Charlotte Cohn-Wolpe (ab 1935 Ziegler)

born on 09/10/1893 in Berlin
died 1977 in Downer’s Grove/Illinois

DGIM Member 1923 – 1932

Charlotte Bassia Wolpe was the daughter of the Jewish merchant Max Wolpe and his wife Anna née Veitel.1 She was the sister-in-law of the Breslau teacher and student councilor and diarist Willy Cohn (1888-1941).

Wolpe grew up in Berlin. She attended the Viktoria-Luise school in Wilmersdorf and in the spring of 1906 transferred to the Realgymnasium of the Auguste-Viktoria school in Charlottenburg. After graduating from high school in 1912, she began studying medicine at Berlin University, where she passed the state examination in 1917. She received her license to practice medicine a year later, in June 1918, and began a position as an assistant physician under Hermann Strauss (1868-1944) in the internal medicine department of the Hospital of the Jewish Community of Berlin, where she had already completed part of her medical internship.2 Under Strauß and co-instructor Wilhelm His (1863-1934), she received her doctorate in medicine with a clinical case study on the diagnosis of parapyloric ulcers in 1918.3

Curative Medical Activity in Bad Kudowa

Wolpe remained at the Jewish Community Hospital in Berlin until 1920. She then moved to Bad Kudowa (district of Glatz, Silesia) with her husband Franz Cohn, who was from Breslau. They married on March 8, 1921, and from then on worked together as spa doctors in their spa practice. Cohn-Wolpe took over the management of the practice, when her husband died in 1934.4She lived and worked in Dresden, Weißer Hirsch, and in Berlin, respectively during the winter months.5 She married the Berlin radiologist Joseph Ziegler (b. 1884) on January 23, 1935, whose name she took on.6

As a Jewish physician, Ziegler-Wolpe was increasingly subjected to anti-Semitic reprisals after the Nazis had come to power. Nevertheless, she still managed to successfully carry on with her practice. As late as mid-1937, her patients included numerous non-Jews.7 She was not the only Jewish physician working in Bad Kudowa at that time. Her colleague, Dr. Gotthelf Marcuse, was also Jewish.8

Decision to Emigrate

The Ziegler(-Wolpe)s, whose last registered address was Knausstrasse 10 (Grunewald) in Berlin, decided to emigrate and traveled to Shanghai via Palestine in January 1939, where immigration regulations remained comparatively liberal up to World War II. The couple had settled in the port city of Tietsin (today: Tianjin) by 1940, which at the time was under Japanese occupation. Joseph Ziegler opened a well-established radiology practice there. It is not known whether Charlotte Ziegler-Wolpe also worked there as a doctor.9

Ziegler-Wolpe immigrated to the United States in early 1949.10 She received her medical license in 1950 and was granted American citizenship on August 24, 1954. 11 She first lived in New York, then in Elizabeth, New Jersey.12 During her retirement she lived in Downer's Grove, Illinois, where she died in March 1977 at the age of 83.13

Wolpe was a member of the German Medical Women’s Association.


Landesarchiv Berlin, Personenstandsregister, Geburtsregister, Sequence number: 500 A2 Geburts-Register (Neben-Register), Standesamt Berlin XII A, 1893, vol.1, Certificate of Birth 2259.A very similar biography can also be found inVina Zielonka/Ralf Forsbach/Hans-Georg
Hofer/Ulrich R. Fölsch, Gegen das Vergessen: Jüdische Ärztinnen der Deutschen Gesellschaft
für Innere Medizin im Porträt, in: Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 147 (2022), S. 1596-
1604, S. 1598 f. See database "Ärztinnen im Kaiserreich".
See Charlotte Wolpe, Erfahrungen über die Diagnostik des Ulcus parapyloricum, Diss. med. Berlin 1919.See Willy Cohn, Kein Recht, nirgends. Tagebuch vom Untergang des Breslauer Judentums 1933-1941, Cologne et al. 2006, p. 223; Anja Schnabel, Bleiben in Breslau. Jüdische Selbstbehauptung und Sinnsuche in den Tagebüchern Willy Cohns 1933 bis 1941, Berlin, 2018, pp. 142-143.N.N., Adressänderungen, in Die Ärztin 7 (1931), pp. 68, 116, and 175; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin (ed.), Verhandlungen des Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin, Munich: Bergmann [exempl.] 1931.See Cohn, Tagebuch, p. 203.See Cohn, Tagebuch, p. 452.See Brochure of the Kurverwaltung Herzbad Kudowa (1937), accessible at: (accessed March 6, 2021).See "Ärztinnen im Kaiserreich", see Cohn, Tagebuch, pp. 585, 626, and 794.The National Archives at Washington, D.C, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, NAI Number: 4498993, Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004, Record. Group Number: 85.National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C, Index to Naturalization Petitions of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1865-1957, Microfilm Serial: M1164, Microfilm Roll: 141, Document No. 7350032.The National Archives at Washington, D.C., Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls, NAI Number: 6256867, Records of the U.S. Customs Service, 1953, Record Group: 36; Arrival: New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957, Microfilm Roll: 8332, Line: 8, p. 51.See database "Women Doctors in the Empire."

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