Emil Behse Dr.

Emil Alfons Behse, b. 21.08.1874 in Helsinge, d .04.09.1938.

Doctor, Medical Officer 25.2.1917, Medical Major 26.08.1919, Medical Lieutenant -Colonel 25.02.1919.

My memories of ”uncle Emil” as I called him. He was actually the uncle of my mother.

Under my first six years I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with him. One day I was sitting and scanning the visitors´book of my parents and found notes of my

christening 31.12.1932 and among the guests present there were Emil Behse and Anna Behse. Uncle Emil was always present in our family parties.He was often sitting tactfully aside and observing people around him. The eyes were alert and watching and he leaned on the stick in front of him. I can remember how he could quietly talk with his sister, my grandmother,about mutual memories and the two reflected a deep sisterly love. My mother, who loved argumenting ,could also awake in him a special spark that somehow gave ”life” in him when they were discussing some medical findings. I had great respect for him and never climbed into his arms.

Aunt Anna and Uncle Emil lived together at Skillnaden 13 and we often visited them. At these family gatherings Aunt Anna sang for us, accompanied by Uncle Emil. He was a very skilled pianist. Sometimes he was sitting at the piano and quietly playing while all the others were talking – totally in his own world. As little as I was, I loved his music. Often I crawled onto a chair near the piano, sitting quietly listening. Sometimes he withdrew into his own room and then mother told me: ”Let uncle be in peace. Don´t disturb him. He has so much to think.”

Mother told me that he had worked as a doctor in Eastern Finland where he often

travelled with horse and sleigh when he visited the patients in faraway villages. In the darkness of the night wolves were a great danger and he always had a small revolver with brown, polished tree ornament. Mother inherited the revolver and we used to sit and look at it – unloaded, of course. Unfortunately we had to give it over to the authorities as we did not have any licence. I am really sorry for that.

One clear and beautiful autumn day when we had just come home from picking mushrooms, mother received the message that Uncle Emil had passed away. I remember that grandmother was very sad and I saw a tear in her eye. Instinctly I crawled into her lap and held her and she held me very tendely and leaned comforting her wet cheek against me.

His funeral 04.09.1938 was a clear autumn day. I had got a black white spotted dress, a white hat, white knee socks and new black shoes. I held hands with mother and grandmother and I can still today feel the special atmosphere and the mute sorrow – a farewell to an intelligent and fine person.

Benita Åkerlund 12.11.09

I am assured that the little girl Benita has done a very fine analysis of her Uncle Emil. Only because I have in my search found Emil Behse`s doctor´s dissertation in the library of Helsinki University, and had it printed, I have come into contact with ophtalmologists who have given their expert opinion that Emil Behse`s dissertation is still topical , but the ophtalmologists today have a more timely equipment for diagnosis. Beside doctor´s dissertation I have found five essays in Biomedicum of the University of Helsinki, which deal with adjoining science and I have let them be copied.

Besides these facts I have found the minutes of the meeting of Finska Läkarsällskapet from 29.9.1938:

The chairman made a speech to the memory of Med. and Chir. Dr. Emil Behse:

”On the 4th of September the Med. and Chir. Dr , Medical Lieutenant-Colonel Emil Behse died suddenly. The couse of the death was advanced coronary trombosis. Behse was born in 1874, graduated in 1892 and Medical Licenciate in 1901. After he had worked as an extra doctor at National Board of Health, he became an assistent at the Opthalmic Hospital. In the year 1907 he disputed and his doctor´s dissertation was on ”Ûber den anatomischen Bau des Conus und der Aderhautveränderungen in myopischen Auge” After his time as assistent he functioned as a practising ophtalmologist in Helsinki and in 1914-1917 he was a provincial doctor, first in Kronoborg and then in Jämsä. After the liberation of Finland he went into the newly formed Military Army and had several occupations up till 1934. Even after that time he worked as a conscription doctor.

Besides his dissertation, he published five works in the area of ophtalmologic (the family has given permit to copy them).

Dr. Behse was to a certain extent a solitary nature, he was seldom seen in the Society of Doctors, the younger members hardly new him, but he took eagerly part in the meetings of the Ophtalmologic Society. His behaviour was often lively and amiable, especially in younger years, and he had an originality, which was not spoiled by the polishing of a marriage. I beg the society to rise to respect the memory of him.

The members of the Society rised.”

The undersigned Webmaster has chosen to include the obituary spoken by the the chairman of the Society , because it in a sophisticated way completes Benita Åkerlund`s description above of Emil Behse´s role in the family. RW