". Hans Berger and the legend of the Nobel Prize]

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2005 Mar;73(3):156-60. doi: 10.1055/s-2004-830086.
[Article in German]


The public opinion pays much attention to the Nobel Prize as an indicator for the scientific efficiency of a university or a country in connection with foundation of so-called elite universities. The former holder of the psychiatric chair in Jena and discoverer of the electroencephalogram Hans Berger (1873 - 1941) came into discussion as candidate for the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. The current medical-historical publications maintain the view that Berger should have received the Nobel Prize in 1936 as well as in 1949. This was prevented in 1936 by an enactment from Hitler, which forbid him to accept the prize, and later in 1949 by Berger's own death. According to documents of the Nobel archives these statements can be disproved. Berger was only nominated three times out of 65 nominations in 1940. Because of his death the other two recommendations in 1942 and 1947 were never evaluated.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography / history*
  • Germany
  • History, 20th Century
  • Neurophysiology / history*
  • Nobel Prize*

Personal name as subject

  • Hans Berger