Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Paul Caspari, M.D.: The Good Doctor

In memoriam for my grandfather, born February 27, 1867, died December 15, 1937. I never knew him my grandfather, since he died in Berlin, five years before I was born, but my mother, Beate Caspari-Rosen, often spoke about him with love and respect. She chronicled his life, in several essays, in her recollections. These are published on my website [Family button] In this photograph, taken around 1910, he stands on the left with his wife Flora Arnswalder Caspari, "Uncle Herman", also a physician, and Ernst, his nephew. My mother is the beautiful charming child with a shepherd's staff. The young woman next to Uncle Herman is a maid, who accompanied the family on this vacation in the mountains.
Why have I titled this blog "The Good Doctor"? First because he was an excellent family practitioner. Second. After the Nazi regime established anti- Jewish laws, doctors were denied the right to practice. Even though Paul Caspari visited the United States after his daughter moved there (1935) with her husband George Rosen, and had the opportunity to remain with his wife Flora, and even after he was strongly urged not to return to Berlin, he did. His reason: the Jewish population in Berlin would need physicians; it was his duty to care for them. Fortunately, he was spared the horror that was to befall millions; he died of a heart attack during the course of an operation. He was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. amazingly this cemetery was not destroyed by the Nazis and remains intact today.

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