World

Germany’s oldest student, 102, gets PhD denied by Nazis

A 102-year-old German woman will become the world’s oldest person to be awarded a doctorate on Tuesday, almost 80 years after the Nazis prevented her from sitting her final exam, the BBC reports.

Ingeborg Rapoport (then Syllm) finished her medical studies in 1937 and wrote her doctoral thesis on diphtheria – a serious problem in Germany at the time.

But because of Nazi oppression she has had to wait almost eight decades before being awarded her PhD.

Her mother was a Jewish pianist.

So, under Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic race laws, Ingeborg was refused entry to the final oral exam. She had written confirmation from Hamburg University that she would have received her doctorate “if the applicable laws did not prohibit Ms Syllm’s admission to the doctoral exam due to her ancestry.”

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