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Special Communication |

Dermatologic Relationships Between the United States and German-Speaking Countries Part 2—The Exodus of Jewish Dermatologists

Walter H. C. Burgdorf, MD1; David R. Bickers, MD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Retired
2Department of Dermatology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(9):1090-1094. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.5023.
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The rise to power of the National Socialist (Nazi) party led by Adolf Hitler and the subsequent tumultuous 12 years of their rule in Germany resulted in catastrophes including World War II, the most destructive war ever, and the premeditated and systematic murder of 5 to 6 million European Jews. Despite their notable contributions to the academic excellence that existed in German-speaking countries at that time, Jewish physicians were particularly vulnerable to persecution and death. Between 1933 and 1938, a series of repressive measures eliminated them from the practice of medicine in Germany and other countries. Although some died in concentration camps and others committed suicide, many were able to emigrate from Europe. Dermatology in the United States particularly benefited from the influx of several stellar Jewish dermatologists who were major contributors to the subsequent flowering of academic dermatology in the United States. A number of representative biographies of these immigrants are briefly recounted to illustrate their lasting influence on our specialty.

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Figure 1.
Stephen Rothman

Reprinted from Pantheon of Dermatology10 (original Figure 4, page 968) with the permission of Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany.

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Figure 2.
Rudolf L. Baer

The photograph was taken by Fabian Bachrach circa 1954. Reprinted with permission.

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