5 May 1933
Letter dismissing Heinrich Ziegler from his position at the Velten maternity center
At the beginning of the Nazi dictatorship, more than 10 percent of all doctors in Germany were of Jewish descent. Directly after taking power, the Nazis made it their goal to oust these doctors from their professions. Professional organizations were “aligned” (gleichgeschaltet) and Jewish officials and members were expelled from them. After the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service went into effect on 7 April 1933, Jewish physicians were dismissed from their positions in the public health sector. Not long afterward they were stripped of the license allowing them to bill their services to the statutory health insurance system. This meant they could only treat private patients.
These regulations affected Heinrich Ziegler as well. The letter presented here from the Osthavelland District Welfare Association informed him that his position as a doctor at the Velten maternity center was being terminated “with immediate effect.” The reason for the dismissal was his “non-Aryan descent.” In addition, the association asked him to return the money he had already received for April due to “non-performance of medical services.” He had evidently been notified the previous month that the association no longer wanted him to continue working there.
Over the following years Heinrich Ziegler was able to continue working as a physician at his own practice due to the fact that he had fought at the front during the First World War. However, when the Nazi regime withdrew the medical licenses of almost all Jewish physicians in 1938, he emigrated with his family to British India. One of his wife’s uncles, who had already emigrated there, helped him to obtain the entry permits.
Heinrich Ziegler continued to work as a doctor and opened his own practice in Karachi. After Pakistan gained independence, he took on Pakistani citizenship. However, in 1960, after twenty years in exile, he returned to Germany and died in Munich in 1971.
District Welfare Association
B, VII. Nr. 5924.
Nauen, 5 May 1933.
Please specify the above log no. in your reply
To the general practitioner
Dr. med. Heinrich Zielger
Subsequent to my letter dated the 2nd of this month
- B.VII. No. 5700 -
Due to your non-Aryan descent, we cannot allow you to continue performing medical duties at the maternity center in Velten. Your employment is hereby terminated with immediate effect.
With reference to your postcard sent on the 2nd of the month, I must ask you to return the amount of 40 reichsmarks to the district treasury, post office account Berlin 8166, due to the non-performance of medical services at the maternity center in Hennigsdorf during the month of April.