BERLIN – Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport wasn't allowed to defend her doctoral thesis in 1938 under the Nazis because she was part-Jewish. Now, 77 years later, she's completed all the requirements and is becoming Germany's oldest recipient of a doctorate at age 102.
The neonatologist — a specialist in caring for newborns — last month passed an oral exam and is receiving her doctorate Tuesday at the University of Hamburg. The university says that "cannot undo the injustice she suffered ... but can contribute to rehabilitating the darkest chapter of German history."
Syllm-Rapoport emigrated to the United States in 1938 and worked as a pediatrician, before moving with her husband, a socialist like herself, to East Berlin in 1952. The mother of four was the first head of the neonatology at Berlin's Charite hospital.