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Dr Johann Andreas Eisenbarth

  • Birth 27 Mar 1663 Oberviechtach, Schwandorfer Landkreis, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
  • Death 11 Nov 1727 Hann. Münden, Göttinger Landkreis, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
  • Burial Hann. Münden, Göttinger Landkreis, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
  • Plot crypt
  • Memorial ID 150756780


Johann Andreas Eisenbarth was born in 1663 in the town of Oberviechtach in Bavaria to Matthias and Maria Eisenbarth. He was an itinerant oculist, surgeon, and lithotomist.

Dr. Eisenbarth was a preceptor-trained physician turned itinerant showman surgeon and oculist. Hoffman-Axtheim states he roamed through the German countryside for 40 years with a traveling show that included a 100 to 120 person entourage of conjurers, musicians, comedians and assistants. He performed cataract surgery, hernia operations, and bladder stone removal in addition to tooth extractions.

Despite a measure of success and some recognition from nobility, “Doctor” Eisenbarth was widely believed to be a charlatan. This feeling was reinforced some years after his death with the publication of a satirical drinking song, "Ich bin der Doktor Eisenbarth,” by university students. The wildly popular folk song was published over many years with different versions in German and Polish and with translations into English and other languages.

A typical example of “Ich bin der Doktor Eisenbart” translation by Dr. Otto Hietsch is reproduced here:

1.
My Name is Doctor Eisenbarth
Dilly dally do dum dee!
For curing people I've an art,
Dilly dally do dum dee!
My treatment makes the blind men walk,
Dilly dally do dum dee!
And help the lame to see and talk,
Dilly dally do dum dee!
2.
At Potsdam once I cured a man,
King Frederick´s chef I did trepan
I took my hatchet to his head;
Poor fellow, now he´s lying dead.
3.
At Ulm I gave a jab for pox,
The man´s blood ran right to his socks.
This vaccination stunt's a hit,
My needle is a roasting spit.
4.
The sexton's son at Dideldum
I gave ten pounds of opium.
He fell asleep; years passed away,
And still he sleeps until this day
5.
In Vienna once a man wars ill.
His hollow tooth I cured with skill,
I took my gun and blasted it.
Good Lord, he's never felt so fit!
6.
At Langensalza lived a man,
Whose goiter no two hands could span
I used a rope for tourniquet.
Propatum est, he's had this day.
7.
These are the way I work my cure,
There tried and tested, that´s for sure.
That every treatment's sound and good.
I´ll swear upon my doctorhood.