Rizal went to Paris and Germany in order to specialize in ophthalmology -He chose this branch because he wanted to cure his mother’s eye ailment
He also continued his travels and observations of European life and customs, government and laws in Paris, Heidelberg, Leipzig and Berlin
In Berlin, Jose met and befriended several top German scientists, Dr. Feodor Jagor, Dr. Adolph B. Meyer and Dr. Rudolf Virchow
In Gay Paris (1885-86)
After his studies in Central University of Madrid, Rizal, who was 24 years old and already a physician, went to Paris in order to acquire more knowledge in ophthalmology
Maximo Viola (Barcelona) – a medical student and a member of rich family of San Miguel, Bulacan
Eusebio Corominas – editor of the newspaper La Publicidad
Don Miguel Morayta – owner of La Publicidad and a statesman
Carolines Question – an article Rizal’s gave to Editor Corominas; a controversial issue for publication
November 1885 – he was living in Paris
Dr. Louis de Weckert (1852-1906) – leading French ophthalmologist where Rizal worked as an assistant about four months
January 1, 1886 – Rizal wrote a letter for his mother to reveal that he was rapidly improved his knowledge in ophthalmology
Juan Luna – the great master of brush; Rizal helped him by posing as model in several paintings: 1. “The Death of Cleopatra”, Rizal posed as an Egyptian priest 2. “The Blood Compact”, Rizal posed as Sikatuna
Rizal as Musician
Rizal had no natural aptitude for music, and this he admitted. He studied music only because many of his schoolmates at Ateneo were taking music lessons
In a letter dated November 27, 1878, he told Enrique Lete that he “learned the solfeggio, piano, and voice culture in one month and a half”.
He was a flutist in various impromptu reunions of Filipinos in Paris
Some of his compositions are:
“Alin Mang Lahi”(Any Race) – a patriotic song which asserts that any race aspires for freedom “La Deportacion”(Deportation) – a sad danza, composed in Dapitan during his exile In Historic Heidelberg
February 1, 1886 – Rizal left gay Paris
February 3, 1886 – arrived in Heidelberg(a historic city in Germany famous for its old university and romantic surroundings
Rizal was a good chess player and became a member of Chess Player’s Club
He became popular among German students because he joined them in their chess games and beer-drinking and watched their friendly saber duels
He worked at the University of Heidelberg under the direction of Dr. Otto Becker, German ophthalmologist
“To the Flowers of Heidelberg”
He was fascinated by the blooming flowers along the cool banks of the Neckar River
The light blue “forget-me-not” – his favorite flower
April 22, 1886 – he wrote a fine poem “A Las Flores de Heidelberg”(To the Flowers of Heidelberg)
With Pastor Ullmer at Wilhelmsfeld
Wilhelmsfeld – Rizal spent a three-month summer vacation
Protestant Pastor Dr. Karl Ullmer – Rizal stay at the vicarage of their house and who become his good friend and admirer
May 29, 1887 – Rizal wrote from Munich (Muchen) to Friedrich (Fritz), son of Pastor Ullmer.
First Letter to Blumentritt
July 31, 1886 – Rizal wrote his first letter to Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt who is the Director of the Ateneo of Leitmeritz, Austria.
Rizal sent Aritmetica (Arithmetic) book to Blumentritt which was published in 2 languages – Spanish and Tagalog – by the University of Santo Tomas Press in 1868. The author was Rufino Baltazar Hernandez.
Fifth Centenary of Heidelberg University
August 6, 1886 – fifth centenary of Heidelberg University
In Leipzig and Dresden
August 9, 1886 – Rizal left Heidelberg
August 14, 1886 – he arrived in Leipzig
Rizal translated Schiller’s William Tell from German into Tagalog. He also translated Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. He stayed about two and half month in Leipzig October 29, 1886 – he left Leipzig for Dresden where he met Dr. Meyer
Dr. Adolph B. Meyer – director of the Anthropological and Ethnological Museum
November 1, 1886 – he left Dresden by train, reaching Berlin in the evening
Rizal Welcomed in Berlin’s Scientific Circles
Some scientists Rizal met are:
Dr. Feodor Jagor – German scientist-traveler and author of Travels in the Philippines Dr. Rudolf Virchow – famous German anthropologist
Dr. Hans Virchow – professor of Descriptive Anatomy
Dr. W. Joest – German geographer
Dr. Karl Ernest Schweigger – famous German ophthalmologist
Rizal became a member of the:
Geographical Society of Berlin
Rizal’s Life in Berlin
Five reasons why Rizal stayed in Berlin:
To gain further knowledge of ophthalmology
To further his studies of science and languages
To observe the economic and political conditions of the German nation To associate with famous German scientists and scholars
To publish his novel, Noli Me Tangere
Madame Lucie Cerdole – French professor; she became Jose’s professor in Berlin. He took private lessons in French in order to master the idiomatic intricacies of the French language
Rizal on German Women
March 11, 1886 – Rizal wrote a letter addressed to his sister, Trinidad, expressing his high regard and admiration for German womanhood
German woman – serious, diligent, educated and friendly
Spanish woman – gossipy, frivolous and quarrelsome
Some of the German customs Rizal admired:
On Yuletide season, people will select a pine tree from the bushes and adorned it with lanterns, papers, lights, dolls, candies, fruits, etc. Self-introduction to strangers in a social gathering.
Rizal’s Darkest Winter
The winter of 1886 in Berlin was his darkest winter.
He lived in poverty because no money arrived from Calamba and he was flat broke. He could not pay his landlord and he was eating only one meal a day. His clothes were old and threadbare.
His health broke down due to lack of proper nourishment.
This is one of the most memorable days in the life of Rizal.