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euclid
02-19-2009, 01:01 PM
In my book I have a "Medical Examiner's report" showing cause of death. The term feels wrong - too modern for 1940's Germany.

Any suggestions?

Puma
02-19-2009, 05:37 PM
I agreee, Medical Examiner sounds modern. I'm trying to think of names I've seen in my genealogical searching and all that's coming up is Doctor (either the doctor or the priest made the record entries). Coroner is another possibility that would have existed then. Could you find/create a word using Tod (death) as the root? My German dictionary lists Todanzeige - death announcement - plus some others that aren't applicable. I'm assuming this is a state (or government) medical examiner, would something as simple as state examiner or a variation work? Puma

GeorgeK
02-19-2009, 11:37 PM
Unless you are writing it in German, your translation can be modern. Often Death Certificates will list primary and secondary causes or diagnoses
e.g.
1 Cerebral Anoxia
2 Strangulation

or
1 Malnutrition
2 Tuberculosis

GirlWithPoisonPen
02-19-2009, 11:53 PM
I have a body exam scene in my novel which takes place in Berlin in 1937. I'm calling the person doing it the coroner.

German uses both der coroner and der Gerichtsmediziner (medical examiner).

A medical inquest is die Leichenschau (coroner's inquest) or Feststellung der Todesursache (appraisal of cause of death).

At least that's what my notes say.

IceCreamEmpress
02-20-2009, 06:25 AM
Unless you are writing it in German, your translation can be modern.

GeorgeK, I think the question was whether there were "medical examiners" in Germany in those days, or whether unexpected deaths were more frequently investigated and certified by "coroners".

As far as I understand, death certificates in 1940s Germany were signed either by the deceased person's own physician (der behandeldner Artz, or "treating physician") or by a Gerichtsartz ("court doctor", where "court" is in the sense of "judicial court"). The title "Gerichtsmediziner" was used in those days exclusively for forensic pathologists.

"Coroner" is something different in the German system than in the US or UK system. I would either go with the word Gerichtsartz or use the phrase "certifying doctor."

euclid
02-20-2009, 12:29 PM
GeorgeK, I think the question was whether there were "medical examiners" in Germany in those days, or whether unexpected deaths were more frequently investigated and certified by "coroners".

As far as I understand, death certificates in 1940s Germany were signed either by the deceased person's own physician (der behandeldner Artz, or "treating physician") or by a Gerichtsartz ("court doctor", where "court" is in the sense of "judicial court"). The title "Gerichtsmediziner" was used in those days exclusively for forensic pathologists.

"Coroner" is something different in the German system than in the US or UK system. I would either go with the word Gerichtsartz or use the phrase "certifying doctor."

My "Medical Examiner" is a forensic pathologist. So the term is exactly right, being a direct translation of "Gerichtsmediziner". I'm happy with that. It means I don't have to change anything (or I could change the text to read "forensic pathologist", I suppose).

Thanks eveyone. You're all stars!