Fight for Recognition. The Portrait of the German Physician Paula TOBIAS (1886 – 1970). A Reconstructive Biographical Analysis
Keywords:biographical case study, reconstructive analysis, autobiography, recognition, misrecognition, German-Jewish emigration
AbstractIn this article I intend to focus on one very crucial aspect of biography: the resources used to sustain identity under interfering—even depressing—historical and societal circumstances and how this identity is reconstructed from an autobiography. As an example, I reconstruct the biography of a German-Jewish physician, Paula TOBIAS, who fled Germany in 1935 as a result of the National Socialist’s politics of persecuting Jews. The reconstruction follows her autobiography and integrates further data that was collected, including interviews with persons who had been acquainted with Paula TOBIAS, civil registrations, reparation files and documents filed by those universities where Paula TOBIAS had studied. The analysis of the autobiography and the additional resources build the portrait of one of the first Jewish female physicians of the last century in Germany. Throughout her life she learned to fight for herself which is explicitly expressed in her autobiographical writing. When the NS regime refused to recognize her as German, it was her ability to fight that helped her to sustain her German identity. By unfolding the whole biography I sketch her way of fighting as founded in the deep persuasions she developed as a young woman fighting for her education, as a young doctor fighting for recognition from other doctors and later as a German fighting for her rights under the NS-Regime. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503224
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Copyright (c) 2005 Wiebke Lohfeld
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