ABD
June 9, 2015 11:41 AM   Subscribe

 
I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Fuck you, Hitler. You got beat by a pediatrician by seventy years and counting.
posted by Etrigan at 11:54 AM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well. That certainly puts some things in perspective.
posted by kagredon at 12:01 PM on June 9, 2015


Etrigan: "I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Fuck you, Hitler. You got beat by a pediatrician by seventy years and counting.
"

Dude. You gotta say it in RHYME!

On the other hand, a-frickin-mazing. She's been through the Nazis and McCarthy and a century of life and she still completely kicked ass.

I hope I can be like her at 75% of her age.
posted by Samizdata at 12:12 PM on June 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm in the thick of graduate school now so my first thought was AT LEAST I KNOW I WILL GRADUATE IN LESS THAN 80 YEARS THANK GOD.

And then my second thought was wow I am so sheltered and so privileged and have so much less courage than this brave, inspirational woman.

Thanks for sharing! As kagredon said, it definitely puts things into perspective.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 12:15 PM on June 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


You know who else... wait, what?

Nevermind.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:17 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ha. And you thought the people on your committee were tyrants.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:23 PM on June 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


Wow. That article is worth reading in its entirety. After fleeing the Nazi's, she was subsequently harassed in the US for being a leftist and went back to Germany in the 50's.
posted by Poldo at 12:26 PM on June 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


My great-grandmother completed her PhD in economics 1933, only to have the degree disallowed by the Nazis. I think that's what broke her. It hardened her -- before it happened she had a reputation as a charming, bright, practical joker. After the Nazis, she became a polished ball of steel: brilliant, hard, cold.

She got her family out of Germany: both her kids, her husband (who didn't want to leave). She organised them to smuggle out furniture, silver, money in the form of diamonds. They had a good few hard years, but they all lived, and they prospered after a fashion (Great-Granny herself became a pioneering figure in US legal history). Aunts and uncles, cousins, people who weren't under her stern control, stayed behind. Of course they all died. Her children lived.

I never know how to think of that stolen PhD. On the one hand, it was a terrible injustice. On the other, it was just the cruelty needed to let my great-grandmother know, very early, how things were going to work out. On the one hand, it forged a fighter and survivor who went on to great accomplishments. On the other, it destroyed a beautiful, joyful, brilliant young woman who could have been a light to her generation.
posted by Dreadnought at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2015 [46 favorites]


102-Year-Old Woman Now World's Oldest Adjunct
posted by klangklangston at 1:47 PM on June 9, 2015 [14 favorites]


Inspiring!

It's ironic that the "land of the free" forced her to move to Communist East Berlin in order to practice medicine without interference.
posted by Renoroc at 1:50 PM on June 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


And now she has to fight for a tenure track position!
posted by The Big Foist at 2:08 PM on June 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Three professors from Hamburg University's medical faculty travelled last month to Ingeborg's sitting room in east Berlin to test her on the work she carried out in pre-war Germany. They were impressed and a special ceremony took place at Hamburg University Medical Centre on Tuesday, in which she finally received the PhD that the Nazis stole from her.

"It was about the principle," she said. "I didn't want to defend my thesis for my own sake. After all, at the age of 102 all of this wasn't exactly easy for me. I did it for the victims [of the Nazis]."

To prepare for last month's exam, Ingeborg enlisted friends to help her research online what developments there had been in the field of diphtheria over the last 80 years.
!!!

GOOD FOR HER. If I had to defend my thesis again today I am pretty sure I'd be stumped. And I only wrote it like 12 years ago. Also, I am not 102. I am in awe of Ingeborg Rapoport! What an amazing woman.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:37 PM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wow, I know someone who wrote a thesis fifteen years ago that they never got to defending because life got in the way and when they took it up again a couple of years back, they found it easier to start again with a different topic than to try to catch up enough with the field to revise and defend the original one. And that was only fifteen years of catch-up; this was eighty! Gut gemacht, Frau Doktor Rapoport!
posted by lollusc at 2:01 AM on June 10, 2015


The McCarthy anti-communist trials meant that Ingeborg and her husband were at risk because of their left-wing views. So they fled again - back to Germany.

Are you fucking kidding me America! We had a brilliant, brilliant mind come to this country for refuge, and instead of giving her the freedom to contribute something that surely would have been significant, we chased her away.

Nice work.

/facepalm
posted by prepmonkey at 6:54 AM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing she had two PhDs then, as she became a professor in 1964?
What a formidable woman.
posted by glasseyes at 7:09 AM on June 10, 2015


prepmonkey: "We had a brilliant, brilliant mind come to this country for refuge, and instead of giving her the freedom to contribute something that surely would have been significant, we chased her away."

Yep, McCarthyism was a pretty bad time for a lot of people.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 AM on June 10, 2015


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