birdwatcher (birdwatcher) wrote,

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1. Samuel Mitja Rapoport was born in Wolhynia near the Russian-Austrian border in what is now the Ukraine and his family resided there from 1912 to 1916.
2. They later moved to Odessa, Russia on the Black Sea coast. At the conclusion of the World War I he saw the Russian Revolution and witnessed the barbaric warfare of the Russian Civil War.
3. His family left Odessa for Vienna, Austria in 1920. Already sympathetic to left-wing views, he joined the Communist Party out of protest against the rise of fascism.
4. When the annexation of Austria by Nazi-Germany was imminent, he received a scholarship for scientific studies and clinical work at the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1938.
5. During World War II his research focused on blood conservation. His efforts saved the lives of thousands of US soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen. For these efforts he was honored by President Harry S. Truman with a Certificate of Merit.
6. During a congress of pediatricians in Switzerland in 1950 he received information that he was a target of the anticommunist McCarthy commission. As a result of this warning he chose not to return to the US and his wife brought their children to Zurich.
7. The Rapoports moved to Vienna, where for a short time he again worked at the Institute for Medical Chemistry. But the university refused his appointment for professorship due to the intervention of the US government.
8. France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union all refused his services.
9. Rapoport rejected a job offer by the Weizmann Institute in Israel on the grounds that he wasn’t a Zionist.
10. In 1951 Humboldt University in East Berlin offered Rapoport the professorship and directorship of the Institute for Physiological Chemistry at the Charité Hospital. He accepted political asylum as well as the chance to continue his work.
12. After the unification of Germany he became president of the newly founded Leibniz-Societät, which consisted of former members of the disbanded Academy of Sciences of the GDR.
13. Died: 7 July 2004 (aged 91) Berlin, Germany.

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