Obituaries

Samuel Mitja Rapoport

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7461.353 (Published 05 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:353

Former physician, biochemist, European Jewish émigré, and Communist who fled McCarthyite persecution in the United States

In the late 1930s many eminent Jewish scientists and doctors left Germany and eastern Europe in fear of persecution by the Nazis. Most of them successfully pursued their careers in Britain or the United States, and only a handful returned to Germany after the second world war.

Mitja Rapoport was an outstanding exception. Not only did he come back to Europe, but he also crossed the cold war borders and, after settling in East Berlin, was able to enhance his scientific reputation in the Eastern as well as the Western scientific community.

On his 90th birthday in 2002, Berlin's Charité Hospital, where Rapoport was director of the biochemistry institute for 30 years, honoured Rapoport as “Berlin's most eminent biochemist after the second world war.” His merits as scientist and university teacher were always uniquely praised, …

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