Rosa Einhorn (1872–1950): A Woman Pioneer in Medicine between Bosnia (1902–1913), New York, and Palestine

Brigitte Fuchs, Husref Tahirović


This short biography details the life and medical activities of Rosa Einhorn, mariée Bloch (1872–1950), who practised as an Austro-Hungarian (AH) official female physician in Travnik in occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) from 1902 to 1904, and as a semi-official private physician from 1905 to 1912/13. Born in Hrodna district in the Russian Pale of Crescent, Einhorn had qualified and practised as a “feldsheritsa” in Russia and went to Switzerland to study medicine in 1896. Upon receiving her medi­cal doctorate from the University of Lausanne in 1901, she became recommended as a particularly adequate candidate for the not-yet-created position of an AH official female physician in BH. After Einhorn functioned as a general practitioner for women and children in Travnik and the adjacent districts for two years, the AH public health authorities officially dismissed her due to her engagement and marriage to the AH judiciary Sigismund Bloch (1850–1927). However, she obtained a right to private practice in 1905 and was employed as a private physician in AH anti-syphilis campaigning. Struggling for her reinstatement as an official female physician in Travnik, she also strove for the accreditation of her Swiss diploma in Austria, though in vain. After two attempts to emigrate to the United States in 1904 and 1913, Rosa Einhorn finally left Europe to work as a physician in the United States and Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel in 1923. She died in New York on May 27, 1950.

Conclusion. Rosa Einhorn was employed as a provisory official female physician in Travnik in 1903/1904, the AH authorities accepting her only as a lo­cal private female physician after her marriage in 1905. Struggling in vain for her reinstatement, she finally left Bosnia in 1913.


AH Official Female Physicians; Rosa Einhorn; Travnik; Bosnia and Herzegovina

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