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The Personal Physician of Emperor Menelik II

June 15, 2012 2 comments


In 1909, Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II asked the German government for help in modernizing his country. German Emperor Wilhelm II sent in a team of experts, one of whom, Dr. Max Steinkühler, became Emperor Menelik’s personal physician. When the doctor arrived on the scene, the emperor was seriously ill. At first, Steinkühler’s treatment seemed to be working, but the emperor’s health then suddenly took a turn for the worse. Had the emperor been poisoned? This question is addressed during the afternoon symposium by scholars including Prof. Shiferaw Bekele from Addis Ababa University as well as Dr. Wolbert Smidt, Mekelle University. The exhibition opening after the symposium features the correspondence between Dr. Steinkühler and Ethiopian officials. Also on display: photos, a diary, travel reports and documents on the emperor’s health, along with some other exciting corpora delicti. Curated by Girma Fisseha. The exhibition opens on June 18 and runs until 30 June 2012 during the regular opening hours of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa Universty. (press release)