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  ...


Emil Zak

  • Born: 01-28-1877
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
  • Category: expelled teacher

Emil ZAK (born on January 28th, 1877 in Bruenn, Moravia/Austro-Hungarian Empire [Brno/Czech Republic], died on March 2nd, 1949 in Bronx, NY, USA) was lecturer with the title of an extraoridinary professor ("Privat-Doz. tit. a.o. Prof.") for inner medicine at the Medical School of the University of Vienna and since 1927 chief physician of the polyclinic in Vienna und head of the cardiology department there.

He was persecuted in times of Nazism as a Jew lost his position and his "venia legendi" and was forced to leave the university on April 22nd, 1938, as well as the polyclinic.

He could manage to leave Austria in 1939 - first he emigrated to England then to the USA. Also his two sons, still studying at the University of Vienna, were forced to leave the university in 1938 without a chance to finish their studies: Georg Zak, who studied chemistry, and Friedrich Zak, who studied medicine.

Emil Zak had studied medicine in Vienna and graduated in 1901 ("Dr. med. univ."/M.D.). He started to work at the 1st medical university-clinic (head: Prof. Hermann Nothnagel), and at the pharmacological institute with Prof. Hans Horst Meyer (1853-1939) and Prof. Alfred Froehlich (1851-1953) focusing in his research on regulation of metabolism of water in the heart, shift of volume with respiration and perspiration.
He also habilitated on these topics in 1913 at the University of Vienna. During First World War he was a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army and became a Russian prisoner of war at the eastern front in Galicia. When back in Vienna, he started working at the university again and gained the title (but not the position) of an extraordinary professor ("tit. ao. Prof.") in 1929. At this point he was already chief physician at the polyclinic in Vienna and head of the cardiology department there. He succeeded Prof. Rudolf Kaufmann in both positions in 1927.

He deceased on March 2nd, 1949 in Bronx/New York.

Lit.: MERINSKY 1980, 287; MÜHLBERGER 1993, 36; UB MedUni Wien/van Swieten BlogTRAGL 2007, 296.

Herbert Posch

zuletzt aktualisiert am 18.07.2019

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