Friends of the AAIE

How it all started

Paul Leo Dengler - founder & first director


Nicholas Murray Butler - Nobel Prize 1931

(April 2, 1862-December 7, 1947) was an educator and university president; an adviser to seven presidents and friend of statesmen in foreign nations; recipient of decorations from fifteen foreign governments and of honorary degrees from thirty-seven colleges and universities; a member of more than fifty learned societies and twenty clubs; the author of a small library of books, pamphlets, reports, and speeches; an international traveler who crossed the Atlantic at least a hundred times; a national leader of the Republican Party; an advocate of peace and the embodiment of the «international mind» that he frequently spoke about. He was called Nicholas Miraculous Butler by his good friend Theodore Roosevelt; the epithet was so perfect that, once uttered, it could not be forgotten.

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, this son of Henry L. Butler, a manufacturer, and Mary Murray Butler, daughter of Nicholas Murray, a clergyman and author, began his career with a brilliant record as a student. In 1882, at the age of twenty, he received his bachelor's degree, in 1883, a master's degree, in 1884, a doctorate - all from Columbia College; in 1885 he studied in Paris and in Berlin where he began a lifelong friendship with Elihu Root, who was also destined to become a Nobel peace laureate. In the fall of 1885, he accepted an appointment on the staff of the Department of Philosophy at Columbia College, which in 1896 became Columbia University. And so began a professional association that was to last for sixty years.

From the first, Butler distinguished himself as an educational administrator. Within four years he gave administrative form to his philosophical theory of pedagogy by establishing an institute which, later affliated with Columbia, became known as Teachers College. He founded the Educational Review and edited it for thirty years, wrote reports on state and local educational systems, served as a member of the New Jersey Board of Education from 1887 to 1895, participated in the formation of the College Entrance Examination Board. He was named acting president of Columbia University in 1901 and president in 1902, retaining that position until retirement in October, 1945.

Under his presidency, Columbia University made phenomenal growth. It became a major university. All graduate studies were enormously expanded; the scope of professional training was enlarged to include new schools such as those of journalism and dentistry; the student body was increased from 4,000 to 34,000 and the faculty by a like ratio; the plant was enlarged by a construction program that averaged a new building each year, and the endowment kept pace; the professorial salaries were increased enough to attract many of the world's leading scholars to the teaching and research staff.


Julius Wagner-Jauregg - Nobel Prize 1927

Julius Wagner - his father Adolf Johann Wagner was granted the title "Ritter von Jauregg" only in 1883 - was born on March 7, 1857, in Wels, Austria. He attended the famous old Schottengymnasium in Vienna and started reading medicine at Vienna University in 1874.

From 1874 to 1880 he studied with Salomon Stricker, in the Institute of General and Experimental Pathology, obtaining his doctor's degree in 1880 with a thesis entitled "L'origine et la fonction du coeur accélére" (Origin and function of the accelerated heart). He left the Institute in 1882. It was during this period that Wagner-Jauregg became acquainted with the use of laboratory animals in experimental work - a practice little followed at that time.

For a short period he worked in the Department for Internal Diseases under Bamberger, but gladly accepted the post of assistant to Leidesdorf in the Psychiatric Clinic in 1883, although he had never previously considered the possibility of becoming a psychiatrist and had practically no experience of this specialized field. Nevertheless, he was invited to lecture on the pathology of the nervous system already in 1885 and three years later this field was extended to include psychiatry. In 1887 his chief, Leidesdorf, fell ill and Wagner-Jauregg took charge of the clinic. In 1889 he was appointed Extraordinary Professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Graz as successor to Krafft-Ebing and Director of the Neuro-Psychiatric Clinic. It was there that he started his investigations on the connections between goitre and cretinism; on his advice the Government, some time later, started selling salt to which iodine had been added, in the areas most affected by goitre.

In 1892 followed the appointment to the "Landesirrenanstalt" (State Lunatic Asylum) and in 1893 he became Extraordinary Professor of Psychiatry and Nervous Diseases, and Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Nervous Diseases in Vienna, as successor to Meynert. Ten years later, in 1902, Wagner-Jauregg moved to the psychiatric clinic at the "Allgemeines Krankenhaus" (General Hospital) as this offered more scope and a more varied activity. However, when in 1911 the "Landesirrenanstalt" was rebuilt and enlarged on the outskirts of Vienna at Steinhof, thus making the setting up of a larger psychiatric-neurological department, Wagner-Jauregg returned to his former post.

Wagner-Jauregg's initial study was concerned with the origin and function of the N. accelerantes, and this was followed by another on the respiratory function of the N. vagus.

The main work that concerned Wagner-Jauregg throughout his working life was the endeavour to cure mental disease by inducing a fever. Already in 1887 he systematically investigated the effects of febrile diseases on psychoses, later also making use of tuberculin (discovered in 1890 by Robert Koch). As this and similar methods of treatment did not yield satisfactory results, he turned in 1917 to malaria inoculation, which proved to be very successful in the case of dementia paralytica. This discovery earned him the Nobel Prize in 1927. His numerous other distinctions included the Cameron Prize (1935)

Among his numerous publications may be mentioned: Myxödem und Kretinismus, in the Handbuch der Psychiatrie, (1912); Lehrbuch der Organotherapie (Textbook of organotherapy), with G. Bayer, (1914); Verhütung und Behandlung der progressiven Paralyse durch Impfmalaria (Prevention and treatment of progressive paralysis by malaria inoculation) in the Memorial Volume of the Handbuch der experimentellen Therapie, (1931).

Wagner-Jauregg occupied himself also intensively with questions concerning forensic medicine and the legal aspects of insanity; he assisted in formulating the law regarding certification of the insane, which is still in force in Austria today. In recognition of his services to forensic medicine he was awarded the diploma of Doctor of Law.

Wagner-Jauregg was judged by his pupils and friends to be rather reserved, cool and aloof, but was generally respected, and all his students were proud to work under him. He worked very hard and conscientiously, and was well known for his sense of justice. Among his numerous pupils should be mentioned C. von Economo, who in 1917 isolated epidemic encephalitis (since then also called Economo's disease) - a discovery giving rise to the abolishment of certain classical views in neurology.

Professor Wagner-Jauregg married Anna Koch. There were two children from this marriage: Julia (b. 1900) now Mrs. Humann-Wagner Jauregg, and Theodor (b. 1903) now "Privatdozent" in Chemistry at the University of Vienna.

In 1928, Wagner-Jauregg retired from his post in Steinhof, but was by no means idle, publishing about 80 scientific papers after his retirement. He enjoyed good health and remained active until his death on September 27, 1940.
From Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1965


Clemens v. Pirquet

Austrian paediatrician, born May 12, 1874, Hirschstetten near Vienna; died February 28, 1929, Vienna. Name also given as Clemens Freiherr von Pirquet.

Biography of Clemens Peter Pirquet von Cesenatico

Clemens Peter Freiherr von Pirquet was the progeny of a Lower Austrian noble family, the term Freiherr corresponding to English baron. His brother was Guido von Pirquet (1880–1966), a specialist in ballistics and thermodynamics and one of the early pioneers of space exploration.
He initially planned to study for the clergy and attended a Jesuit boarding school in Kalksburg before he commenced the study of theology at the University of Innsbruck. However, he soon changed to the study of philosophy at the University of Löwen, but then changed his mind again and studied medicine at the university of Graz. He qualified in medicine i Graz in 1900 and became doctor of medicine that year.
As a newly fledged physician he became an assistant under Theodor Escherich (1857-1911) at the Children's clinic in Vienna. After habilitating for paediatrics in 1908, he had achieved such fame that he was invited to America to become professor of paediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a tenure he held for two years. In 1910 he returned to Europe to take over the chair of paediatrics at Breslau. The following year, 1911, he was appointed Escherich's successor in Vienna, holding that tenure until his tragic death on February 28, 1929.
Von Pirquet primarily devoted himself to bacteriology and immunology. In 1906 he noticed that patients who had received injections of horse serum or smallpox vaccine usually had quicker, more severe reactions to second injections. His term for this phenomenon, coined with Béla Schick (1877-1967), designates a conditions from which a drastically increasing proportion of people of the industrialised world suffers: allergy – from the Greek "allos" meaning changed or altered state and "ergon" meaning reaction or reactivity.
While studying the symptoms of cowpox vaccination, he also developed a new theory about the incubation time of infectious diseases and the formation of antibodies. In 1909 he published the results of a series of tuberculin tests of inhabitants of Vienna that showed that 70 percent of the children tested had been infected by tuberculosis by the age of ten, and more than 90 percent at the age of fourteen.
A doctor in the time of need
Von Pirquet also made important contributions on infant nutrition, and on provisions in the time immediately after the First World War - a period of great suffering for most Austrians. In 1919 he organised the American Children's Relief, he extended the paediatric clinic and worked for the education of physicians and nurses. After the establishment of the Austrian Directorate of Public Health he was named Secretary-General, International Union for Youth Welfare to the League of Nations. The crisis in Austria after World War I had much in common with the crisis marked by hyperinflation that hit Germany a few years later, but conditions in Austria were probably even worse than in Germany.
The author Stefan Zweig described the condition of his native country at this time: ". . . Every trip to town was a shocking experience, for the first time I looked into the yellow, dangerous eyes of famine. The black bread crumbled and tasted like pitch and glue, the coffee was an extraction of burnt barley, the beer was yellow water, the chocolate coloured sand and the potatoes had been frozen. Most people bred rabbits in order to have some taste of meat . . . and well fed dogs and cat rarely returned home from a stroll."

Clemens von Pirquet left a comprehensive work, covering all of his scientific research.


Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss was a leading German classical composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras best known for his operas Der Rosenkavalier and Salome.

The official Richard Strauss website


Anna Freud

Anna Freud was born December 3, 1895, in Vienna, Austria. In 1938 she moved to England to escape Nazi rule. During WWII she studied the development of homeless children. She founded her own course in child psychoanalysis in 1947 and her own clinic in 1952. Throughout the remainder of her life, she continued to write important papers in her field. She died October 9, 1982, in London, England.


Otto Gloeckel

Otto Glöckel (born February 8, 1874, Pottendorf, Lower Austria – July 23, 1935, Vienna) social-democratic politician and school-reformer during the First Austrian Republic. First Minister of Education during the First Austrian Republic from April 1919 to October 1920.

Otto Glöckel's Achievements:Women were granted the right to enter university.Religious education was no longer compulsory ("Glöckel Erlass", 10th of April 1919)Schools started to be organized in a democratic way (introduction of form and school representatives (??))The first comprehensive schools were established in Austria

Members, Supporters & Lecturers

And Karl and Charlotte Buhler (originally Bühler) constituted an interesting man-and-wife team. Both were born in Germany. They both taught at the University of Vienna for the better parts of to decades before the Anschluss……the significant Karl Bühler….was the leader of the Vienna school of psychologists. He was thrown into a Vienna jail by the Nazis in 1938 and succeed only in 1939 in coming to the United States with his wife. (Quiet Invaders p 289)

More distinctively Austrian was the Wiener Kreis, the Vienna Circle. Long before or War II a German born philosopher,
Moritz Schlick, ….had married a young lady from Boston, found his life work at the University of Vienna and been assassinated by an unhappy student there while he, Schlick, was enjoying fame as the leader of one of the great philosophical “schools” f our century. The Boston lady was in the early 1960s´still a charming old lady in the Vienna which she and her husband had adopted.
And the philosophical gospel of her husband, a kind of neo-positivism,had become more significant……and the United States than in its Vienna cradle…..It died in Austria because Schlick was murdered and because Hitler destroyed Austrian scholarship in general and the Wiener Kreis in particular. (Quite Invaders, p 181)

And Anthony Eugene Sokol (b Vienna 1897) whose career as an Austrian naval officer was terminated by the treaty of St. Germain, turned from German literature to Asiatic and Slavic languages at Standford University. He was one of the Austrian notables whom the Fulbright exchange program took back to teach in his native Vienna (Quiet Invaders, p. 176)