Ingeborg Rapoport

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Ingeborg Rapoport

Ingeborg Syllm

(1912-09-02)2 September 1912
Died23 March 2017(2017-03-23) (aged 104)
(East German 1952–1990)
Alma materUniversity of Hamburg
Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania
Occupation(s)Physician and professor in East Germany
Known foroldest person to receive a Ph.D. (age of 102)
Political partySocialist Unity Party of Germany[1]
SpouseSamuel Mitja Rapoport
AwardsPatriotic Order of Merit, National Prize of East Germany and other East German awards

Ingeborg Rapoport (September 2, 1912 – March 23, 2017) was a German pediatrician. She was an important figure in East German medicine and, at age 102, the oldest person to receive a Doctorate degree.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

Rapoport was born as Ingeborg Syllm in September 1912 to Protestant German parents in Kribi, Cameroon, a German colony at this time.[3]

Medical career[change | change source]

Rapoport studied medicine in Hamburg at the University of Hamburg in Nazi-Germany, but was denied a medical degree because her mother was Jewish. She fled Nazi persecution and immigrated to the United States in 1938, where she completed her education in medicine.

In the early 1950s, as a result of an investigation of her and her husband for un-American activities, she left the United States and eventually, after staying in Vienna for a year, moved to the GDR (East Germany). She became the first chair of neonatology in whole Germany and retired in 1973. She was a member of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany.

Honors and awards[change | change source]

In East Germany, Rapoport received Habilitation in 1959. She was awarded the National Prize of East Germany as well as other awards. As a pediatrician, she helped to considerably reduce infant mortality in East Germany, which, during her active years was even lower than in West Germany.[4]

In 2015, the Faculty of Medicine of Hamburg University corrected the injustice of the Nazi regime and awarded her a medical degree after an oral examination. She became the oldest person to receive a Doctorate degree at the age of 102.

Personal life[change | change source]

Rapoport was married to Samuel Mitja Rapoport, whom she met in Cincinnati, Ohio. They had four children. Samuel died in 2004. She lived in Berlin. Rapoport turned 100 in September 2012.

Rapoport died on 23 March 2017 at her home in Berlin at the age of 104.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Barbara Einhorn, "Heimkehren" nach Ostdeutschland, p. 59, 2000
  2. "Germany's oldest student, 102, gets PhD denied by Nazis". BBC News. 8 June 2015.
  3. Prof. Dr. Roland R. Wauer, [1] Archived 2015-05-25 at the Wayback Machine, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin e.V. (DGKJ), August 31, 2012
  4. Einflussfaktoren auf das Geschlechtsverhältnis der Neugeborenen unter besonderer Betrachtung der Wirkung ionisierender Strahlung, see fig. 2; Retrieved on 13 May 2016.
  5. "Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport, who earned doctorate 80 years after Nazis' denial, dies at 104". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Ingeborg Rapoport at Wikimedia Commons