Obituary of Professor Dr. med. Heinz David (*)

  • Hans Guski Institute of Pathology, Charité Berlin
  • Klaus Kayser Charite - Berlin


This obituary of Professor Dr. med. Heinz David describes his work at the Institute of Pathology, Charité, Berlin, Germany, and his former and later life.

His former life is characterized by the doom of young children whose family had to escape the Red Army for more than one thousand kilometers at the age of a teenager. They had to wander in a completely destroyed Germany until they found a home and settled down in the small town Neuruppin of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The scientific details of his career and as well as his fall from the mighty position in the GDR pathology society and his later life are described by a staff member and his interim follower (H. Guski) and by a ‘Western’ colleague and friend (K. Kayser) from both points of view, that of inside and that of outside the former communistic society.

Therefore, this article is more than just an obituary. It demonstrates the impact of working conditions such as of equipment, social environment and communication on science, and specifically on surgical pathology.



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1. David, Heinz: Elektronenmikroskopische Organpathologie. VEB Verlag Volk und Gesundheit, Berlin, 1967, S 1 – S711.

2. David, Heinz: Ortho- and Pathomorphology of Human and Animal Cells in Drawings, Diagrams and Constructions, Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, New York, 1978, S 1 – S503.

3. David, Heinz: Rudolf Virchow und die Medizin des 20. Jahrhunderts. Quintessenz Verlag GmbH. Berlin, 1993, S1 – S366.

4. David, Heinz: „…es soll das Haus die Charité heißen.“ Akademos Wissenschaftsverlag, Hamburg, 2004, S1 – S1235.

b Articles:

1. David H. [The concept of "organellopathies"--component of modern cellular pathology]. Zentralbl Allg Pathol. 1990;136(1-2):15-32.
2. David H. Morphometrical findings from human and animal liver cells in physiological and pathological conditions. Pathol Res Pract. 1987;182(3):407-15.
3. David H, Reinke P. The concept of the "perisinusoidal functional unit" of the liver--importance to pathological processes. Exp Pathol. 1987;32(4):193-224.
4. David H, Uerlings I, Reinke P. The perisinusoidal functional unit in amyloidosis. Exp Pathol. 1987;32(3):153-62 .
5. David H. [The submicroscopic structure of DMAB-induced liver cholangiocell carcinoma in rats]. Z Krebsforsch. 1962;65:130-8 .
6. David H. [On new formation of mitochondria in the liver cells of the fire salamander (Salamandra maculata)]. Z Zellforsch Mikrosk Anat. 1962;57:567-71.
7. David H. [the Cell as a Cybernetic System]. Dtsch Gesundheitsw. 1965;20:101-7 CONCL.
8. David H. [Submicroscopic Structural Differences in the Liver of Various Animals]. Rev Int Hepatol. 1965;15:427-36 .
9. David H. [Ultrastructural cell changes of the tubular epithelium of the kidney after ligation of the kidney veins]. Verh Dtsch Ges Pathol. 1965;49:141-6.
10. David H. [Alterations of the volume and surface of liver cells of male rats during postnatal development]. Acta Biol Med Ger. 1979;38(7):935-52.
11. David H. Quantitative and qualitative changes in the mitochondria in hepatocytes during postnatal development of male rats. Exp Pathol (Jena). 1979;17(7-8):359-73.
12. David H. [The importance of cellular ultrastructure research for medicine--a review (author's transl)]. Zentralbl Allg Pathol. 1979;123(5):452-78.
13. David H. Some recent results of the quantitative characterization of heart muscle cells. Z Mikrosk Anat Forsch. 1979;93(1):113-37.
14. David H. [Changes of cell organelles in the developmental and aging process of heart and liver]. Gegenbaurs Morphol Jahrb. 1981;127(4):564-73.
15. David H. [Cellular sites of action and effects of drugs. A review (author's transl)]. Zentralbl Allg Pathol. 1981;125(2):95-121 .
16. David H. Rudolf Virchow and modern aspects of tumor pathology. Pathol Res Pract. 1988;183(3):356-64.
17. David H. [Trends in pathology on the threshold of the 20th into the 21st century]. Pathologe. 1988;9(2):65-9 .
18. Guski H, Wassilev G, Meyer R, David H. Morphometric analysis of myocardial mitochondria in rats during adaptation to exercise. Cor Vasa. 1980;22(5):375-83.
How to Cite
GUSKI, Hans; KAYSER, Klaus. Obituary of Professor Dr. med. Heinz David (*). Diagnostic Pathology, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, dec. 2020. ISSN 2364-4893. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 16 may 2021. doi:
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