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Emigration

Benno Ernst Latz

born 02.08.1878 Berlin
d. 02.10.1953 New York

DGIM Honorary Member 1926 – 1935

Benno Ernst Latz was born the son of the merchant Emil Latz and his wife Natalie Mannheimer. He had two older siblings, Martha (b. 1873) and Richard (b. 1875).1

Until graduating from high school in 1897, he attended the French Gymnasium in Berlin. After studying history and philosophy for two semesters at the University of Leipzig, he began studying medicine in Berlin. He transferred to the University of Heidelberg for the summer semester 1899, where he passed his physics examination. He then returned to Leipzig for a year before coming to Kiel in 1901, where he passed his exams and was licensed in 1903.2 His teachers included eminent physicians such as Heinrich Curschmann, Heinrich Quincke, Friedrich Trendelenburg, and Wilhelm Waldeyer.3

Internist in Wiesbaden and Bad Homburg

After graduating, Latz first worked in Berlin and married An(n)ita Marx (1887-1929), a Protestant Christian, in April 1906. Latz, who had been Jewish until then, took on his wife's Protestant faith. The marriage produced four children.4 All of the children were born in Bad Homburg, where Latz served as "co-director" at the Sanatorium Dr. Pariser. This was a spa clinic, specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases as well as eating disorders and was also frequented by many Russian guests.5

After World War I, which Latz had entered as an officer, the Sanatorium Dr. Pariser was forced to close in 1920 for economic reasons.6 Benno Latz moved to Wiesbaden, where he found employment as an internist at the Nerotal Sanatorium.7 At this "Klinik für innere, Stoffwechsel- und Nervenkrankheiten" (Clinic for Internal, Metabolic and Nervous Diseases) he was one of the leading physicians for a time and was still able to use the premises as an attending physician after 1933. He had to leave the clinic for good, however, in 1935.8

Chief Physician at the Kissingen Sanatorium Apolant

Latz came to Bad Kissingen (Menzelstraße 8) in 1936, where he took over as medical director at the Apolant Sanatorium for Edgar Sigmund Apolant and ran a private practice. The latter had emigrated to America. Latz also had to leave the Sanatorium Apolant in September 1937. He continued to run the private practice for a few more months.

The relationship with his boss Emma Apolant is described as good. All of them suffered from the National Socialist anti-Semitism. "The most petty harassments", Benno Latz wrote in a 1950 letter to Heinz Schröder, Eva Schröder-Apolant's husband, "the most obvious malignancies, suspicions, insults lined up in constant succession, one after the other. [...] Mrs. Emmy Apolant and I then witnessed all the infamies of 1938. I was warned in time so that I could get to safety before the November riots of 1938 broke out."9 Latz's 1933/34 attempt to undermine Nazi anti-Semitism had long since failed by then. He had highlighted the patriotism of Jewish participants in the war in an autobiographical book publication printed in small numbers.10

Emigration to New York

Latz fled to New York via Rotterdam in 1938.11Many of his personal belongings, including valuable works of art by Gainsborough and Canaletto, among others, were confiscated.12

Benno Latz married Ethel Mork Bamberger in New York on June 5, 1939; his first wife had already died in 1929.13

Benno Latz's sister Martha Moeser, who lived in Wiesbaden, was deported to Theresienstadt in January 1944, taken to Auschwitz a few months later, and murdered there.14 In contrast, all four of Latz's children managed to escape from Germany. His second wife, Ethel, died in Philadelphia at the age of 86, on November 9, 1977.15


References

See Benno Latz, Observations on the Clinical Examination and Operation of a Case of Sarcoma Cerebri. Inaugural dissertation for the award of the doctorate of the medical faculty of the Königl. Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, 1903, p. 25; Erinnerungsprojekt "Biografisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit," entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, einges. 5/15/2020.See Reichsmedizinkalendar 1937, p. 472.See Latz, Observations, p. 25.See Remembrance Project "Biografisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit," entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, ins. 5/15/2020.See memorial project "Biografisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit", entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, einges. 5/15/2020.See Jüdische Pflegegeschichte, Jüdische Orte der Kur – die Sanatorien Dr. Pariser, Dr. Rosenthal und Dr. Goldschmidt in Bad Homburg, p.3. .See Reichsmedizinalkalender 1931, Werbebeigabe, p. 230/231.See Hubertus Averbeck, Von der Kaltwasserkur bis zur physikalischen Therapie. Betrachtungen zu Personen und zur Zeit der wichtigsten Entwicklungen im 19. Jahrhundert, Bremen 2012, p. 505.Cited in Memory Project "Biografisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit," entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, accessed. 15.5.2020.Mein Deutschland. Bekennerworte den nicht-arischen Frontsoldaten gewidmet von Benno Ernst Latz. Wiesbaden o.J. [1933/34]; cf. memorial project "Biographisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit," entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, ins. 5/15/2020.National Archives and Records Administration, Washington. 1940 Census, Enumeration District 31-597, Sheet 32.See memorial project "Biografisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit," entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, ins. 5/15/2020.See New York Times, June 6, 1939.See memorial project "Biografisches Gedenkbuch der Bad Kissinger Juden während der NS-Zeit," entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, einges. 5/15/2020.See memorial project "Biographical memorial book of Bad Kissingen Jews during the Nazi period", entry Benno Latz, www.biografisches-gedenkbuch-bk.de, einges. 5/15/2020

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