Oldest doctorate recipient, who defied Nazis, dies aged 104

Oldest doctorate recipient, who defied Nazis, dies aged 104

Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport was awarded her qualification 80-years after fleeing the Nazis, passes away this week

Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport
Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport

Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport, who became Germany’s oldest recipient of a doctorate almost 80 years after fleeing the Nazis, has died aged 104.

A specialist in newborn care, Dr Syllm-Rapoport was cheered when she passed her oral exam at the University of Hamburg with flying colours at the age of 102 in 2015.

Dr Syllm-Rapoport, who was part-Jewish, moved to the US in 1938 after being prevented from defending her doctoral thesis by the Nazis’ race laws.

She finished her degree in Philadelphia and returned to Berlin in 1952, becoming the first head of neonatology at East Germany’s prestigious Charite hospital.

Tom Rapoport said his mother died Thursday in Berlin.

She is survived by four children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. A commemoration is planned in the German capital on May 12.

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