Biography of Albert Fraenkel
Albert Fraenkel was the son of David Eduard, a Jewish wine merchant, and his wife Sophie Traube. In 1866 he began the study of medicine at the Berlin University – then the Königliche Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, now Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He graduated in 1870 with a dissertation on Addison's disease, and in March 1872 he qualified as a physician and obstetrician. He then worked as an assistant to Adolf Kußmaul (1822-1902) in Freiburg and to his uncle Ludwig L. Traube (1818-1976) in the propaedeutic clinic at the Berlin Charité in Berlin.
Following the death of Traube, Fraenkel remained with Traube's successor, Ernst Victor von Leyden (1832-1910) in the university medical clinic at the Charité. He was habilitated for internal medicine in 1877, becoming professor extraordinary in 1884. In his time very few Jewish persons became full professor in Germany, and Fraenkel was never appointed to a chair.
In 1887 Fraenkel became head of the women's clinic – Frauen-Siechenanstalt – in Berlin-Kreuzberg as well as a private clinic in the same part of the city. In 1890 he became director of the department of internal medicine at the hospital "Am Urban" in Berlin.
At first active in the field of experimental pathology, he later concentrated his efforts in the study of diseases of the heart and lungs. He succeeded in demonstrating and cultivating diplococcus pneumoniae from the exudate of pneumonic lungs, termed Fraenkel’s diplococcus in his honour.
Besides medicine, his interests were in physics, astronomy, antique art and music. He died of angina pectoris.