- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Oskar Fehr

Born  1871

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German ophthalmologist, born October 9, 1871, Brauschweig; died August 1, 1959, London.

Biography of Oskar Fehr

Oskar Fehr studied in Heidelberg, Berlin and Kiel, receiving his doctorate at Heidelberg in 1897. From 1897 to 1906 he was assistant physician at Julius Hirschberg’s (1843-1925) eye clinic in Berlin, from 1907 to 1934 head physician at the department of eye diseases at the newly built Rudolf Virchow Krankenhaus. He received the title of professor in 1919.

Fehr concerned himself with swimming pool conjunctivitis, tumours of the eye, retinal detachment etc.

Besides his work in the hospital, he had a large private practice in the western part of Berlin, close to the Tiergarten. In 1934, because of his Jewish origin, Oscar Fehr was forbidden to enter the clinic where he had worked for more than 25 years. He continued his private practice and operated in different nursing homes. When Jewish doctors were prohibited to treat gentiles in 1938, he was one of the few who were allowed to remain in practice as "Judenbehandler" ("Jew treater").

Fehr finally decided to emigrate and in 1939 moved to Great Britain with his family. He attended Edinburgh University to prepare for the exams he had to pass to be allowed to practice in Great Britain. After passing his Exams in 1942/43, he started a private practice in London in July 1943. Becoming a British citizen in 1947, he practiced until his second heart attack in 1955 forced him to retire. Oskar Fehr died on August 1st 1959 in London.

We thank Isabella Friedlein, Germany, for information submitted.


  • Die Anwendung der Elektrizität in der Augenheilkunde.
    In: Handbuch der gesamten medizinischen Anwendung der Elektrizität, volume 2, 2 u Ergbänzungsband. Leipzig, 1911; 2nd edition, 1928.
  • Die Balneo- und Klimatherapie der Erkrankungen des Auges.
    In: Handbuch der Balneologie, medizinischen Klimatologie und Balneographie. Leipzig, 1926.
  • Die gonorrhoischen Erkrankungen des Auges.
    Handbuch der Haut- und Geschlechtskrankheiten, volume 20, 2. Berlin, 1930.
  • A. Jokl:
    The life of Oscar Fehr.
    American Journal of Ophthalmology, New York, December 1962, 54: 1011-1019.
  • M. Amm, K. Holubar:
    [Mementos of the Berlin-Jewish ophthalmologist Oskar Fehr (1871-1959)] Eine Spurensuche die in Wien begann: Der Berliner jüdische Augenartz Oskar Fehr (1871-1959).
    Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, June 18, 1999, 111 (12): 488-491.

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