KWI in Berlin-Buch

Fig. 7
Fig. 8

World War I delayed the plans for a new building to house the KWI for Brain Research. The KWI's first proper building in Berlin-Buch was only inaugurated in 1931 (Fig. 7) under the directorship of Oskar Vogt. It was the world's largest and most modern brain research institute of its time, including Departments of Neurophysiology (Tönnies and Kornmüller), Neurochemistry (Marthe Vogt and Veit), Genetics (Timoféeff-Ressovsky), a Research Clinic (Soeken, Zwirner), and the Neuroanatomical Departments of Oskar and his wife Cécile Vogt.[1-3] Based on critical remarks Vogt had made about national socialism, a protective attitude towards Jewish coworkers at the institute, and rumors that he was a communist (spirited by his Moscow contacts), Vogt was pressed to early retirement by 1937.[4] The Vogts moved to Neustadt in the Black Forest and established another private brain research institute, funded in part by the family of steel baron Krupp (who had already funded Vogt´s first private institute in Berlin) and by Vogt´s own funds (Fig. 8).
In 1937, Hugo Spatz[5], a pupil of Franz Nissl, became Vogt's successor as director of the KWI for Brain Research and head of the Neuroanatomy Department. During his tenure, the Departments of Neuropathology (Hallervorden[6]) and of Tumor Research (Tönnis) were added. One focus of both Spatz’s and Hallervorden’s histological research were pathologies of the extrapyramidal/motor system. In a previous collaboration they had described an extrapyramidal desease that was later named Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome.

Fig. 7: The first building of the KWI for Brain Research in Berlin-Buch, Photos ca. 1931

Fig. 8: Late portraits of Cécile (1875-1962) and Oskar Vogt (1870-1959)