Dr. Antonie Schiller (1886-1944)

Antonie Schiller with her mother
Dr. Antonie Schiller with her mother, Minna Schiller, 1944. During Dr. Schiller’s ban on practicing medicine, her mother contributed to their survival by crocheting doilies. (Photo: private property)

On April 25, 1933, Dr. Antonie Schiller, Director of Maternity and Infant Care in Coburg, received a notice of dismissal from the city council because of her “racial origin.”

Dr. Schiller belonged to the first generation of female medical students in the German Empire. She studied in Jena and Munich, passing her medical exams there on December 10, 1917, and had been practicing in Coburg since the early 1920s.

She was born in Steinach on August 27, 1886. Her father, Siegmund Schiller, a Jewish merchant, had immigrated from Bohemian Aicha and had married Minna Greiner, who was Lutheran. Minna’s father was “the first teacher and the first girls’ teacher in Steinach,” and his wife, Minna’s mother, was Johanna Dorothea Christiane. In order to marry Minna, Siegmund Schiller promised to raise his children as Lutherans.

The marriage was proclaimed on “Reminiscere” (21 March 1886, the second Sunday of Lent), and the wedding took place on “Judica” (11 March, the fifth Sunday of Lent), at 7:30 in the morning. As required bythe Oberkirchenrat edict of 28 January 1886, both parties had made a legally binding promise, on 4 March of that year, that children from the marriage would be raised as Christians.

From the Steinach marriage register.

The shortage of doctors in Coburg led to Dr. Schiller being allowed to practice medicine again in 1944. However, her financial situation was very difficult, as described after the war by her “Aryan” housekeeper, who had “shared all hardships with her.”There were a number of subsequent “denazification” proceedings in which, to exonerate themselves, physicians claimed to have supported Dr. Schiller during the Nazi period.

Dr. Antonie Schiller died during a visit to the sick on September 18, 1944.

Prof. Dr. Gaby Franger