X-ray specialist and dedicated Christian
Friederike Trefftz had much in common with her sister Eleonore. Both shared a passion for science, for instance. But after their doctorates, their careers took them separate ways. While Eleonore went to Göttingen in West Germany, Friederike began educating generations of physicians in the East German city of Dresden. Like her sister
Eleonore two years her senior, Friederike Trefftz adored science. She studied medicine at the universities of Marburg, Freiburg and Leipzig. In December 1945, she graduated with a licence to practice medicine. Her sister Eleonore Trefftz (1920–2017) became the first woman to earn a doctorate after the Second World War at Dresden College of Technology – which was where the sisters’ father Erich Trefftz (1888–1937) had been an internationally renowned professor of engineering mechanics. Friederike Trefftz gained initial professional experience at hospitals in Dresden. In 1949, she caught up her with her sister, who had left Dresden a year beforehand to take up a research position in Göttingen, by being awarded a doctorate at Leipzig University for her thesis ‘Bronchial cancer in connection with lung silicosis’. In 1957, she became a certified radiology specialist. As the senior consultant of the X-ray department at the Surgical Clinic of the Carl Gustav Carus Academy of Medicine in Dresden, she introduced and then honed state-of-the-art X-ray diagnostic techniques. Alongside her teaching, her work in X-ray diagnostics earned her a reputation far outside the clinic. She spent over 25 years in this position before finally retiring in 1986. A professing Christian active on the parish council, Friederike Trefftz received several state awards for her outstanding medical work. In her spare time, she played the violin in the Dresden Mozart Orchestra. She resided in the family villa in the Loschwitz borough of Dresden well into her old age. In 2002, she presented the historical Mercedes calculating machine used by her eminent father to Dresden University of Technology. Until her death in 2011, Friederike Trefftz maintained close ties with Dresden University and its hospital. Her sister Eleonore Trefftz died on 22 October 2017 at the age of 98, and the Eleonore Trefftz Visiting Professor Programme was launched in her honour at Dresden University of Technology.
Fotonachweis: Technische Universität Dresden, Universitätsarchiv (1, 4); Technische Universität Dresden, Pressestelle, Karsten Eckold (2, 3)