James Lewin, Dr. Med. et. Phil., 1887-1937

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Biographical Details:

28 Oct 1887
Birth of James Lewin in Berlin, Germany
Father: Nathan Lewin (1852-1909), Merchant
Mother: Agathe Wedel (1853-1904)

Started attending school at Sophien-Gymnasium in Berlin

18 Sept 1904
Death of Mother, Agathe Lewin (maiden name Wedel)

10 Oct 1907
Enrolled as a student at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitšt in Berlin

Death of Father, Nathan Lewin

12 March 1912
Dr Philosophie degree granted (Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitšt in Berlin, Medical Faculty)
Thesis: "Die Lehre von den Ideen bei Malebranche"

20 Oct 1913
Enrolled as a Medical Student at Leipzing University
Supervisor: Paul Flechsig

Marriage to Clara Abramowitz

Dr Medicine degree granted in 1917 (Leipzig University)
Thesis: "Ueber Situations-Psychosen"
Assistant to Ernst Siemerling at the Faculty of Psychiatry and Mental Hospital in Kiel
Assistant Physician and Psychiatrist at the Leipzig Mental Hospital

18 Dec 1917
Birth of Son, Adolf Norbert Lewin, in Lichtenrade, Berlin

Served in the field during World War I

Moved to Berlin and started a Medical Practice as a Physician specialising in Psychiatry and Gynecology

18 Oct 1924
James Lewin & Clara Abramowitz Divorced by divorced by Landgericht II [court] in Berlin

31 Oct 1927
Death of Sister, Gerty Urgiss (maiden name Lewin)

Book Published: Geist und Seele: Ludwig Klages' Philosophie

July 1933
James Lewin files an application to leave Germany with 11,000 Reichmarks and travel to Abyssinia 26 Sept 1933
James Lewins' application to leave Germany is approved

Oct 1933
James Lewin immigrates to Paris, France
He opens an aquarium shop (note: there was a large number of fleeing Jewish physicians arriving in the West at the time, making work as a doctor difficult to find)

5 Dec 1933
James Lewin writes to the German government from Paris. He states that he was unable to travel to Abyssinia due to a heart condition and that he would like to travel to a location with a more favourable climate, such as Palestine or China. He requests that the Reisbuero issue him new a visa and mentions the, "Plight of the exiled German Physician, for whom every penny counts."

Between 1933-1936
James Lewin applies to the Jewish Health Organisation (OZE) for assistance. They help him to obtain a visa and organise working arrangements in the USSR

James Lewin immigrates to Moscow, USSR
He has trouble finding lodgings and spends summer 1936 in a dacha (summer home) in Losino-ostrovsky, a Moscow suburb

Occupation: Senior Research Officer at the Scientific Research Institute of Psychiatry and Neuropathology (the "Institute of Professor Kramer") in Moscow

10 Oct 1936
James Lewin attends the Meeting of the Moscow Society of Neuropathologists and Psychiatrists
Following a presentation by Professor Arthur Kronfeld on "Actual Problems of Schizophrenia Studies", Professor Lewin and Professor Luria participate in a discussion. To quote: "Prof. Lewin mentions the great achievements of Heidelberg's scientists, particularly Prof. Kronfeld , in schizophrenia pathology but he thinks that there is a psychological bombast here. The position of Intentional Psychology is not as definite as the lecturer suggests. There are a number of psychological experiments on visual senses showing that the intention is not only psychological and behind the intention always there is something non-intentional."

7 May 1937
James Lewin's Soviet Passport is issued

Oct 1936
James travels to a resort in Livadia, Crimea due to illness
Upon returning, he sleeps for 14 days at the Institute at which he is employed. After this, he resides in the apartment of an American on Kaliaevskaia Street, Moscow

June 1937
James Lewin goes on a 20-day voyage up the Volga River as far as Ufa City on the Steamship name "Jean-Gores"

1 Aug 1937
Resolution to begin proceedings against James Lewin is passed at Chelyabinsk, USSR

7 Sept 1937
Warrant issue for the arrest of James Lewin and search of his address at Medovyi Lane 8, Apartment 31, Moscow

8 Sept 1937
James Lewin is arrested by the NKVD and fills in a questionnaire

16 Sept 1937
A resolution is passed to transfer case number 13629 regarding James Lewin to the Chelyabinsk branch of the NKVD

22-23 Oct 1937
James Lewin is interrogated at Chelyabinsk
In the Minutes of Interrogation, James Lewin "confesses" to a myriad of anti-Soviet activities, including espionage. The Minutes claim that he was arrested by the gestapo for currency speculation when he attempted to leave Germany. They allegedly threatened to send his family to a concentration camp if he did not agree to cooperate with them. Following his release, he is supposed to have traveled to Paris and met a contact there who facilitated his move to Moscow. The statement claims that most physicians sent to Russia by the OZE - a charitable organisation - were secretly spying.

31 Dec 1937
James Lewin is found guilty of carrying out espionage for the German gestapo, organising anti-Soviet activities, and planning biological attacks
Death of James Lewin; He is executed by the NKVD by gunshot at Chelyabinsk, USSR

Most Chelyabinsk victims of Stalin's purges are buried in mass graves at nearby Golden Mountain

22 June 2007 Dr. James Lewin is rehabilitated by the Russian Federation


Holsteiner Ufer 4, Berlin, Germany

Aschaffenburger Str. 16, Berlin, Germany

Anzbacher Str. 18, Berlin, German

Sept 1933
Marburger Str. 14, Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany

5 Dec 1933
1 Rue Leopold Robert, Paris

Summer 1936
Dacha (summer home) in Losino-ostrovsky, a Moscow suburb

8 Sept 1937
Medovyi Lane 8, Apartment 31, Moscow


Reference Files, Photos: