Dr. Robert Nußbaum
Robert Nußbaum was born on 30th May, 1892, in Straßbourg which at that time was part of the German Reich. His parents, Moritz and Ida Nußbaum nee´ Koppel, were both Grammar School Professors. He had a sister and his family were part of the Jewish Community.
Robert Nußbaum was studying medicine when he, in 1914, volunteered for the Military. He took part in the First World War as a private soldier and later as a student doctor. He was wounded and was awarded the Iron Cross. After his demobilisation from the Military in November 1918 he worked in the Strasbourg Hospital as a volunteer. In 1919 Strasbourg became French Elsass and he was expelled because he was German. He completed his medicinal studies in Tubingen and worked as a Doctor in Esslingen, Düsseldorf and Dortmund, where his main subject was Paediatrics. In 1923 he took part in passive resistance against French occupation in the Ruhr Valley and because of the threat of arrest fled to Minden.
From 1923 Robert Nußbaum lived with his wife, Dora nee´ Quinn, in Minden. Dora Nußbaum was a Christian and had three children, Heinrich, born in 1924, Günter, born in 1925 and Anneliese born in 1928. The family first lived at Königstrasse 74 and later moved to Steinstrasse 9, at it’s junction with Stiftstrasse, with the rooms of the Doctor’s practice being in the house.
Robert Nußbaum was a member of German Socialist Party (SPD) and the vicar, Wilhelm Mensching, described him as being a social minded, energetic person with a high sense of responsibility and commitment, willing to treat alcoholics and Tbc patients. He was respected, loved and held in high esteem. Even in 1923 he was appointed the town’s official Doctor and in 1932 was appointed the Doctor responsible at the Public Courts.
The harassment of Robert Nußbaum began with the power takeover of the Nazis because he was a Jew and a Social Democrat. In 1933 he was excluded from the parents committee of the Infants School at the suggestion of the Police because he was a member of the Social Democratic Party. He was excluded from Sunday duties by the local Association of General Practitioners for not being Aryan. In 1937 he was anonymously accused of insulting colleagues which was accompanied by disciplinary action from the German Medical Board. Two of his Minden colleagues submitted complaints against him but offered to retract them if he left Minden. He refused to leave and denied the offence at the Magistrates Court. He was found guilty of the accusation and was fined, with the option of a prison sentence. Robert Nußbaum appealed against the sentence and was arrested on the 14th July, 1937, before the court hearing. He would, until his death on 15th April, 1941, never again be free.. In August, 1937, his appeal was thrown out of court. Robert Nußbaum was sentenced to one month in Prison.
At the end of 1937 Robert Nußbaum was accused of racial violation by a patient. The Police described the female patient as rather disturbed and a Doctor called to assess her described her as a Psychopath. In the County Court in Bielefeld, in the spring of 1938, Robert Nußbaum denied the accusation but was given a three year prison sentence, a three year loss of trust and banned for practicing medicine for five years. He appealed and on 30th May, 1938, the High Court quashed the sentence and sent the case back to the County Court, which again sentenced him to three years in prison on 11th September, 1938.
Robert Nußbaum was imprisoned, in Münster and in Kassel from December 1938 until February 1941. During this time his wife and mother made several appeals for leniency on his behalf and applied for permission for him to emigrate with the family. On the 14th February, 1941, Robert Nußbaum was released from prison after serving his sentence and was immediately sent to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. He died there on the 15th April, 1941, in unexplained circumstances. The official diagnosis was pleurisy.