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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-166  

In Memoriam: Prof. Karl Holubar (1936-2013)

Consultant Dermatologist, 'Pranab", Ismile (Near Dharmaraj Mandir), Asansol, India

Date of Web Publication17-Apr-2013

Correspondence Address:
Amiya Kumar Mukhopadhyay
Consultant Dermatologist, 'Pranab", Ismile (Near Dharmaraj Mandir), Asansol
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Mukhopadhyay AK. In Memoriam: Prof. Karl Holubar (1936-2013). Indian Dermatol Online J 2013;4:165-6

How to cite this URL:
Mukhopadhyay AK. In Memoriam: Prof. Karl Holubar (1936-2013). Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Jul 9];4:165-6. Available from: http://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2013/4/2/165/110650

"Yad yadācarati śreṣṭhstattadevetaro jana

yat pramāakurute lokastadanuvartate"

Śrīmadbhagbad Gitā 3:21.
"Whatever a great man does others also pursue (the same path); that which he accepts as authority, people only follow." Nothing can be more appropriate than this if one analyses the life, philosophy and work of Prof. Karl Holubar, whose memory will always be cherished by his innumerable colleagues, students, admirers, and followers throughout the globe.

The year 2013 started with a sad note with the sudden demise of Prof. Karl Holubar on 6 th of January. The world of dermatology, especially that of the history of dermatology and medicine has lost a towering personality: A loss that is irreparable.

Prof. Holubar was born on 3 rd of June, 1936 in Vienna. He received his MD degree from the Medical School of Vienna in 1960. During his days at the Dermatology department of Amsterdam in1968 and Microbiology (Immunology) department at State University of New York, Buffalo, USA during 1972-1973 he became one of the pioneers in immunopatholgical work on dermatological disorders. His devotion in the study of immunofluorescnce and bullous dermatoses became well-known in the dermatologic academic world. Prof. Holubar was appointed as Professor and Chairman of the department of Dermatology, Hadassah Medical Centre at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1983, and worked there till 1986 when he returned to Vienna to join the field of history of medicine as an Associate Professor, and thereafter since1989 he remained as Professor and Chair, Institute for the History of Medicine, University of Vienna till his retirement in 2001.

More than 570 scientific contributions of his in the form of original articles, reviews, chapters in various books of international repute, special issues of various journals, abstracts, and posters have enriched the storehouse of medicine in general and dermatology in particular. These works have been mentioned a number of times in the Year Book of Dermatology. No dermatologist will ever forget his great contribution in the Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine.

Prof. Holubar authored various books like: Challenge Dermatology, Sun and Skin, Med. Terminologie und δrztliche Sprache, Historical Atlas of Dermatology and Dermatologists, Skin in Water-Colours, Off the Trodden Path, Looking at Eyes and Faces etc.

His extraordinary oration and academic work was acknowledged with innumerable awards and medals like Hoechst Award in 1969, Max Ritter Award in 1976, AESCA Award in 1979, Unilever Award in 1979, Samuel J. Zakon Award in 1981 on History of Dermatology, EADV Poster Award in 2003, the Chanfleury van Ijsselsteyn Medal in 1992 by Medical Faculty, University of Amsterdam, the Avicenna Medal in 1993 by the University of Istanbul, Medal of the Kaposi Foundation Budapest in 1997, the Kaposi Medal of the Hungarian Dermatological Society in 2002, the Gougerot Medal 2003, to name but a few.

He was a member of many international academic societies like The Medical Society of London, Sociιtι Internationale d'Histoire de la Mιdicine, Sociιtι Franηaise d'Histoire de la Dermatolgie etc. He chaired the post of Honorary President of the European Society for the History of Dermatology/Venereology (ESHDV). He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and many other prestigious organizations throughout the globe. For his great contribution to the medical world he was conferred with the Great Silver Order of Merit for Services to the Republic of Austria in the year 2000.

As always happens with the star-studded career records of rare persons, Prof. Holubar's proficiency in various languages like English, Italian, French (passive), Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, some Mandarin, Russian, Sanskrit along with his native tongue German gave him the distinction of a polyglot among contemporary scholars.

He had special interest on the history of dermatology in India. His editorial: Iconography in Dermatology, in Indian Journal of Dermatology (vol. 45; No. 4 of the year 2000) and the preface of 'Skin Diseases (Dermatology) in India: History and Evolution' are examples of his love for Indian Dermatology, and for those who attended his sessions on 'Sun, Skin, Rays-Phototype' at the 27 th . National Conference of the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists, and Leprologists (IADVL) held at Bhubaneswar in January, 1999 still remember his brilliant lectures on the subject. He had also presented a poster at DERMACON 2005, New Delhi [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Karl Holubar with his poster at the 33rd Annual National Conference of the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) and 4th International Annual Conference of South Asian Regional Conference of Dermatology (SARCD) in New Delhi, India. Dr. Ashique. K. T (Deputy Editor, IDOJ) standing next to him. Courtesy: Dr. Ashique KT

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Figure 2: "EARLY HISTORY OF ICD AND ILDS". Poster presented at DERMACON 2005, New Delhi, India by Karl Holuber and Anna Tuneu. Courtesy: Dr. Ashique KT

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Prof. Karl Holubar was not only a great dermatologist and medical historian but also a very good friend, philosopher, and guide for many across the globe. I will miss him dearly.

May his soul rest in peace.


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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