Albert Salomon was born in Röbel, Mecklenburg, on 26 January 1883, the son of Wolf Salomon, a merchant, and Helene Salomon, née Wolff. Albert’s mother died in childbirth and he grew up with relatives in Mecklenburg. After attending school in Röbel, Ribnitz and Schwerin, he started studying medicine at Berlin University in 1900, continuing from 1902 to 1903 in Heidelberg, from 1903 to 1904 in Munich and from 1904 to 1905 in Würzburg. Here he graduated with the grade “very good”. In the same year he received his licence to practise medicine. He worked as a junior doctor at the hospitals in Berlin-Friedrichshain and Pankow and at the Jewish hospital in Breslau. In 1909 he started working at the University Hospital in Berlin under renowned surgeon Dr August Bier (1861 to 1949). Here he developed special methods of analysis and surgical treatment for cancer patients, and became an internationally renowned pioneer of mammography. In 1916 he married Franziska Grunwald. Their daughter Charlotte was born one year later.
During the First World War, 1916-1919, Albert Salomon worked as a senior physician. His last post was in a military hospital in Tucquegnieux, France. After the war he returned to Berlin and in 1921 qualified as a professor. His assessors were Otto Lubarsch and August Bier. From 1921 to 1927 Albert Salomon worked as an associate professor at the Berlin Charité university hospital, where he was appointed extraordinary professor of surgery in 1927. The suicide of his wife Franziska in 1926 – the official cause of death was illness, as she suffered from depression – shook the family.
In 1930 Albert Salomon married Paula Lindberg, a singer. Their relationship breathed new life into the family and sparked an interest in Jewish traditions. After his authorisation to teach was withdrawn on 8 September 1933, Albert Salomon opened a private practice in Charlottenburg, where he was only permitted to treat Jewish patients. From 1936 to 1939 he was head of the surgical department of the Jewish Hospital in Berlin. Since he was a “war veteran”, his licence was not revoked until 1939.
Following the pogrom in the night of 9 November 1938, Albert Salomon was arrested on 10 November in his apartment at Wieland Strasse 15 and taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. As Paula Salomon-Lindberg later recalled, she set about obtaining release papers for him with the help of friends and acquaintances. On 29 November 1938 Albert Salomon was released from Sachsenhausen and returned, emaciated, to Berlin. The family decided to leave Germany as soon as possible. In January 1939 Charlotte Salomon travelled to her grandparents in the South of France; Albert and Paula Salomon fled with forged documents to Amsterdam on 15 March 1939. Evading imminent arrest, they left all their property behind in their apartment, and it was seized by the authorities.
As German medical qualifications were not recognised in Holland, Albert Salomon learned the Dutch language and restudied medicine in Amsterdam. In May 1943 Albert and Paula Salomon were arrested in Amsterdam and deported to Westerbork transit camp. Here they both worked as auxiliary helpers in the camp’s infirmary barracks. They managed to escape the camp in November 1943 under the pretext of having to fetch medical equipment from Amsterdam. They survived the war in hiding in southern Holland. When they returned to Amsterdam they were told of Charlotte’s death in Auschwitz.
In 1946 Albert Salomon passed the Dutch medical examination and opened a private practice in his apartment. He and his wife both ruled out a return to Germany and assumed Dutch nationality. Albert Salomon died on 7 May 1976 in Amsterdam. He is buried in the cemetery of the Liberal Jewish Community in Hoofddorp near Amsterdam. In 2000 a commemorative stone was also laid here in memory of Charlotte Salomon.
In 2011 a commemorative plaque was put up on the house in Röbel where Albert Salomon was born.