The beginning of the end of German Jewry

1933

< 27 APRIL 1933
1 MAY 1933 >

Friday
28 April 1933

Letter of dismissal sent by the Workers’ Sickness Association to Gertha Kroto

After the Nazis took power, one of their most important goals was to “align” (gleichschalten) the healthcare system. Several medical associations were disbanded or restructured and, on 1 April, practices run by Jewish doctors were boycotted. In addition, Jewish physicians working at public institutions, whether as regular employees or civil servants, were dismissed and numerous Jewish doctors were stripped of the license that allowed them to bill their services to the statutory health insurance system.

Within the scope of these measures, the thirty-nine-year-old dentist Gertha Kroto (1893–1972) received notification on 28 April that, effective 31 May 1933, she was being “provisionally” dismissed from her position at the Dental Institute of the Workers’ Sickness Association in Berlin after four years of employment. The registered letter mentions the possibility of renewed employment but, as was foreseeable, no new job materialized, and at the end of May, Kroto received a letter of reference certifying her outstanding “work and skills in all areas of dentistry.”

The dismissal was just the first of several blows suffered by the dentist, who had received her medical license in 1924 and was one of the few women in this male-dominated profession. A few weeks later, on 30 June, the authorities revoked the license authorizing her to bill her services to the statutory health insurance system, which meant she could no longer treat patients insured under this scheme at her practice at Residenzstrasse 125 in the Reinickendorf district of Berlin. Gertha Kroto was only able to keep her family afloat by treating private patients, most of them Jewish—a source of income that became all the more important after her husband lost his job as an engineer at AEG in 1936/37.

Aubrey Pomerance

Categorie(s): associations | Berlin | occupational ban | physicians
Letter of dismissal sent by the Workers’ Sickness Association to Gertha Kroto, Berlin, 28 April 1933
Gift of Marion Lippmann

Emigration

In 1938 Gertha Kroto and her husband emigrated to England with their eleven-year-old daughter Marion. There she was only able to find work as a school dentist. After her husband died in 1949, Gertha and Marion Kroto moved to Australia.

Gertha Kroto at her practice at Residenzstrasse 125 in the Reinickendorf district of Berlin, ca. 1930
Gift of Marion Lippmann 
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