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Charité is a 2017 six-part German television miniseries.

It is set in the Real Life Charité hospital in Berlin, from 1888 to 1893 (presumably; the end is a bit hazy because it compresses historical events like Bismarck's resignation, Behring's success and Koch's second wedding into a relatively short period when, actually, they happened over the course of a few more years), focusing on the research, work, and personal lives of the doctors and nurses around the prestigious Robert Koch, half of which are Historical Domain Characters and some of the most brilliant medics of their time whose work is fundamental for the healing of diseases to this day.

The main protagonist however is the young Ida Lenze (played by Alicia von Rittberg) who comes to the hospital with appendicitis, can be saved with a surgery that's still new and risky at the time, but loses her job and thus stays as a nurse to work off her debt. Soon, it becomes apparent that Ida has the intelligence, the diligence and the resilience to become a doctor in her own right — but age and circumstances are not conducive to her ambitions.

Further characters include:

  • Emil Behring: an ambitious young surgeon and immunologist with a difficult character and a history with Ida. When they meet again, they start off a complicated relationship between mentorship, hostility, and attraction. His ultimate goal is the development of a diphtheria remedy, but his colleagues don't take him seriously — or just plain don't want to work with him because of his terrible attitude. He's suffering from manic-depressive episodes and tries to help it out with Laudanum.
  • Georg Tischendorf: a medicine student who'd rather become a photographer but doesn't want to incur his father's wrath. He's the one who gets Ida help for her appendicitis and assists with her surgery, and later falls in love with her and becomes determined to convince his father of his marriage to a woman of lower social standing, all while trying to prove himself among his peer students.
  • Matron Martha: the stern head of the deaconry who keeps the women in line, most of all Sister Therese. She doesn't believe in modern medicine, certain that science is "falsehood" spread by the doctors that has nothing on Christian piety and traditional means of solicitude. It's why she often clashes with progressive Doctor Behring and reprimands Ida for her undue interests.
  • Robert Koch: the famous bacteriologist at a turning point of his career. The research institute at Charité hospital is named for him, and he has a lot of prestige, money, and influence on his hands to drive the progress of medicine forward, but also a lot of responsibility on his shoulders — all the world is looking at him and his Tuberculin, hoping that it will heal consumption. He doesn't think too much of Behring and his project, but a damn lot of himself and his own achievements.
  • Hedwig Freiberg: a lively young actress who fancies Robert Koch, and winds up charming him. Koch's wife takes an issue with her, but Hedwig is not easily driven away. She fully believes in and supports Koch's work, even giving herself as a guinea pig for his Tuberculin tests.
  • Rudolf Virchow: a pathologist with quite a reputation, and rival of Robert Koch with whom he regularly has polite, subliminally vitriolic exchanges about their respective professional opinions. He has doubts that the results of Koch's research will save the world from tuberculosis, and he's right. Virchow criticizes the poor living conditions of the proletarians that lead to the spread of diseases, and uses his bit of influence to demand restrictions on child labor and a new sewer system to better up the hygienics in Berlin.
  • Paul Ehrlich: an immunologist and one of the scientists working for and with Robert Koch, but also one of the few people who puts up with Behring because he believes in the importance of his work. He's a married man, a father of two girls, a victim of increasing anti-Semitism, and one of the few decent men at the hospital who take their work and responsibility more seriously than the potential profit.
  • Sister Therese: a young deaconess who's working hard and never complains. She becomes friends with and falls in love with Ida, helping her to learn the ropes and supporting her actions to help patients. Later, she's one of the first tuberculosis patients who gets treated with Koch's Tuberculin — and one of those who die when the remedy fails.
  • Edith Schöllkopf: a nurse with a social-democratic orientation who wants better working conditions for the nurses and deaconesses at the hospital. She's friends with liberal Professor Virchow.
  • Stine Matzurek: an uncouth, but kind-hearted nurse who has a soft spot for lost cases.

In 2019, a follow-up season was made, Charité at War, playing in the same hospital, albeit in a different time und thus with an entirely new set of characters.


  • Accidental Proposal: Behring to Else Spinola. He says to her father that he feels honored to be treated by him as a part of their family — and has missed that, only a moment before, Director Spinola was commenting on what a pretty couple he and Else make. Before he has realized as what his phrasing comes across, Spinola already announces their engagement.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Poor Sister Therese doesn't stand a chance with Ida.
  • Anti-Hero: Emil Behring is an arrogant, socially conceited Jerkass who treats people who are less intelligent and educated than him with contempt, Can't Take Criticism, is unkind to his colleagues because he sees them as a threat, and has let a girl down he was supposed to marry when she needed the support (although that was because he had to stay in a mental hospital at the time). But, different than Koch's, his scientific work is profound and throughout authentic, he takes his diphtheria project very seriously, and he actually saves lives, even at his own detriment.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Doctor Kitasato, a Japanese bacteriologist who works in the Robert Koch Institute and assists Behring for a while before moving on to Tetanus research because he's fed up with Behring's behavior.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Georg has sketched Ida sleeping in her hospital bed. Afraid to have offended her, he gives her the sketch after she has recovered, and Ida shows it to Sister Therese who holds onto it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ida gets to study medicine in Zurich, but her best friend Therese is dead, and she and Behring will never marry; he ends up with Else Spinola more by accident than anything else. Behring has successfully developed his diphtheria serum and is finally recognized as a scientist, but he loses Ida, plus the respect of his colleague Ehrlich whom he betrayed so he'd be the only one who benefits from their project financially and prestige-wise. Georg Tischendorf gets to work as a photographer in the hospital, but his awful behavior has driven Ida away for good, and he winds up a bitter, arrogant anti-Semite. Edith successfully founds a nursing association to better working conditions in the hospital, whereas Matron Martha retires and goes back to her order's motherhouse because she feels her time is over.
  • Breach of Promise of Marriage: The initial conflict between Doctor Behring and Ida: Behring was working in her father's medical practice and had been courting her, but after her father's death and loss of her heritage, he left her on her own, and so she ended up ill and indebted as a laborer of the hospital. She's still angry at him, but considers them even after Behring has saved her life with an appendectomy. Behring eventually admits that he didn't leave her out of callousness — he was a patient at a mental hospital at the time, not able to cope with his "episodes".
  • Break the Cutie: Ida has gone through a lot of this: Her parents are dead, her custodian misappropriated her heritage, the man who courted her left her, and after she could support herself by working as a governess for a time, she fell ill and lost her job because her recuperation took too long, and since her former employers didn't want to pay for her hospital stay, she ended up having to work off her debt.
  • Break the Haughty: Koch during the Tuberculin scandal; he has to admit eventually that his work was not finished and he could prove at no point that Tuberculin actually works as a remedy.
    • Behring, too, after he has lost Ida for good. Admittedly, he comes somewhat pre-broken.
  • Broken Pedestal: Robert Koch takes a deep fall before the entire world when Doyle and Virchow release to the public that Tuberculin cannot heal tuberculosis.
  • Bury Your Gays: Poor Sister Therese. She even thinks the tuberculosis is God's punishment.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: When Sister Therese comes down with tuberculosis, Matron Martha sends her away to the deaconesses' motherhouse so she'll die away from Charité. Ida pleads with her to let her stay, to no avail, and then gets angry.
    Ida: I thought Charité means compassion!
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sister Therese seems very stern and closed-up at first, but she soon thaws considerably around Ida and befriends her.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ida's father was a doctor, and she learned quite a bit from him, but he died of typhoid fever along with her mother. Hedwig's father died of tuberculosis; she lives with her mother and little brother in rather poor conditions.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The nurses complain about the matron domineering them like minors, and especially Edith calls for more freedom and recognition of their hard work. She eventually gets her wish as she's allowed to found a nursing association to enable better working conditions.
    • Ehrlich is angry and disappointed when Behring cheats him out of his share of scientific recognition and financial reward for the diphtheria serum, which both of them developed together.
  • Dueling Scar: Kind of an identity mark for the members of the fraternity Georg joins; von Minckwitz has one on his cheekbone, and Georg gets his during the fencing bout with which he's accepted in the fraternity.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Well, it's not the dying scene itself, but Sister Therese has no hope of recovering from tuberculosis when she confesses her love for Ida.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Georg tells Ida of his wish to study arts and become a photographer, but his father sternly declares that he'll overtake his practice someday. He doesn't think too much of Ida's plans to become a doctor, either. Ida supports Georg's dream before his father, but Georg doesn't return the favor.
  • Foreshadowing: Some of the vile things that led to Nazi Germany are already present, like anti-semitism and the belief amongst some that there are differences between the brains of different 'races'.
    • Quite literally when some anti-Semites insult Doctor Ehrlich in the dark. They do so from the shadows and he can't recognize them, perhaps symbolizing that they are not strong enough yet to come out in the open.
    • Also with Georg. He seems to be a nice guy, but his later bad behavior and Ida's future contempt for him is foreshadowed when he is talking drunkly to her after having been missing while he had been needed in the hospital.
  • Functional Addict: Behring tries to treat his psychological issues with Laudanum. He also attempts withdrawal a few times, but on those occasions, he winds up with shaky hands and thus useless as a surgeon, and his mood swings get worse to the point of a total emotional breakdown.
  • Gayngst: Realizing that prayers don't help her quit being in love with Ida, Sister Therese gets distanced and reclusive and eventually starts cutting herself.
  • The Gentleman or the Scoundrel: Georg Tischendorf is the Gentleman to Ida, closer to her in age, sweet, courting her gallantly and offering her emotional stability and a secured future. Emil Behring is the Scoundrel, a fickle, difficult man with obvious issues, but ambitious and brilliant, a man who challenges her and supports her own ambitions. However, the trope is not always played straight — Behring has moments of kindness and holds onto his honor as a scientist, and he always takes Ida seriously, whereas Tischendorf has his own shortcomings such as his sexist attitude that a woman has no business studying, and his growing nationalism.
  • Gold Digger: Ida accuses Emil Behring of only having taken an interest in her a few years prior because, as a doctor's daughter, she was an advantageous catch. Behring is insulted, insisting that he made his career completely by his own strength. Unfortunately, Ida ends up thinking the same again when Behring winds up engaged to Else Spinola.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Deconstructed. Nurse Stine brings her cousin Marie to Charité, a sweet young girl of about 14 years who's been impregnated by a lodger. She's one of six children, her father is dead and her mother a prostitute — and when she can't find a doctor who's willing to abort the baby because that's illegal (and Stine explicitly warns her from going to some back-alley quack), Marie is too frightened to go home with another mouth to feed and tries to kill herself. She initially survives the attempt and thanks God for it, but dies a few days later of the ensuing complications, devastating Stine.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Usually averted. The series shows surgeries, extracted organs and dead test animals in loving detail to demonstrate the medical research and working conditions of the characters.
  • Greedy Jew: This stereotype is used against Doctor Ehrlich when he only asks for his rightful part of the money made in the diphtheria research.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Georg Tischendorf doesn't take it well that Ida has been given a book by Behring, and it gets worse when he sees them sitting together as they discuss medical knowledge. He confronts Ida about it, rather putting her off. Behring is jealous, too, but he's a lot more gracious about it towards Ida — he'll rather openly offend Tischendorf in the auditorium.
    Ida: Why do you always have to make fun of him? He hasn't done anything to you.
    Behring: Oh, yes, he has. He's important to you.
  • Happily Married: The only one we ever see in a happy, steady and supportive relationship is Doctor Ehrlich. His wife accompanies him when he travels to Egypt to recover from tuberculosis, and he's on the verge of despair when he isn't allowed to stay with her during her labor and difficult childbirth.
  • Heroic BSoD: Behring has a couple of those, usually when his work on the diphtheria serum is belittled and hindered by others. Interestingly, while he does have one after his personal failure, too, that one only lasts for a short time and soon makes him work even harder.
  • Hero Worship: Hedwig starts off having this for Robert Koch, and Director Spinola's adolescent daughter Else develops this for Behring after he has saved her little cousin's life with a tracheotomy.
  • Hospital Hottie: Somewhat toned down, as Ida wears the same bland clothing and the same practical hairdo as the other nurses and works just as hard, but she still has three people falling in love with her.
  • Hospital Paradiso: Charité is to be presented that way when the new emperor, young Wilhelm II, comes for a visit; everything is to be cleaned up, the severely ill patients are to be kept out of sight, and those who have to be shown get a generous portion of opium so they don't moan with pain. Professor Virchow is disgusted as he'd rather have the emperor see the bad state the hospital is in so he can get him to agree to better fundings for them and to a general improvement of the health care system.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: The young empress proudly declares that tuberculosis spreads so widely because the constant washing with soap reduces the skin's wax content. When a spluttering Professor Virchow tries very politely to correct her, she smiles condescendingly. Behind her, Sister Therese quietly laughs her ass off.
  • The Insomniac: Behring initially claims that he only takes Laudanum to deal with this after an unsteady rhythm of night shifts, but his sleeplessness is a symptom of his issues rather than the cause. His colleague Ehrlich points out that he hardly ever leaves the laboratory anymore during their diphtheria project.
  • Insufferable Genius: Behring, and also Koch, though the latter doesn't let it on quite as much because he's already on top of his career and thus doesn't have the same frail ego. He seldom misses an opportunity to rub his success in Behring's face, though.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Director Spinola's telephone is considered a passing fashion curiosity.
  • I Work Alone: Behring's attitude, but Koch points out that he has a few technical shortcomings and needs skilled help. Enter a sunny, well-meaning Doctor Ehrlich who's, different than his predecessor, willing to put up with Behring's bad temper.
  • Japanese Politeness: Doctor Kitasato, always and anywhere — even though his colleagues are often not nearly as polite. The trope is even lampshaded when Koch notes that even the most polite and patient Japanese won't endure Behring for long.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ida snaps at Behring because of his callous attitude towards the patients; Behring replies that a doctor needs to have a certain rigor since tactfulness and compassion don't get the job done. His behavior is still awful, but he's right insofar as one has to be able to bear a lot when working in an emergency hospital.
  • Liquid Courage: Georg has just fought his academic duel to be accepted in the fraternity, and has celebrated the occasion in abundance. When he meets Ida, he tells her of this, beaming with joy — and then drops to his knee and proposes. With a mighty slur.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Ida, knowingly and willingly. When Hedwig warns her that she can't save Behring from himself, Ida replies: "No, but perhaps give him support."
  • Love Triangle: Emil Behring and Georg Tischendorf both are in love with Ida, and she has feelings for both of them. Neither of them ends up with her; Tischendorf's chances are ruined by his own behavior, Behring's by external circumstances he has no influence over. Ida remains unmarried for all her life.
  • May–December Romance: One could think Hedwig only sticks with Robert Koch, thirty years her senior, because he's a renowned Meal Ticket, but she also stands up against his wife to get him help when he's ill even if it means to diminish the chance that the two of them will divorce, she has his back during the Tuberculin scandal, and she marries him after his fame has paled somewhat.
  • Mercy Kill: Behring eventually has to give his loyal horse Lotte, which has long been a blood donor for his diphtheria remedy project, to the knacker because she won't get better anymore. He won't take money, only asks that she won't be in pain when it happens.
  • Misery Builds Character: Matron Martha believes in this, claiming that suffering pain brings a soul closer to God.
  • The Mistress: Hedwig becomes this — Koch's wife says she'll accept the affair as long as it's kept discreet, and for a while, it works out. Then von Minckwitz publishes a photography of Hedwig and an article about her that identifies her as Koch's lover, kicking off a scandal and causing the end of Koch's marriage and of Hedwig's job at the Varieté.
    Koch: People are already talking enough about my self-experiments.
    Hedwig: The medical ones or the amorous ones?
  • Moment Killer: Hedwig and Robert Koch share a first Held Gaze when Doctor Kitasato makes his entrance, introducing himself to Koch and assuring him of what an honor it is to work for him.
  • Mood-Swinger: Emil Behring, jumping from sunny confidence to cold rage to a tearful, ashamed breakdown. He's infamous throughout the hospital for this and often called out on it, but few acknowledge that it's an actual psychological issue that should be treated — it would later come to be known as bipolar disorder.
    Ida: Doctor Behring is as erratic as April weather.
  • Morality Pet: Ida to Behring. He thinks he has better things to do with his time than performing a surgery on some random young woman, but the moment he recognizes Ida, he's onto the task. To a lesser degree, also Else Spinola and his horse Lotte, for both of whom he always has a few kind words.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Both Professor Virchow and Nurse Edith, political allies, are very outspoken in their critique of the state of affairs in Germany and of the emperor. Virchow can afford it, Edith not so much — she's harshly reprimanded by the matron, and later endangers herself as her social engagement conflicts with the law.
  • My Greatest Failure: Georg Tischendorf is plagued by guilt when he sees Marie in a hospital bed after her Bungled Suicide, blaming himself since he denied her an abortion, both because he didn't want to lose his chance of a medical license and because he didn't think himself capable of performing the procedure. It gets worse when Marie dies and is examined in the auditorium, during which the professor extracts the embryo before everyone's eyes.
    • Behring has come to deeply regret that he didn't marry Ida early on when he should have been there for her, especially since he has realized meanwhile that she's everything he could wish for in a woman.
  • Naked First Impression: How 17-year-old Hedwig Freiberg is introduced to the audience — granted, she wears a Modesty Bedsheet when posing for painter Gustav Graef's muse picture, but we still get to see her naked from behind a moment later. She doesn't really mind that sort of thing.
  • Nepotism: The only one who constantly supports Behring's career and helps him up the ladder even after the spectacularly failed demonstration of his diphtheria serum is Director Spinola — and he constantly shoves his daughter Else under Behring's nose, saying not too subtly that he practically already considers Behring part of his family. One of Behring's colleagues even says that someone like him can only hope for success by landing a good match.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Doctor Paul Ehrlich is a Jew and by far the most decent, compassionate and upright of the doctors in the Charité hospital, and also a loving husband and a doting father to his girls. He even puts up with Behring at his worst:
    Ehrlich: I don't think you're ridiculous; I may be the last person who still takes you seriously!
  • Nightmare Fetishist: It seems morbid when Doctor Behring gives Ida her own resected appendix preserved in a glass full of alcohol after the thing almost killed her, but Ida with her interest in medicine is fascinated and asks about details of the appendectomy.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Ida is constantly criticizing Behring in the beginning, but soon has to realize that they not only share their passion for medicine, but also quite a massive pride.
  • Off the Wagon: Behring in regards to Laudanum — willingly, to function as a surgeon and save a life.
  • Pet the Dog: Behring gifts Ida with an anatomy book so she can further her knowledge. He also gifts Else Spinola with a rabbit for her birthday, which is a kind gesture as well and much appreciated, but it emphasises which of them he thinks is a woman and which a child.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Tuberculin is still in its test stage, far from being a fully developed medicament, and taking it is highly risky, and Koch knows that and does not intend to be a Snake Oil Salesman. Unfortunately, he hasn't made that clear enough to his audience, so it doesn't take long until the entire world celebrates him for the "miracle remedy" — and is in for a nasty surprise.
    • Also how Behring loses Ida. Director Spinola once again comes up with how much he'd like to consider Behring a member of his family. Behring, grateful for his benefactor's help in his career, says unwittingly that he'd feel honored by that — with Else Spinola clinging to his arm. Director Spinola happily announces his daughter's engagement with Behring. Suffice to say, the latter is rather blindsided, but there's no way of backing out without incurring a lot of trouble.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Robert Koch tests his experimental Tuberculin on himself. It's causing him a dangerous bout of fever, but he still goes on to test it on volunteers Hedwig and Doctor Ehrlich. Truth in Television, by the way — the historical Robert Koch did use himself and his young lover as test subjects.
  • Proud Beauty: Hedwig is gorgeous, and she knows it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ida is not afraid of telling Doctor Behring to his face what she thinks of him.
    • Much later, Virchow gives one to Koch, pointing out his egocentrical, fame-oriented approach to scientific research.
  • The Rival: Where to start? Virchow and Koch are rivals for prestige, Behring considers Ehrlich a rival because he got the position in Koch's laboratory first, although Ehrlich is pretty much the only one who keeps out of the power play, and Behring is also sure that Koch sees a rival in him and so attempts to block his scientific process. As it turns out, he's right about the last one. Koch has always known Behring is brilliant, and so didn't want him near himself.
    • Then there are the romantic rivalries between Hedwig and Koch's wife Emmy, as well as between Behring and Georg Tischendorf, who tend to spit poison at each other in the auditorium.
  • Roadside Surgery: Averted within the series, but Behring has been a field medic in the army before and recalls surgeries without any anesthetic, praising the value of chloroform.
  • Science Is Bad: Not so much bad as plain useless, according to Matron Martha who deems modern medicine nonsense in comparison to traditional nursing. She comes around after Behring's diphtheria serum heals Nurse Stine.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Ida is a mess when she comes to the hospital, feverish and cringing with pain. Doctor Ehrlich and Georg Tischendorf check her in immediately, and when an official protests that the payment of her treatment is not clarified, Ehrlich insists she will be taken in as a teaching subject on appendicitis and the surgery will be performed in the auditorium before the students.
  • Signature Headgear: All the deaconesses wear white bonnets, all the nurses a white cap with a short, starched veil.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Professor Virchow, Professor Koch, Doctor Kitasato, and Doctor Ehrlich.
  • Smug Snake: Student von Minckwitz, who thinks a lot better of himself than he has any right to, lives well beyond his means and is willing to do just about anything to pay his debts — including making a public scandal out of Robert Koch's affair and discrediting Hedwig in the process, sneaking around the hospital's rules for a bribe, and stealing Tuberculin to sell it for a lot of money. That last one does him in; he's convicted and exmatriculated in shame.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Else Spinola, a pubescent girl who enjoys pretty dresses and the amusements her father's influence get her, but is also compassionate to animals and considers Behring a hero because he's going to save the world from diphtheria.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Georg's father makes clear this is the only way he would consider accepting Ida, a mere nurse, as his son's wife — he deems her ambitions to study utter nonsense. Georg agrees with him.
    • Prevailing in the German Empire in general when it came to women who wanted to be doctors as they were not allowed to study medicine. Luckily for them, they had a chance to study in other countries.
    • This trope was also reason for some women to become nurses, as this at least gave them financial independence so they wouldn't need to get married.
  • Starting a New Life: How Ida ends the series, walking out of Charité to travel to Zurich for her medical studies. She returns about ten years later to work there, even though she's not acknowledged as a doctor in Germany, and she never marries Tischendorf or Behring.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Marie dies of a vein thrombosis causing a stroke — surprising because the initial issue was a pair of broken legs.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Ida and Emil Behring, oh so much. He lets her listen in on the auditorium in secret, teaches her medical and surgical procedures, writes her a recommendation letter for the University in Zurich — and kisses her whenever he's in a good mood over his successes. Ida knows very well what a troubled character he is, but she's also fascinated by him and admires him. The fact that he supports her plans and believes in her abilities is what motivates her to give him a chance.
    Ehrlich: *as Ida's leaving the room* What did she want?
    Behring: To marry me. Only she doesn't know it yet.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Georg Tischendorf changes for the worse after joining his fraternity. He gets increasingly more condescending and arrogant, finally reveals that he doesn't care at all for Ida's plans to become a doctor, and thinks that Germans are a superior race. By the end of the series, he's a raging anti-Semite.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Matron Martha softens up a bit when Sister Therese dies, obviously pained by that, and she warms up to Ida even more after she turns out to be right and Behring's serum saves Stine's life, having an amicable talk with her in which she encourages Ida's plans for the future.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Von Minckwitz to Georg Tischendorf. He not only ropes him into uncovering Robert Koch's affair, tricking and almost ruining Hedwig in the process; he also gets Georg out of the birthing room when he's needed to help in a difficult childbirth, just so Georg can fight his duel to get into their fraternity. The fraternity altogether as, after he starts hanging out with them, Georg's nationalism develops to nasty extremes.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The necklace Rajani gives to Stine just before she dies. Stine is seen wearing the necklace at the end of the series, obviously valuing it highly as it reminds her of their sort-of friendship.
  • Transparent Closet: Matron Martha soon rebukes Sister Therese for the "unnatural feelings" she has for Ida.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Nurse Stine is afraid of the young Indian woman Rajani, believing her to be a cannibal and snapping at her that she doesn't understand "foreign". Things change when she has to spend some time taking care of Rajani.
  • True Blue Femininity: The deaconesses wear dark blue dresses, the nurses light blue smocks with white aprons.
  • True Companions: Edith finds that the other nurses are that for her; when the police comes to arrest her because of her political commitment for better working conditions, Ida and Stine tell them that Edith is not around, even though she's only a few feet away.
  • Unbroken Vigil: After Sister Therese falls ill, Ida takes care of her in every free minute she has, and even sits by her bedside talking to her when she dies.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Georg Tischendorf studies medicine to overtake his father's practice someday, even though he'd rather study arts, gets into a fraternity because his father was a member there once and, when his father tells him that he won't allow him to marry a woman who's studied and works, demands that Ida gives up on her plans.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Hedwig's reaction when she learns of Ida's feelings for "Doctor Behring, that madman".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ida to Georg after he's let Mrs. Ehrlich down in childbirth just to run off and fight an academic duel in his fraternity. The Ehrlich baby died during that, and Mrs. Ehrlich nearly followed, so Ida is not too impressed with Georg's fancy new Dueling Scar.
    • Doctor Ehrlich manages to pull this off very politely but pointedly towards Koch after the latter's sloppy scientific research in the Tuberculin project has been revealed.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The series ends with Ida narrating what became of her, Behring, Ehrlich, Koch, Hedwig, and Virchow.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Tischendorf starts off as the quintessential Nice Guy. He's friendly, shy and full of dreams that Ida supports him in. Only to discover that he thought her own dreams were just womanly whims not to be taken seriously. He also turns out to be an anti-Semite.