Charles Emile Benjamins: 3. Utrecht, The Netherlands 1911-1923
In April 1911 Charles Emile and his family, including his mother, went on leave to Europe, in particular to study ORL diseases in Berlin with Professor Killian and in Heidelberg with Professor Jurasz.  
Another purpose of the leave was to enter his children Han and Dee for their grammar school studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Charles Emile furthermore worked for a few months in Utrecht as a volunteer in the physiology laboratory of Professor Zwaardemaker, the foremost medical physiologist and otorhinolaryngologist of the Netherlands at that time.
Charles already planned to return to Semarang in early 1912 when he was asked for the position of ORL specialist at the St Antonius Gasthuis, a large hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Charles Emile accepted the position with the additional advantage that he could continue his exciting physiological work on the anatomy and histology of the labyrinth in Zwaardemakers’ clinic and could also be close to his school going children, Han and Dee.   

His medical work in Utrecht

The medical research work he did during his Utrecht period 1912-1923 is described in 73 medical papers: He was the single author of 43 papers, while 13 of these papers were also published in another language: French, German or English. Another 13 papers were written with a co-author. He further supervised four articles by other authors. The articles cover a wide range of ORL subjects. Major subjects on clinical research include:
-Studies on the labyrinth;
-Studies of specific diseases among which pneumosinus dilatans;
-Development of specific surgical techniques such as dacryocystorhinostomy.
  Source: Egbert H. Huizing and Paul van den Broek. 75 Years ORLAS. p12
His Inaugural Address as Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at Groningen University: “Hyper sensitivity diseases of the upper respiratory channels” was based on his extensive experiences with treating respiratory allergies. 
In addition to his clinical research he continued his physiological research work in the physiology laboratory of Professor Zwaardemaker. Using his experiences in this field he wrote with co-author J.H.O. Reys in 1924 a physiological textbook used by many generations of medical students: Beknopt leerboek der physiologie, which publication was followed by reprints in 1929 and 1934.
     During his period in Utrecht he was also active in the Dutch Society for ORL Specialists:
1919: Assessor of the society- responsible for the journal; 1920: Chairman of the Society.

Non medical activities 


During this period, he every day played the piano and also regularly participated in chamber music groups, often with members of the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra. His first musical compositions were written during this period.

Promotion of swimming:

During his period in Utrecht he started to promote swimming for health purposes and prepared instructions on how to improve the water quality of the swimming pools.  In this context he was a jury member in swimming contests, as was recorded in several  newspaper articles, among them the 19 August 1924 number of  the Algemeen Handelsblad. See image 19 August 1924
In 1920, together with co-author F.C.G. Duvergé he wrote a publication with swimming guidelines: “ Zwemmen: Handleiding voor zwemmers en voor het zwemonderwijs” The reprints of this text book in 1926 and 1930 were written with R.Hoogland as co-author.

previous image | next image