Rudolf Richard Ehrmann

born on 02/14/1879 in Allenstedt bei Hanau
died on 12/21/1963 in Berkeley/USA

DGIM Member 1922 – 1938

Rudolf Richard Ehrmann grew up in Allenstedt near Hanau in Hesse. After studying medicine in Berlin, Heidelberg, Kiel, Strasbourg, and Munich, he was licensed in 1903 and received his doctorate in Strasbourg.1 As an assistant physician, he worked in Greifswald and Berlin.2 He habilitated in Berlin and received a lectureship for internal medicine in 1912. He was appointed nontenured associate professor in 1915.3 Ehrmann was chief medical officer in the Reichswehr during World War I.4

Chief Physician in Berlin Neukölln

Ehrmann was appointed chief physician of the I. Internal Department of the Berlin-Neukölln Municipal Hospital in 1917, while the war was still ongoing.5 His patients at that time included Albert Einstein and the composer Fritz Kreisler.6

Escape to New York via London

The National Socialists removed Ehrmann as chief physician in April 1933.7 His venia legendi was revoked on October 19, 1935, under the "Reichsbürgergesetz" (Reich Citizen Law). Ehrmann remained in Berlin until February 1938, but then fled to London.8 From here he reached New York in 1939, where he found a temporary job opportunity for a few months as a lecturer at Bellevue Medical Center. He was employed as a research associate at Beth Israel Hospital in New York from 1940 to 1942. He settled as an internist in 1942.9

He caused quite a stir on New Year's Eve of 1948, when he joined surgeon Rudolf Nissen and radiologist Gustav Bucky in providing emergency treatment to Albert Einstein.10 Bucky, Einstein, and Ehrmann had already been on friendly terms in Berlin.11

Friend of Albert Einstein

Ehrmann became a member of the "American College of Gastroenterology" and the "American Medical Association."12 After a short illness, he died at a hospital in Berkeley, California, at the age of 84. He had last conducted research at Berkeley University.13 He was survived by his wife, Käthe Pollack Ehrmann, and his son, Rolf-Helmut.

The focus of Ehrmann's clinical-scientific activity was gastroenterology.14 He held numerous lectures on "Erkrankungen der Verdauungsorgane" (Diseases of the Digestive Organs) at the Charité in Berlin. At the same time he monitored the growing possibilities of radiology and became a member of the "Deutsche Röntgengesellschaft" (German Radiological Society).15


See Reichsmedizinalkalender 1933, p. 72; Isidor Fischer, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre, vol. I, Berlin et al. 1932, p. 354; New York Times, Dec. 23, 1963, p. 25.See Fischer, Biographisches Lexikon I, p. 354.See Johannes Asen, Gesamtverzeichnis des Lehrkörpers der Universität Berlin I, 1810-1945, Leipzig 1955, p. 42; Festkomitee des Rates der Medizinischen Fakultät zur Vorbereitung der 250-Jahr-Feier der Charité (ed.), 250 Jahre Charité, Berlin 1960, p. 90.See Ernst G. Lowenthal, Juden in Preussen. Biographical Directory. Ein repräsentativer Querschnitt, Berlin 1981, p. 53.See Harro Jenss et al, 100 Jahre DGVS Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verdauungs- und Stoffwechselkrankheiten, Munich 2013, p. 41.See Anonymus, Rudolf Ehrmann Dies at 84, in: Oakland Tribune, Dec. 23, 1963, p. 12.See Rudolf Ehrmann, in: Verfolgte Ärztinnen und Ärzte des Berliner Städtischen Gesundheitswesens (1933-1945). A Biographical Database, Rudolf Ehrmann (, ins. 7/4/2018).See Yvonne Yvonne, Refugee Doctors and Dentists registered with the Medical Department, 1939, 2A.229.See Rudolf Ehrmann, physician, 84, this. Former Bellevue professor treated Albert Einstein, in New York Times, Dec. 23, 1963, p. 25.See New York Times, Jan. 1, 1949, p. 15.Dieter Hoffmann, Einsteins Berlin. Auf den Spuren eines Genies, Berlin, 2006, p. 170; Carl Seelig, Friendship with Doctors: Heinrich Zangger, Moritz Katzenstein, Hans Mühsam, Rudolf Ehrmann, and Gustav Bucky, in: Carl Seelig (ed.), Helle Zeit - dunkle Zeit. In memoriam Albert Einstein, Braunschweig 1986, pp. 39-64, p. 40.See New York Times, 23.12.1963, p.25.See Ralf Forsbach/Hans-Georg Hofer, Internisten in Diktatur und junger Demokratie. Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin 1933-1970, Berlin 2018, p. 194.See Isidor Fischer, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre, vol. I, Berlin et al. 1932, p. 354.See Andreas D. Ebert, Jüdische Hochschullehrer an preußischen Universitäten (1870-1924). Eine quantitative Untersuchung mit biographischen Skizzen, Frankfurt a. M. 2008, pp. 374, 451.

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