Dr. med. Joseph Dessauer
- Thüngen, Lower Franconia, 15.05.1887
- Chicago, 22.11.1946
- Member since 1926
- Escaped to the USA in 1938
- Specialist in gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases in private practice
Education and Places of Work
Born as the son of the merchant Ferdinand Dessauer and his wife Pauline, née Eichberg, in Thüngen, Lower Franconia, Joseph Dessauer attended primary school in his birthplace, followed by preparatory school, which subsequently enabled him to attend the school teachers’ seminary in Würzburg. As a private student, he passed the school-leaving exams at the Realgymnasium Würzburg (grammar school) in 1908. His parents moved from Thüngen to Würzburg in 1907, where Ferdinand Dessauer ran a wood and coal business. Joseph Dessauer took up his medical studies in Würzburg in 1908. He passed his state examination in 1913 and was awarded his doctorate in January 1914 with the thesis “Über die Heilung der Bauchfelltuberkulose bei konservativer Behandlung”. Dessauer wrote his thesis under Dietrich Gerhardt, who was the successor of Wilhelm von Leube and had been the director of the Medical University Clinic in Würzburg since 1911, where Dessauer worked as a medical trainee.
Dessauer served in the First World War.
He worked as a practising specialist for gastrointestinal diseases in Nuremberg from 1920 to 1938. He ran a large practice both as a statutory health insurance physician and in private practice. He took over the practice of his late father-in-law, Dr. Albert Reizenstein, in 1926. He moved the practice to Hindenburgplatz 26 in Nuremberg in the 1930s.
As an active participant in the First World War (“front-line fighter privilege”), Dessauer was initially able to continue practising as a as a statutory health insurance physician after 1933. However, his licence to practise medicine was revoked on 30 September 1938.
Escape to the USA in 1938
Joseph Dessauer fled to Amsterdam with his wife and their two sons, aged twelve and five, on 1 October 1938. The family arrived in the USA from Rotterdam aboard the S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam on 8 October 1938 and reached New York on 15 October 1938. Two of Joseph Dessauer’s brothers also fled from Germany to the USA, to New York and Chicago respectively. One of the two brothers, Dr. Moritz (Morris) Dessauer, was also a medical doctor and had been working in Berlin before his escape.
After taking the medical state examinations in the USA, he was licensed to practise medicine in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.
Joseph Dessauer died in Chicago on November 1946 at the age of 59.
Joseph Dessauer’s father was deported to Theresienstadt from a Würzburg Jewish retirement home at the age of 89 in September 1942. He died at the ghetto in November 1942.