Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Story: Dr Edith Bulbring

Dr Edith Bulbring
German part-Jewish (Mischiling) doctor, Berlin

I qualified as a doctor in 1928 and had a position in the Virchow Krankenhus (hospital) in Berlin at the time when Hitler came to power. There was a well-known Jewish professor there, Dr Friedmann. He was n expert on infectious diseases. After 1933 Dr Friedmann and his Jewish staff were dismissed. I was the only one left because I wasn't fully Jewish. I was in charge of 300 beds and perhaps 30 turnovers a day. So the conditions in this hospital were now quite unimaginable.

At that time there was a very severe diphtheria epidemic; one of the children got to the stage where his throat was blocked by a diphtheria membrane and needed a tracheotomy. We were told there was no doctor left to do this. The nurse asked me if I had ever done this operation. I said. 'No, but have you ever assisted in such an operation?'

'Oh, many times,' she said.
'Well then, that's fine, we'll do it. I know how it's done.'
And I did it and the boy got better. I was very pleased. The telephone rang when I got back to my room: would I please come to the administration. The administrator said, 'Miss Bulbring, we gather from your questionnaire that you are of part-Jewish origin. Therefore we no longer have any use for your services.'

There were no other doctors left in that hospital.

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