The Streets of Novi Sad: Dr. Hempt Street

A narrow street, with only a couple of houses, in the immediate vicinity of the Clinical Centre of Vojvodina and Futoški Park, bears the name of a person who makes history something to be truly proud of. Dr. Adolf Hempt was a citizen of Novi Sad who stabilized Pasteur’s vaccine against rabies. He also founded and managed the Pasteur Institute in Novi Sad. Doctor Hempt shared his knowledge outside the borders of our country and his vaccine ended up being used across the world.

What people said about his vaccine: ‘Today, we can say that Hempt’s vaccine succeeded Pasteur’s vaccine as the best one out there until the development of modern tissue culture-based vaccines.’

A man who started out as a young enthusiast that couldn’t pay for his studies, was the one to bring fame to our country. He worked as a military medic and a village doctor later. He returned to Novi Sad in 1921 and founded an institute where the method of producing the inactive vaccine against rabies started to develop. He achieved success in 1927, when his vaccine was verified on a medical conference in Paris.

During the interwar period, he lived in the famous house ‘Deker Baraka’, today’s Medical Museum Collection – Pasteur Institute, which is part of the Museum of Vojvodina. In the main building of the museum, the exhibition space encompasses dr. Hempt’s room, two library rooms, a room with the furniture and trophy collection, as well as the hallway containing small street furniture.

There’s an anecdote that speaks of Adolf Hempt’s personality. Namely, during the war, when all the bridges around Novi Sad were destroyed, he wanted to return from Vienna to report for duty and take over the management of the National Hygiene Institute. He was awarded the Order of St. Sava for his benevolence and contribution to science.

Today, the word ‘vaccine’ is again in the centre of attention due to global pandemic and the fragility it reminded us of. That’s why, when you find yourself in this street, it’s important to remember dr. Hempt. 

Author: Petar Vučković
Photo: Jelena Ivanović