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  ...


Ignaz Glattstein

  • Born: 10-26-1909
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
  • Category: expelled student

Ignaz GLATTSTEIN, born on October 26th, 1909 in Kalusz [Калуш/קאַלוש]/Galicia [later Poland, today Ukraine] (entitled residency ('heimatberechtigt') for Vienna/Austria, Citizenship: Austria), son of Josef Glattstein (merchant, garementshop in 1., Marc-Aurel-Strasse 6) and lived in Vienna 3rd district, Adamsgasse 17/13.
Glattstein started his studies at the Medical School of the University of Vienna in fall term 1929/30 and was enrolled - with a break in 1934/5 - until fall term 1937/38 at the Medical School. This last term was was validated on February 4th, 1938 and accepted as the 4th year of his studies. A Leaving Certificate ('Abgangszeugnis') was issued on April 2nd, 1938 – this certifies, that he had enrolled the obligatory number of terms at the university. But he had no more a chance to apply for the final examination to finish his longtime medical studies to become a physician.

As his daughter remembers:
"A few days before my father left the university he participated as assistant doctor in an operation on a nazi officer that had been wounded. This officer spoke many things while he was narcotized - among the things he said was the date the Nazis where entering Vienna. After the operation his "best friend" who also participated in the operation said to him, that he must leave immediately this place, leaving everything behind this very night, otherwise he would tell the Nazis about him. My father left Austria the March 26th, 1938. He left the University that very night." (Jane G. Yechieli, 2012)

Together with his brother Leo he initially emigrated to the Netherlands at the beginning of May 1938, then to Colombia by ship. A few months later their parents, Sara und Josef Glattstein, escaped from Nazi perpetration in Austria and fled via Marseille/France to Tahiti. His brother Leo emigrated short time later to Panama.
In his first years in emigration in Barranquilla/Colombia Ignaz Glattstein had to earn money and worked part time as a doctor even without a diploma. Besides, he was working in all sorts of jobs, worked in a factory during the nights, in a pharmacy, as a chemist and made soap, creams and cosmetics, which were limited in Colombia during the war years.
In 1943/44 he met Cecilia Carrillo and he married her later.

After the end of World War II he wanted to continue his medical studies, but  couldn't afford the money for the medical studies:
"After the war, things started to change, Ignaz dreams of going to the States and finishing his exams. He has learned Spanish and English during these years; but he never managed to save enough money for his studies, the trip and his living expenses, so he was never able to get a visa to the United States." (Jane G. Yechieli, 2012)

Instead, Glattstein and his wife emigrated to Panama in 1945, where his brother lived. He sold the new cream that he had just invented to the Ponds American Company and was paid enough to start a new life in Panama and to start a small grocery shop together with his wife.
Nevertheless, he was not able to afford continuing his studies, but without his certificate he could not get a legal permit and when he did get established it was too late for him to start again. As his children mentioned, giving up his beloved medical profession was "the most painful thing for him since he was a doctor in his soul all his life". Although, even years later, he was called „Doctor“ or „Dr. Igo“ in his personal environment.
Later he worked in the biggest jewelry store in Panama and Central America, was promoted manager and later opened three stores of his own.
He was very involved in the Jewish community of Panama, was co-founder of the first jewish school, of the Ashkenazi Synagogue and of the cementery for the Ashkenazi jews. As president of the Bnei Brith of Central America, he worked continuously collecting money for charities in Israel (University in Har Hazofim, Hadassa Hospital, Shaarei Zedek Hospital etc.).

In his older years he finally fulfilled his dream of living in Israel. He bought a clinic for artificial eyes – the only one in Israel at this time – and after several  months of training and then began his medical profession at the age of 63.

Ignaz Glattstein died at the age of 72 of a heart attack in Israel in 1981 and was buried in Moshav Hibbat Zion  survived by his son and daughter.

Lit: information of his daughter Jane G. Yechieli and his son Gary Glattstein, Israel 2012KNIEFACZ/POSCH 2017b.

Katharina Kniefacz and Herbert Posch


Nationale of Ignaz Glattstein, fall term 1937/38 (1st form front), Photo: H. Posch (c) Universitätsarchiv WienNationale of Ignaz Glattstein, fall...
Nationale of Ignaz Glattstein, fall term 1937/38 (1st form front), Photo: H. Posch (c) Universitätsarchiv WienNationale of Ignaz Glattstein, fall...

zuletzt aktualisiert am 11.01.2017

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