The university institute of legal medicine of the Charité in Berlin was founded on February 11th, 1833 as a "Praktische Unterrichtsanstalt für die Staatsarzneikunde (Practice-oriented School of Public Health and Medicine)" at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität (founded in 1810). In 1886 the oldest faculty in Germany obtained its own building in Berlin-Mitte. Starting with Wilhelm Wagner, Johann Ludwig Casper, Fritz Strassmann, Otto Prokop and their successors established the Berlin School of Legal Medicine, which has been playing an important role for the subject's progress in the German-speaking area until today. Since the visit of Kuniyoshi Katayama to Berlin in 1884 there have been productive relationships with Japanese forensic pathologists to this day. Regardless of the accepted scientific achievements the institute fell victim to the Berlin policy of austerity after 2003 leading to staff reduction and the closure of the historical location. Due to the new appointment to the chair in 2007 and the planned junction of the subject in Berlin-Moabit there is now the chance for a new impetus of forensic medicine in the German capital.