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FOUNDING OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ANATOMY OF MASARYK UNIVERSITY IN BRNO IN 1919

Efforts to open a second Czech university culminated after the First World War in 1919. Masaryk University and the University of Veterinary Medicine were opened in Brno. Future teachers for individual disciplines were prepared well in advance. One of them was anatomist Otomar Völker.

Professor MUDr. and MVDr. h. c. Otomar Völker, was born in Votice in 1871. He graduated from the Medical Faculty of Charles University and while studying he also worked at the Institute of Anatomy of Professor Janošík. In 1905 he received his habilitation in the field of normal and comparative anatomy, in 1911 he was appointed associate professor and at the same time he was commissioned to teach the anatomy of domestic animals at the Technical Universities in Prague. His teaching was interrupted by the World War I, which he survived as a successful military surgeon. After the end of the war, he returned to the Prague Department of Anatomy in l918. In 1919, Professor Völker was appointed full professor and at the same time he was entrusted with the management of the Departments of Anatomy at both Brno universities. He laid a solid foundation for both institutes, equipped them and, above all, lectured and examined anatomical knowledge of medics and future veterinarians.

On the 14th of August 1919, the professors of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University met for their first conference in Prague. At this session, MUDr. Josef Podlaha and MUDr. Josef Frank (current assistants of the Department of Anatomy of Charles University) were named assistants of the newly established Department of Anatomy in Brno.

The Department of Anatomy was temporarily situated in the former militia barracks at Údolní Street.

The Departmnet consisted of two parts, the first part was in the main building and consisted mostly of staff offices, the second part was an extension, newly built in 1920 between the faculty buildings in Údolní and Úvoz streets. In the second part you could find dissection rooms, lecture theater, and study room.

The part in the main building consisted of nine offices and one long corridor, which was divided into separate parts by three brick partitions. is the corridor was also used for work purposes. Among the offices, there was the professor office coupled with a laboratory, as well as the offices of assistants and demonstrators. In addition, the Anatomical Department of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Brno used to have temporary rooms in the Department of Anatomy (Masaryk University) until a new building was built and they were relocated to the veterinary school.

Anatomical museum was also a part of the Department of Anatomy. Its final form was planned after the relocation of the Anatomical Department of the University of Veterinary Medicine. Professor Völker began his anatomy lectures in January 1920. At the same time, dissection practical sessions also began. The charge for a dissection session at that time was set at 5 CZK.

Prof. MUDr. Libor Páč, CSc.

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