Commemoration of the German Society of Gastroenterology
In memory of

Dr. med.
Walter Waitzfelder
1894 - 1974

Dr. med. Walter Waitzfelder
Dr. med. Walter Waitzfelder

Member since 1926

Studies in Freiburg and Berlin

Set up a private practice for internal medicine in New York after having fled

Dissertation, Berlin 1919
Dissertation, Berlin 1919

Dr. med. Walter Waitzfelder

  • Hamburg, 0‌1‌.‌0‌3‌.‌1‌8‌9‌4‌
  • New York, 2‌9‌.‌1‌1‌.‌1‌9‌7‌4‌
  • Member since 1926
  • Escaped to the USA in 1938
  • Berlin
  • Specialist in gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases

Education and Places of Work

Walter Waitzfelder was born in Hamburg as the son of the factory owner Ludwig Waitzfelder and his wife Martha, née Pariser. He attended the Hamburg Wilhelms-Gymnasium from 1902. The family moved to Berlin in 1905. Waitzfelder graduated from the Royal Prinz Heinrichs-Gymnasium in Berlin Schöneberg in 1912 and studied medicine in Berlin except for the second semester, which he spent in Freiburg im Breisgau. He passed the state examination at the University of Berlin in March 1918, where he was awarded his doctorate on 27 February 1919 with the thesis “Geistesstörungen bei Kopfverletzungen”. He also received his licence to practise medicine in Berlin in 1919.

Dissertation, Berlin 1919
Dissertation, Berlin 1919

After training as an internist, Waitzfelder settled in Berlin as a specialist in gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. His health insurance licence was withdrawn on 6 October 1933.


Escape to England in 1938 and to the USA in 1940

Walter Waitzfelder first fled to England in July 1938 and was cared for at the Kitchener Camp/Transit Camp Richborough, a former military camp near Sandwich in the county of Kent in 1939. Jewish men who had fled Germany and Austria were accommodated in this camp on condition that they did not apply for British citizenship and were prepared to emigrate to the USA, among other countries.

Walter Waitzfelder received a ship passage from Liverpool to the USA for 12 April 1940. He arrived in New York on 22 April 1940 aboard the S.S. Samaria and applied for US citizenship.

After re-doing his medical exams, Waitzfelder was licensed to work as an internist in private practice in New York in 1942.

Walter Waitzfelder died in New York in November 1974 at the age of 80.

Sources and Further Reading


Biographie of Dr. med. Walter Waitzfelder


  • Staatsbibliothek Berlin. Waitzfelder W. Dissertation: Geistesstörungen bei Kopfverletzungen. Berlin; 1919. SBB-spk, Sign. Ja 338-1919,4:35
  • The Wiener Holocaust Library. Collections Catalogue, Coll. Ref. 644 (Kitchener Camp at Richborough, near Sandwich, Kent 1939)


  • o.V. Deaths. JAMA 1975; 232: 862
  • Schwoch R. [Hg] Berliner Jüdische Kassenärzte und ihr Schicksal im Nationalsozialismus. Ein Gedenkbuch. Berlin: Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag 2009: 877
  • Sherwood H. The forgotten haven: Kent camp for saved 4000 German Jews. The Guardian; 24.8.2019