Arthur Schuller - Xrays to Exile
The story of Prof. Arthur Schuller - The father of Neuroradiology
The story of Professor Arthur Schuller's life is narrated by his great-nephew Andrew Schuller.
It starts with his family history in Bucovice and Brno in the Czech province of Moravia and follows Arthur Schuller's meteoric rise in the field of Neuroradiology in the first half of the twentieth century from both a personal and professional perspective. Before the advent of WW 2, Schuller's research at the Vienna Medical School, led to him pioneering 3 surgical procedures, and identifying 3 neurological diseases. He authored numerous books on Neuroradiology and became internationally renowned, giving lectures in Argentina, Spain, the UK and the USA. Hitler’s annexation of Austria in 1938, made normal life untenable for Schuller and his family due to their Jewish heritage, so he accepted an offer from Melbourne's St Vincent’s Hospital in Australia to continue his work and research there. His sons and other members of the family remained in Europe while Schuller and his wife Margarete Stiassni, travelled to Melbourne. Unfortunately, fierce protectionism of the Australian Medical fraternity prevented Schuller from practising medicine until four years after his arrival in 1939, but in the interim he mentored, consulted and assisted his Melbourne colleagues and continued his research. Tragically, as the war ended, he learned of the demise of his sons and their families in Auschwitz. In a filmed interview Dr. Keith Henderson, a colleague of Schuller's at the time, describes Schuller's sad but stoic reaction to the devastating news. In spite of his continuing medical work he remained depressed until his death in 1957 at the age of 83. Schuller had been a very accomplished musician, and in Vienna had played with the Vienna Medical Orchestra. A family friend, Margaret Rush, recounts in an interview how the Catholic Church and music helped sustain the couple in their grief at the loss of their sons, their extended families, and their homeland. Margarete kept herself busy by embedding herself in the local community and offering her services as a domestic help in local households such as the parents of Margaret Rush. The story of the rise and fall of the Schullers’ fortunes ends with Margarete's death in Melbourne in 1972. The film provides a visual summary of Keith Henderson’s forthcoming biography of Arthur and Margarete Schuller's lives and achievements.
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