With all the exciting news about Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian, it’s easy to lose sight of awesome things happening outside of the United States. Here at The Hot Zone, we’d love to bring this one to your attention.
In Germany last month, a woman received her doctorate. Sounds cool, right? It gets better – she’s 102 years old. We can almost see your smiles. But here’s the real kicker. She received that doctorate in triumph over the Nazis who refused her to achieve it.
Have we got you hooked? We thought so.
Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport was up to defend her doctoral thesis in 1938, but she was denied under the Nazis in Germany. Syllm-Rapoport is part Jewish. It’s been almost eighty years, and now, she’s the oldest doctoral degree recipient in all of Germany. It was, to say the least, a tough road to get there, but now, Syllm-Rapoport is the definition of victory.
She is a neonatologist, which is a newborn care specialist. After she passed an oral exam, she was honored with the doctorate from the University of Hamburg. Syllm-Rapoport gave an acceptance speech at the graduation ceremony, where she stated that she was not only accepting this degree for herself, but she would accept it to honor all those who suffered greatly under the Third Reich.
Syllm-Rapoport wrote her doctoral thesis on diphtheria and gave her oral report on the same topic. When asked how she performed, Uwe Koch-Gromus, the university’s medical dean, stated that, “She was brilliant, and not only for her age.”
We are proud of Syllm-Rapoport, the work that she’s done, and the triumph she represents.