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Long time coming

Woman, 102, finally receives doctorate … 77 years after Nazis disqualified her

By WITW Staff on May 18, 2015

A woman who wrote her doctoral thesis and submitted it to the University of Hamburg back in 1938 has finally earned her degree nearly eight decades later. When Ingeborg Rapoport initially turned in her thesis on the deadly infectious disease diphtheria, her professor, a Nazi, was impressed with her work. But she was blocked from getting the chance to defend it before the academic committee due to “racial reasons.” Rapoport was raised Protestant, but her mother was Jewish, so she was dubbed a “cross-breed” by authorities and deemed ineligible to receive a degree. “My medical existence was turned to rubble,” Rapoport told The Wall Street Journal. “It was a shame for science and a shame for Germany.”

Rapaport was spared the fate so many met at Nazi death camps and went on to become a neonatologist. And this past week, she finally got that doctorate that the Nazis tried so hard to make sure she would never receive.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.