Berta Ottenstein

Despite repeatedly needing to restart her career when she fled from Nazi-held territories, Berta Ottenstein earned great respect for her pioneering research in the field of dermatology. Ottenstein earned her PhD in chemistry from the University in Erlangen in 1914 and began working at various institutions, focusing on biochemistry and dermatology. She served as a guest scholar at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biochemistry in 1927 before becoming an assistant at the University of Freiberg in 1928. In 1931 she became the first woman lecturer on the medical faculty of the university, but was forced to resign and flee Germany two years later. She began again as an assistant at the University of Budapest and in 1935 joined the faculty of the University of Istanbul and director of their dermatological clinic. In 1945 she immigrated to the US and became a research fellow at Harvard in the department of dermatology while working simultaneously at the New England Medical Center in Boston. In 1951, the year she became an American citizen, the University of Freiberg appointed her to an extraordinary professorship as an apology for all she had endured.

Topics: Medicine

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Berta Ottenstein." (Viewed on June 12, 2021) <>.


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