Creation of the Max Planck Society

Fig. 11
Fig. 12

After 1945, the different departments of the KWI for Brain Research were relocated to Dillenburg, Giessen, Köln, Marburg and Göttingen. In 1948 the Max Planck Society was founded to succeed the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, and the institute became the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. Hallervorden retired as director in 1955, Spatz in 1959. In 1962, a new building was erected in Frankfurt-Niederrad (Fig. 11) to house the Departments of Neurobiology (Hassler, Director 1959-1982) and Neuropathology (Krücke, Director 1956-1979) (Fig. 12), as well as the Research Groups "Evolution of the Primate Brain" (Stephan) and "Neurochemistry" (Werner). Rolf Hassler, a pupil of Oskar Vogt and coworker of the famous Freiburg neurologist Richard Jung, studied subcortical brain areas, thalamo-cortical systems, basal ganglia and the limbic system. Wilhelm Krücke, a pupil of Hallervorden, was a renowned specialist on peripheral neuropathies. He was the reason for the institute's relocation to Frankfurt, as he was simultaneously head of the 'Edinger Institute', the Neuropathology Department of Frankfurt University's Medical School. In 1982, the KWI for Brain Research's Department of General Neurology, which had been relocated to Köln, became the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research in that city, independent of the MPI for Brain Research. The other relocated departments of the KWI were closed with the retirement of their directors.

Fig. 11: Building of the MPI for Brain Research from 1963 to 2012, Frankfurt am Main. Top: Postcard from 1963; bottom: bird's eye view of the building 2010

Fig. 12: Left: Rolf Hassler (1914-1984); right: Wilhelm Krücke (1911-1988)