II. Wellcome to all industrious newcomers

Province Prussia 1819 - 1890

A son Salomon is born to the small merchant Josef Pincus and his 37 years old wife Fanny on l8th January, l8l9. They live comfortably in
Löbsens, in the Province Posnan which became part of Prussia as a result of the last partition of Poland in 1772. There are small Jewish communities in many of the smaller towns of the region. When Lobsens is destroyed by fire in 1822, the family moves to Wirsitz east of Schneidemuehl. Their life becomes a continuous struggle.

Salomon Pincus is sent to the synagogue to learn Hebrew like all other Jewish boys in the town. He experiences at an early age the results of centuries old prejudices. In his parent's house, a better and purer German is spoken than in most other Jewish homes. He is teased and tortured by his Jewish companions who interpret this as a proof of his parents' digression from the true Jewish path. At the same time, Christian boys reproach him for his Jewish background. He receives hidings from both sides whenever opportunities arise, as he reports in an autobiographical note at the age of 22.

Until the age of 15, Salomon visits the synagogue school with its strict discipline. Between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., he attends prayers, classes in Hebrew, reading, arithmetic and Jewish literature. He takes intense interest in his studies. His parents tell him about the wide world. His father describes travels to far lands and his mother narrates stories of the lives of the World's greats. Salomon develops a strong urge to become somebody in the eyes of Jew and Gentile.

Emilie and Salomon Pincus

He takes private lessons in French, German, geography and mathematics. His kind Christian teacher helps him gradually to overcome his inferiority complexes and to develop self-respect and courage. In 1834, Salomon passes an examination to gain entry into the half-gymnasium at nearby Deutsch-Krone, where students are prepared for later years in the full high schools of such larger towns as far away Berlin and Königsberg. The Jewish community of Wirsitz, where his parents have moved lately, refuses to supplement his meagre support at the school on the grounds that never before has a Jew from Lobsens gone to the gymnasium at Deutsch-Krone. He works his way through school by giving lessons. After 3 years, he moves on to Königsberg to prepare for his Matric at the Kneiphöfische Gymnasium, the entry requirement for the local university, the Collegium Albertina, founded in 1544 by Albert I, Duke of Prussia.

In 1841 he writes that he finds the Jewish community in this large town more congenial, open-minded and welcoming. At last he feels accepted. His education accelerates and his mind widens. Mathematics, physics and history become important spheres for him. Many hours of study begin to tell on him, he develops a lung complaint which is to stay with him throughout his life. He decides to take up Medicine

Front page of the doctoral dissertation of Salomon Pincus, Königsberg 1848

On 30th October, 1848, Salomon defends his inaugural dissertation written in Latin. Soon afterwards, he moves as district doctor to the provincial town Insterburg, where he marries the four years younger Emily Neumann from Königsberg. They have six children including the daughter Jenny, born in 1852. She grows up in an environment of equality and spiritual freedom. On 27th August, 1868, Salomon is appointed Chirurgical Assessor at the Medical Collegium of the Province Prussia. He becomes a professor at the Collegium Albertina and returns to Königsberg, where he establishes within the University's Faculty of Anatomy an Institute of Medical Criminology. On l8th January, 1875, he is decorated with the Red Eagle Order of the Fourth Class.

Emilie Pincus mit ihren Kindern

Throughout his professional life, Salomon undertakes research away from his immediate sphere of activity. He corresponds with German leaders in Physics and Chemistry, in particular with Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), Robert Kirchhoff (1827 - 1887) und Robert Wilhelm Bunsen (1811-1899)


R.Kirchhoff
1827 - 1887
J. von Liebig
1803-1873
R.W.Bunsen
1811-1899

He invents a C1-Ag electrical cell which finds use for the transmission of messages during the French-Prussian war of 1870/71.

Appointment of
Dr. Salomon
Pincus as Chirurgical
Assessor,
Berlin 1868
Bestowment on
Dr. Salomon Pincus
of Red Eagle order,
Berlin 1875
 

In her father's house, Jenny Pincus meets Elias Radok, the young chief engineer of the Union Foundry. They marry on 28th October, 1875. Salomon's mother Fanny, then 93 year old, dances at the wedding the polonaise; his father had died in Königsberg of cholera in 1857. Fanny dies 8 days after the wedding. Professor Dr. Salomon Pincus dies 1890 and is buried on the Jewish cemetery outside Königsberg's King's Gate.