Portrait Paul Fraenckel | © Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universitätsbibliothek

Portrait Paul Fraenckel | © Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universitätsbibliothek

Paul Fraenckel

Paul Fraenckel, (Naples 1874-1941 Berlin). Fraenkel completed his speciality training at the Medical University Hospital in Göttingen, the Charité University Hospital and the University of Berlin Government Pharmacology Teaching institute before receiving his Habilitation in 1909. In 1914 he received his professorship and later, between 1914-1919 he worked as a World War I Staff Doctor. Following this he became a Forensic Physician at the Berlin Chief of Police Offices and from 1921 he was an Associate Professor. In 1929/30 he served as Acting Director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine at the University of Berlin. Fraenckel was Fritz Strassmann’s successor, having been considered his most promising pupil. His research interests included the physico-chemical properties of the blood especially after poisoning. He was also co-editor of the German Journal for Forensic Medicine. In 1933 due to his Jewish heritage he was removed from office and in 1933 his teaching license was revoked. Due to his age he did not emigrate. In early September 1941 he wrote "I cannot stand this – wearing the yellow Star of David on my chest! It is the last straw! I did not think it would ever come to this despite the many indications. It has destroyed the last freedom of movement." He poisoned himself shortly before the enforcement of this regulation which would have required him to wear the Jewish star.

(Text: Udo Schagen, 2013)