The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of Europe's largest university hospitals, affiliated with Humboldt University and Free University Berlin.[3] With numerous Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft it is one of Germany's most research-intensive medical institutions. From 2012 to 2019, it was ranked by Focus as the best of over 1000 hospitals in Germany.[4][5] In 2019 Newsweek ranked the Charité as fifth best hospital in the world and best in Europe.[6] More than half of all German Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, including Emil von Behring, Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich, have worked at the Charité.[7] Several politicians and diplomats have been treated at the Charité, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who underwent meniscus treatment at the Orthopaedic Department, and Julia Timoschenko from Ukraine.[8][9]

Charité – Berlin University of Medicine
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Logo Charite.svg
MottoForschen, Lehren, Heilen, Helfen
Motto in English
Researching, teaching, healing, helping
Academic affiliation
German Universities Excellence Initiative
Budget€1.7 billion[1]
ChairmanHeyo K. Kroemer[2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
AffiliationsFree University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin

In 2010/11 the medical schools of Humboldt University and Freie Universität Berlin were united under the roof of the Charité. The admission rate of the reorganized medical school was 3.9% for the 2019/2020 semester.[10] QS World University Rankings 2019 ranked the Charité Medical School as number one for medicine in Germany and ninth best in Europe.[11]


Historic and modern buildings at Campus Charité Mitte (CCM)
Locations of the four campuses of Charité in Berlin

Complying with an order of King Frederick I of Prussia from 14 November 1709, the hospital was established north of the Berlin city walls in 1710 in anticipation of an outbreak of the bubonic plague that had already depopulated East Prussia. After the plague spared the city, it came to be used as a charity hospital for the poor. On 9 January 1727, Frederick William I of Prussia gave it the name Charité, meaning “charity”.[12]

The construction of an anatomical theatre in 1713 marks the beginning of the medical school, then supervised by the collegium medico-chirurgicum of the Prussian Academy of Sciences.[13]

In the 19th century, after the University of Berlin (today Humboldt University) was founded in 1810, the dean of the medical college Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland integrated the Charité as a teaching hospital in 1828. During this time it became home to such notable medical pioneers as: Rudolf Virchow, known as “the father of modern pathology[14] and whose name is given to the eponymous “Virchow’s Method” of autopsy[15]; the Swiss Psychiatrist and Neurologist Otto Binswanger, whose work in vascular dementia led to the discovery of Binswanger's Disease—so coined by his colleague Alois Alzheimer[16] ; Robert Koch, who identified the specific causative agents of Tuberculosis, Cholera, and Anthrax; and Emil von Behring, widely known as a “saviour of children”[17] for his 1894 discovery of a Diphtheria antitoxin at a time when diphtheria was a major cause of child death (among many others).

In the 20th century, at the end of the Second World War the Charité had endured the Battle of Berlin, with Berlin having been taken by the Red Army on 2 May 1945. Though the majority of its original and pre-War structure was damaged or destroyed during the War, it nevertheless was used as a Red Army hospital. Subsequent to Victory in Europe, in the period of denazification and the Nuremberg trials, the Charité remained in the Soviet Sector of Berlin until the formation of the German Democratic Republic, the GDR—(German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR)—in 1949, more commonly called East Germany. Under the Communists, standards were largely maintained, and it became a showpiece for East Bloc propaganda during the Cold War. Finally, in 1990 with the Reunification of Germany, and in the years following, it once again became one of the world's leading research- and teaching-hospitals.


Campus Charité Mitte (CCM) main building
Campus Virchow Klinikum (CVK), German Heart Center Berlin (Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin)
Campus Benjamin Franklin (CBF)

The Charité has four different campuses across the city of Berlin:

In 2001, the Helios Clinics Group acquired the hospitals in Buch with their 1,200 beds.[citation needed] Still, the Charité continues to use the campus for teaching and research and has more than 300 staff members located there. The Charité encompasses more than 100 clinics and scientific institutes, organized in 17 different departments, referred to as Charité Centers (CC):

  • CC 1: Health and Human Sciences
  • CC 2: Basic Sciences (First Year)
  • CC 3: Dental, Oral and Maxillary Medicine
  • CC 4: Charité-BIH Center for Therapy Research
  • CC 5: Diagnostic Laboratory and Preventative Medicine
  • CC 6: Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
  • CC 7: Anesthesiology, Operating-Room Management and Intensive Care Medicine
  • CC 8: Surgery
  • CC 9: Traumatology and Reconstructive Medicine
  • CC 10: Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • CC 11: Cardiovascular Diseases
  • CC 12: Internal Medicine and Dermatology
  • CC 13: Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Nephrology
  • CC 14: Tumor Medicine
  • CC 15: Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry
  • CC 16: Audiology/Phoniatrics, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
  • CC 17: Gynecology, Perinatal, Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine with Perinatal Center & Human Genetics

Overall, 13 of those centers focus on patient care, while the rest focuses on research and teaching. The Medical History Museum Berlin has a history dating back to 1899. The museum in its current form opened in 1998 and is famous for its pathological and anatomical collection.[18]

Notable peopleEdit

Rudolf Virchow, by Hugo Vogel
Robert Koch and the beginnings of microbiology
Paul Ehrlich and the introduction of antimicrobial chemotherapy at Charité Paul Ehrlich
Emil von Behring
Theodor Billroth operating

Many famous physicians and scientists worked or studied at the Charité. Indeed, more than half of the German Nobel Prize winners in medicine and physiology come from the Charité.[19] Forty Nobel laureates are affiliated with Humboldt University of Berlin and five with Freie Universität Berlin.

Nobel laureatesEdit

Medical schoolEdit

In 2003 the Berlin city and state House of Representatives passed an interim law unifying the medical faculties of both Humboldt University and Freie Universität Berlin under the roof of the Charité.[20] Since 2010/11 all new medical students have been enrolled on the New Revised Medical Curriculum Programme with a length of 6 years.[21] Referred to the points needed in the German Abitur to get directly accepted, the Charité is together with Heidelberg University Medical School Germany's most competitive medical school (2016).[22] 3,17% of all Charité Medical School students are supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the highest percentage of all public German universities. The Erasmus Exchange Programme offered to Charité Medical School students includes 72 universities and is the largest in Europe.[23] Charité students can spend up to a year at a foreign medical school with exchange partners such as the Karolinska Institute, University of Copenhagen, Sorbonne University, Università di Roma La Sapienza, University of Amsterdam, and the University of Zürich. Students are also encouraged to participate in research projects, complete a dissertation, or join Charité affiliated social projects.

In 2019, it was announced that the Berlin Institute of Health will become part of the Charité, marking a change in the German university system by making the Charité the first university clinic which will receive direct and annual financial support by the federal state of Germany. Together with private charity donors like the Johanna Quandt's private excellence initiative (BMW) or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as financing by the State of Berlin, the new direct federal investments will become the third financial fundament for research at the Charité.[24] In addition, it is part of the Berlin University Alliance, receiving funding from the German Universities Excellence Initiative in 2019.  

International partner universitiesEdit

Einstein FoundationEdit

The Charité is one of the main partners of the Einstein Foundation, which was established by the city and state of Berlin in 2009. It is a "foundation that aims to promote science and research of top international caliber in Berlin and to establish the city as a centre of scientific excellence".[25] Research fellows include:

  • Thomas Südhof – biochemist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2013)
  • Brian Kobilka – chemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012)
  • Edvard Moser – neuroscientist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014)



  1. ^ a b c d "Leistungsbericht der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin über das Jahr 2015 zur Umsetzung des Charité-Vertrags 2014 bis 2017" (PDF) (in German). p. 40. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  2. ^ "Heyo Kroemer tritt Amt als neuer Charité-Chef an" (in German). Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  3. ^ "Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Geschichte". Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Mayer, Kurt-Martin (2014-09-21). "Die FOCUS-Klinikliste: Die Charité ist Deutschlands bestes Krankenhaus – Gesundheits-News – FOCUS Online – Nachrichten". Focus (in German). Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  6. ^ "The Best Hospitals in the World". Newsweek. 2019-03-29. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  7. ^ 2011, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Home". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Retrieved 2017-09-12.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Bundeskanzlerin: Merkel musste sich am Meniskus operieren lassen". Spiegel Online. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  9. ^ "Charité-Ärzte behandeln Julia Timoschenko" (Press release) (in German). Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  10. ^ "Daten der bundesweit zulassungsbeschränkten Studiengänge an Hochschulen" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Medicine". Top Universities. 2019-02-15. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  12. ^ "History". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  13. ^ Einhäupl, Karl Max; Ganten, Detlev; Hein, Jakob (2010). "2 Krankenpflege". 300 Jahre Charité – im Spiegel ihrer Institute (in German). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9783110202564. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  14. ^ "Virchow". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
  15. ^ "What is the best autopsy method of Dissection and why?".
  16. ^ "Alzheimer and Kraepelin describe Binswanger's Disease". The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 4: 55–58. 1992. doi:10.1176/jnp.4.1.55. PMID 1627963.
  17. ^ "The Immune System: In Defence of our Lives". Archived from the original on 2016-05-17. (Retrieved by “The Internet Archive”)
  18. ^ "History of the Museum". Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  19. ^ 2011, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin: Charité". Archived from the original on 2012-11-25. Retrieved 2015-08-31.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "School of Medicine: Charité". 2005-10-03. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  21. ^ "New Revised Medical Curriculum". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  22. ^ Arnold, Dietmar. "hochschulstart Wintersemester 2017/18 – zentrales Verfahren". (in German). Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  23. ^ Heller, Birgit. "Länder und Universitäten". Erasmus (in German). Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  24. ^ "Das BIG wird in die Charité integriert". (in German). Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  25. ^ "Einstein Foundation Berlin – Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin". Retrieved 2017-09-28.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 52°31′36″N 13°22′47″E / 52.52667°N 13.37972°E / 52.52667; 13.37972