Family History Writing Challenge, Day 5: Ezriel’s Not-So-Lazy School Days

Family History Writing Challenge, Day 5: Ezriel’s Not-So-Lazy School Days

Thanks to the excellent student files kept by the University of Vienna, Ezriel Kornmehl’s academic life comes into far clearer focus than most other parts of his life — at least so far.

As a result of information that Jill Kornmehl gleaned, we know that Ezriel (I’m summarizing a bit from the original here):

…studied [at the University of Vienna] from March 1914 to June 1916. He finished high school in Tarnow. Before he started his studies in Vienna he had already studied at the University of Krakow, where he completed the first of three final exams (“Rigorosen”). He completed  the second and third final exam on February 20th 1917 and February 1st in Vienna. He got his Dr. med. on March 9th 1918.

We also know that:

While he was at the University he lived in the 2nd district which had a large Jewish community in this time: from (about) March to June 1914 his address was Große Schiffgasse 11. Then he moved to Taborstraße 20a, door number 14, and before March 1915 to Obere Donaustraße 89, door number 1. From October 1915 to June 1916 he lived at Große Sperlgasse 37 a, door number 15.

I had wondered in my original post on the two Doktors Kornmehl why Ezriel was so peripatetic, whereas Viktor Kornmehl and Sigmund Freud both lived at home. Both Jill and my friend Lydia — the research-keen friend I discussed in yesterday’s post —  pointed out that Ezriel’s father didn’t live in Vienna, and that moving around a lot is typical student behavior.

This made sense… until last night, when I discovered in the Vienna address directory that in 1918 Ezriel’s father, Leiser Kornmehl, is listed as living at Große Sperlgasse 37– Ezriel’s address from October 1915 to June 1916.

What could this mean? Did Leiser move from Poland to Vienna to provide his son with some stability, a place to live in his last year of medical school? Or did Leiser take over Ezriel’s apartment when his son graduated? And what about his roofing business?

That will have to remain a mystery for now. I’m discovering that genealogy means rewriting history again and again and again.

In the meantime, since the original purpose of this exploration was to look for Kornmehl family relationships with Freud, I should mention that, since Freud entered the University of Vienna in 1873 and received his doctorate in medicine in 1881, he didn’t overlap with Ezriel in medical school. In 1902, Freud was appointed Professor of Neuropathology at the university, a post he held until 1938, so that could have been a point of intersection. However,  according to an assistant curator from the Freud Museum London  with whom Jill also corresponded, Freud’s professorship was honorary and he didn’t teach in the formal university setting. Rather, he met with followers — not necessarily students — at the Wednesday Psychological Society, held at his apartment on 19 Berggasse.

We know that my great uncle Siegmund Kornmehl was downstairs selling meat during these meetings, but there is no evidence that Ezriel attended any of them. In fact, the next post will show that he was more interested in military matters than psychological ones.

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