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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Cured: 1913

Cured: 1913

Washington, 1913. "Dr. Freedman -- Children cured by his cure." Regardless of what the story is here (and I have high hopes that we'll find out), this girl looks like a real piece of work. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

I've got a secret

This little girl knows something that we do not.

Quacked All the Way to the Bank.

According to the January-March 1918 issue of The Theosophist, Dr. Friedmann managed to sell his turtle serum cure for a million dollars. Let us shed no tears for the poor doctor.

Friedmann and Hundt

On the LOC site, there are several pictures of the doctor, including one showing him with his secretary, Charles de Vidal Hundt:

Re: Little Edith

Fascinating. For so many reasons. One of which is that there's not one word in that account about what Herr Doktor is supposed to be curing little Edith of. She's just "sick," was going to have "an operation," but got "serum" instead and was "cured." It's like something out of Dickens!

Although in the Washington Post's defense I will note that an earlier (April 1913) article mentioning Edith describes the treatment as being injections of "turtle serum" for tuberculosis.

A search on his name in the New York Times archive turns up hundreds of citations for 1913 and 1914. He evidently caused quite a stir in this country, going from cause celebre to pariah in a matter of months. The final headline for 1914 reads HEALTH BOARD BANS FRIEDMANN CURE. He died in 1953 in Monte Carlo. Someone should write a book.

"Cured" by Serum

Washington Post, Sep 9, 1913

"Cured" By Serum

"Blessing From God," declares mother of little girl, who had been given up "by ten doctors" - Has doubled in weight and is every way normal. Other Washington sufferers treated by German said to show improvement

Two of the worst cases treated by Dr. Frederick Friedmann, the noted German physician, on his visit here have been absolutely cured, the sufferers themselves declare, and a number of others have shown such improvement, they assert, as to warrant the patients' hope of ultimate recovery. This statement is the outcome of an investigation into the cases conducted yesterday by a Post reporter. The two patients who it is claimed have been cured are Philip Chase, age 5, of 2114 Fourteenth street southeast, and Edith Strauser, aged 7, of 3221 Reservoir street northwest. ...

The mother of little Edith Strauser yesterday was one of the happiest women in Washington. "Oh to think that my little one has been cured," she cried. "And after ten doctors had given her up. When I took her to the hospital for Dr. Friedmann to operate on her, I did not believe that she had a chance for recovery. The doctors told me that there was no hope. He gave my daughter only one treatment, and within five weeks she showed great improvement. Before I took her to him she had not been able to move in bed for eight months. During those whole eight months she was in agony. Not a muscle could she stir, she was so weak. Today she is able to play with the other children in the neighborhood, although I believe she would still be better if she could get just one more treatment from Dr. Friedmann."

At the time the treatment was given the Strauser child weighed only 23 pounds. Her mother said yesterday that at the end of the five weeks after the operation she had gained fifteen pounds and today weights 45 pounds. Her eyes are a clear as crystal. Her cheeks are ruddy, her complexion fair. She looks like a child that has never been sick in her life. ...

One of the remarkable facts pertaining to the case of the Strauser girl is the disappearance of a large lump that was formed on her back. At the time she was taken to the German physician she was deformed by this protuberance. Today the lump has entirely disappeared.

The mother attributes her daughter's recovery in part, to the manner in which the instruction of Dr. Friedmann was obeyed. "He told me not to give her any medicine after he had given her the serum," she said, "and I have not. I followed his instructions to the letter, and have not let any doctor near her. I have been in communication with a number of his other patients and I find that those who failed to obey his instructions have not fared so well."

TB "Miracle Cure"

I believe this is probably a "Dr. Friedmann" who was in the New York Times on 16 March 1913, amid discussions of his "miracle cure" for tuberculosis. See the article here.

[These are fascinating. (BTW this is not the same article as the one linked below.) Thanks to all who posted. - Dave]

Friedrich Franz Friedmann

A 1913 New York Times article on Dr. F, if this is the same person. Evidently he was regarded as something of a quack.

Dr. Friedrich Franz Friedmann, the Berlin scientist who recently came to New York to demonstrate his so-called "cure" for consumption, gave his first treatment in this country yesterday at the People's Hospital, 203 Second Avenue. The turtle-serum was injected into one woman and two men in the presence of fifty physicians and after the demonstration there was more of criticism than praise for the visiting scientist. Dr. Friedmann, in fact, retired to his new quarters in the Hotel Ansonia in a very nervous and excited condition. A physician in conversation on the street used the term "fakir" in discussing Dr. Friedmann. ...

 
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