Joseph Goldmark: Doctor de-escalating

Joseph Goldmark, lithograph by Eduard Kaiser, 1848. – © Image: Archiv

The Jewish doctor and the chemist Joseph Goldmark was one of the most devoted revolutionaries of 1848 and a member of the Reichstag. He was always looking for a non-violent, conflict-free solution. Nevertheless, he was wronged.

In 1848, Joseph Goldmark was one of those Jewish doctors who played a leading role in the social and political renewal of society and thus jeopardized their professional lives. They worked in all the bodies that controlled the revolution.
as new centers of power. As the medical historian Katherine Kogler points out in her excellent study on "The participation of health professionals in the 1848 revolution in Vienna", many doctors, especially young Jews from Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary and Galicia, lived in bad conditions.

Joseph Goldmark was born on August 15, 1819, son of a cantor, to Keresztur (1924, Cherestur, Romania), who was then Hungarian. His family moved in 1834, at the age of 15, to Deutschkreutz, in present-day Burgenland, which belonged at that time to the Hungarian part of the Habsburg Monarchy. The half-brother of Joseph, Carl (1830-1915), settled in Vienna in 1848, at the age of 14, and worked for many years as a violinist in the Carltheater Orchestra. . Carl Goldmark gave his first concert with his own works at the age of 28. Appreciated by Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms, he is currently particularly regarded by the world of Hungarian music.

Secondary doctor at the AKH

His eleven-year-old brother Joseph studied medicine and chemistry in difficult conditions in Vienna and remained afloat as a tutor. In August 1847, shortly after his 29th birthday, he obtained his doctorate in medicine. He became a senior doctor at the General Hospital and worked as an internist in the Department of Skin Diseases, who headed Primarius Hebra (1816-1880).

Goldmark, who earned little, first lived with his friend Adolf Fischhof (1816-1893), second Jewish doctor, in a poorly equipped small room of the General Hospital. Vienna counted in 1848 with about 450,000 inhabitants in the fourth largest city in Europe. The general hospital had to support more than 2,000 patients. The temporary premises of more than one hundred rooms were filled with up to 45 beds, depending on their size.

Goldmark and Fischhof continued their night education by reading political, historical, and political science. On March 13, 1848, Fischhof gave a first public address in front of the country house of the Lower Austrian domains and demanded the abrogation of censorship, the granting of "freedom of the press" and of a "constitution". Joseph Goldmark then went to the meeting room of the country house with the pressing crowd, forcefully demanding the resignation of the Chancellor of State Metternich, to force a petition to Emperor Ferdinand I.