Preamble

Following the advent of the National Socialist regime in the year 1938, more than 2,700 mostly Jewish affiliates of the University of Vienna were dismissed and subsequently driven away and/or murdered - lecturers, students and administration employees. Furthermore, over 200 people were stripped of their academic titles.
In 2008, 70 years after the so-called "Anschluss" [annexation] and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the "Kristallnacht" [Crystal Night], the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and  ...

person

Friedrich Albert (Fritz) Jerusalem (Jensen)

  • Born: 12-26-1903
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
  • Category: deprivation of academic degree

Friedrich Albert (Fritz) JERUSALEM (later JENSEN) (born on December 26th, 1903 in Prague, Bohemia/Austro-Hungaria [Praha/Czech Republic]) as the son of Alfred Jerusalem (1874-1945, accountant) and writer Elsa, nee Kotanyi (1876-1942), moved to Vienna as a child together woth his parents and his older sister Edith (later married Stein) and lived in Vienna 7th district, Lerchenfelderstrasse 117, from 1913 on.

The marriage of the parents was divorced, Elsa Jerusalem left the family and emigrated to Argentina in 1911 In 1913 his father Alfred Jerusalem married Elisabeth, nee Wolf, in second marriage. While still at school Fritz Jerusalem was an active member of the Social Democratic youth organization "Verein Jugendlicher Arbeiter". After he had graduated from high school ("Staatsgymnasium") in Vienna 16th district, Maroltingergasse, in September 1923, he began to study medicine at the University of Vienna in fall term 1923/24 and continued without interruption until fall term 1928/29 (his 11th term). On November 8th, 1929 he graduated at the Medical School with the academic degree M.D. ("Dr.med.univ.").

On the day of his graduation Jerusalem became a member of the Austrian communist Party ("Kommunistische Partei Oesterreichs", KPOe) and a frequent speaker. Around this time he and some youth friends founded the Agitpropgroup "Stossbrigade" - also Eduard Maerz was involved in this group. As a writer he pointed out the poor social conditions of the working class, not only for the "Stossbrigade", but also as a member of the "Bund der proletarisch-revolutionaeren Schriftsteller".
In February 1930 he married a youth friend, Rosa Margaretha (Grete) Leist (1904-1930), who died only a few months after marriage from tuberculosis. After her death he took a job as a resident physician in Kassel/Germany, where he was politically active, too, and first used the name "Jensen" during he was interfering a meeting of the National Socialist party.,
At the beginning of February 1931 Jerusalem returned to Austria and worked as resident physician at the Hospital Lainz in Vienna 13th district. In November 1933 he married Ruth Domino (later married Tassoni, 1908-1994).
After the prohibition of the KPOe in 1933 he continued his activity on the fields of agitation, propaganda and performance groups for the illegal party. During the "February fights" ("Februarkaempfe") against the Austro Fascist Regime in 1934 he established a secret medical service for injured "Schutzbuendler"-fighters and helped  endangered comrades fleeing to Czechoslovakia. Besides he was still active as a speaker.
After he was arrested in July 1934 and later interned in the detention camp Woellersdorf he was released in April 1935 and opened a private practice in Vienna 8th district, Josefstaedterstrasse 65.

In August 1936 he went to Spain to join the International Brigades and to fight in the civil war against the troops of General Francisco Franco. As head physician of the 12th brigade he fought at various locations, was wounded in the leg during the battle of Bruete in summer 1937, headed the hospital center of the International Brigades in Benicasim since fall 1937 and fought in the offensive around the Ebro until the withdrawal of the brigades in 1938. His wife Ruth, who had worked as a nurse for the International Brigades, and he separated in 1937.

By the end of 1938 he resided in Paris/France and in January 1939 travelled to London/Great Britain. In May 1939 he travelled from Liverpool to China on behalf of the "China Medical Aid Committee", where he was integrated to the Chinese Red Cross together with other former physicians of the International Brigades. In the areas liberated by the Chinese Communist Party he was engaged in the resistance war against the Japanese occupation army and later in the civil war and tried to built up basic medical service and supply.
In times of Nazism he was deprived of his academic degree in 1940, with the racist argument, that he as a Jew was not considered dignified an academic degree of a German university ('eines akademischen Grades einer deutschen Hochschule unwuerdig'). His younger brother Bernhard "Bobby" Jerusalem, who studied at the Medical School in 1938, was expelled from the University of Vienna.

Together with Wang Wu-An (born in 1921), a Chinese partisan, who had worked as a teacher in the liberated areas during the Chinese civil war und had married him in April 1945,  Fritz Jensen returned to Austria via Switzerland in 1948. He temporarily headed the Culture Department of the KPOe in 1949 and subsequently worked as a journalist for the KPOe-newspaper "Volksstimme" and published the book "China siegt" about the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Together with his wife he was on a lecture tour also to the DDR.

As correspondent of the "Volksstimme" for the Far East he moved back to China again in 1953 together with Wang Wu-An and their adopted son Mischa, who was born in the same year. He travelled to Korea and Vietnam, where he interviewed Ho Chi Minh and Austrian prisoners of war in 1954.
Fritz Jensen died on April 11th, 1955 near Singapur on a flight to the first Afro-Asiatic conference, from the consequences of a terrorist bombing. He was buried at the Heroes' Cemetery Babaoshan in Bejing/China.

It took 68 years since the deprivation – and a very long time since the end of Nazism – until the regranting of the doctorate took finally place in 2008 (posthumously).


Lit.: Archive of the University of Vienna/enrollment forms ("Nationale") MED 1923-1929, graduation registry ("Promotionsprotokoll") MED M 33.13, Nr. 135; POSCH 2009, 275, 430; Eva BARILICH, Fritz Jensen. Arzt an vielen Fronten, Wien 1991; Das rote Wien; Exil-Archiv; KILLY , DBE Bd. 5 1997; RÖDER 1980.


Katharina Kniefacz


Dokumente

Nationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jensen], fall term 1923/24 (front), photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveNationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jens...
Nationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jensen], fall term 1923/24 (back), photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveNationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jens...
Nationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jensen], fall term 1928/29 (1st form front), photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveNationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jens...
Nationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jensen], fall term 1928/29 (1st form back), photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveNationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jens...
Nationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jensen], fall term 1928/29 (2nd form front), photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveNationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jens...
Nationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jensen], fall term 1928/29 (2nd form front), photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveNationale of Fritz Jerusalem [ Jens...
Graduation registry ("Promotionsprotokoll"), Medical School: Fritz Jerusalem, graduation on November 8th, 1929, No. 135, photo: Katharina Kniefacz (c) Vienna University ArchiveGraduation registry ("Promotionspro...
Bernhard, Edith and Fritz Jerusalem in Vienna, March 1933 (c) Wang Wu-An [Eva BARILICH, Fritz Jensen. Arzt an vielen Fronten, Wien 1991]Bernhard, Edith and Fritz Jerusalem...
Fritz Jensen and his wife Wang Wu, around 1950 (c) Eva BARILICH, Fritz Jensen. Arzt an vielen Fronten, Wien 1991Fritz Jensen and his wife Wang Wu, ...



zuletzt aktualisiert am 01.08.2019

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