Laryngologist Leon Zamenhof--brother of Dr. Esperanto

Am J Audiol. 2009 Jun;18(1):3-6. doi: 10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0002). Epub 2008 Oct 31.


Purpose: To reconstruct the biography of the Polish otorhinolaryngologist Leon Zamenhof (1875-1934), a brother of Ludwik Zamenhof, who is famous for invention of the international language Esperanto.

Method: Biographical information was collected from pre-World War II resources.

Results: Zamenhof developed several important new forms of treatment to help the hearing impaired. Zamenhof was especially interested in the education of deaf children and the therapy necessary to facilitate their integration into society. His significant achievements were a phonetic method of therapy for the hearing impaired and an automatic device for ear insufflation that was considered indispensable in the management of pyorrhea. In addition, Zamenhof initiated various forms of social support among physicians within the medical community of Warsaw, Poland; made health care available to children with hearing impairments; and organized a Jewish school for deaf children. Zamenhof tried to change public attitudes toward deafness, working to promote the integration of the deaf into wider society. He also translated Polish literature into Esperanto.

Conclusions: With similar aims to his brother Ludwik, Leon Zamenhof strived to enhance and broaden communication among people who could not hear and to persuade people to change their attitudes about deafness.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Deafness / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Linguistics / history*
  • Otolaryngology / history*
  • Poland

Personal name as subject

  • Leon Zamenhof
  • Ludwik Zamenhof