Thursday 11 June 2015

102 Year Old Finally Gets Her Doctorate After Being Prevented By Nazis

A 102-year-old has become Germany’s oldest recipient of a doctorate today after waiting 80 years because her thesis was blocked by the Nazis.

Studying at university can feel like it is taking decades and sometimes you wish you could have an extra day or two to finish an essay.

But be careful what you wish for because Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport had been waiting since 1938 to officially complete her PhD due to her Jewish heritage.

After the Nazis came to power they expelled Jews from education and many professions.

Ingeborg cleared the final hurdle by passing an oral exam then finally received her doctorate at the University of Hambury to come a neonatologist (specialist in caring for newborns).

In 1938 her supervisor wrote in a letter he would have accepted her work on diphtheria if it hadn’t been for the Nazis’ race laws which, he said, ‘make it impossible to allow Miss Syllm’s admission for the doctorate.’

After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they gradually disenfranchised Jews, expelling them from universities, schools and many professions, before eventually deporting and killing them in death camps across Europe.

Medical director of the university’s hospital Burkhard Goeke said: ‘After almost 80 years it was possible to restore some extent of justice.’

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