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Gerhard Schmidt Oral Histories

Call Number: MS161

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of interviews conducted by Dr. Morris Cynkin with Gerhard Schmidt in the early 1970s. The original interviews are on audiocassettes. The collection also includes transcriptions of some of the tapes and mp3 files of the interviews. The interviews concern Schmidt’s early interest in medicine, his experience of antisemitism during the rise of National Socialism, his career after fleeing Germany in 1933, and his subsequent fellowships in Italy, Sweden, Canada, and the US, as well as his work at the New England Medical Center and Tufts College.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1971 -- 1973
  • Creation: 1971 -- 2009


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Gerhard Schmidt was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1901. He studied medicine at the universities of Tübingen and Frankfurt, where he obtained a medical degree in 1924. During his studies, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Gustav Emden, one of the outstanding biochemist of the first half of the 20th century. Schmidt completed a medical internship in Stuttgart, and then returned to Frankfurt to train in research with Emden. He became a Privatdozent in the Department of Pathology at the University of Frankfurt, but had to flee Germany in March 1933 after the National Socialists came to power. Schmidt subsequently held fellowships in Italy, Sweden, Canada, and the US. He was brought to the New England Medical Center and Tufts College in 1940 by Dr. Siegfried Thannhauser, a distinguished research physician who was himself a refugee. Schmidt spent the rest of his career at Tufts.Dr. Schmidt pioneered work on enzymes involved in nucleic acid degradation and was a world authority in the field of nucleic acids and phospholipid. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1973. He died April 21, 1981. In 2002, Dr. Henry Mautner, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, established an annual lectureship in his memory.


0.77 Linear Feet (1 oversize box )

2 Digital Object(s)

Custodial History

See collection documentation for additional information about Schmidt, Cynkin, and the oral history project.

Processing status

This collection is minimally processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States