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Dr Walburg Marić-Oehler was born in Wurzen, the daughter of a Professor of German Literature at the University of Leipzig. She was the eldest of three children and was raised in a humanistic parental style. Her early years were influenced by the narrow views of a communist regime under which her father retrained as a master goldsmith to avoid the restrictions placed on academics. As the daughter of such a parent, Walburg was singled out and compelled to do a perfect dive off a high diving board simply in order to graduate from her high school. Already as a child she dreamed of journeys to the Far East and her long-term first career aspiration was to become an Ambassador in China. She began her university education studying Chinese and Mongolian studies at the University of Leipzig (with the famous Professor Erkes), followed by medicine in Leipzig and at the Charité in East Berlin.
Driven by the desire to live and think freely, she was compelled to break away from the East German regime and, on 10 August 1961 at the age of 21, Walburg convinced her entire family and organised them to escape to the West. The Berlin Wall was erected 3 days later.
In Frankfurt she continued her medical education, focusing on psychosomatics in the environment of early ‘anthropological psychiatry’ (Kuhlenkampf, Zutt). She met and married a general surgeon and had three children. At the same time she established her own clinic in Bad Homburg, and from the start she practised integrative medicine, struggling against many prejudices and hostilities at that time.
As a young doctor, Walburg developed a keen …
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