Prof. Karen Nolte, University of Heidelberg The UKAHN Bulletin
Volume 7 (1) 2019

Dr. Sylvelyn Hähner-RombachWe mourn for Dr. Sylvelyn Hähner-Rombach who passed away on 6 January 2019 after a brief but severe illness.

Dr. Hähner-Rombach was a historian who first completed a dissertation on the history of tuberculosis, and thus made a central contribution to the social history of medicine. She published many studies analysing the history of health and disease prevention and, using perspectives of patients, the history of psychiatric institutions and corrective homes.

From her work within social history of medicine, her interest in the history of nursing evolved. Dr. Hähner-Rombach significantly contributed to the development of the history of nursing as an academic discipline. In 2005 she began to organise international conferences and workshops whilst working at the Department of History of Medicine at the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart, inviting nursing historians from the English-speaking world to Germany and initiating the dialogue between them and their German colleagues. She became the central driver and engine in this field of research. Time and again, she initiated and conceptualised important projects such as a volume on the history of nursing with source materials and, most recently, the study and teaching manual on nursing and other health care professions after 1945. A skilled networker, she brought many researchers from numerous disciplines and countries together. She was one of the founding members of the German Association for the History of Nursing.

Promoting the younger academics was very close to her heart. PhD students will remember her as a reliable, very structured and critical companion and supervisor of their research projects. For many years she enjoyed teaching the history of nursing to medical and other nursing-related students and played an important role in placing nursing on the academic map.

Sylvelyn Hähner-Rombach will be remembered for her warm nature, her generosity and her great sense of humour. We will miss her greatly!