Claire Vogt: A forgotten talented daughter

Claire Vogt

By studying the writings and biographies dedicated to Cécile and Oskar Vogt, we could not find any news about Claire: the first daughter of Cécile Vogt. The numerous biographical articles, obituaries and the monograph by Igor Klatzo, which trace the life and works of the Vogts, emphasize the professional success and quality of the scientific work of both their two daughters, Marthe (1903–2003) and Marguerite (1913 -2007). In the biographies Claire is named to enhance the figure of Oskar Vogt: illegitimate daughter born out of wedlock by an unknown father, at the age of 4 she is recognized by Oskar Vogt as her daughter.

Marthe Vogt

Marthe (1903–2003) was a doctor and holds a PhD and was an authority in neuropharmacology. Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and professor, she was head of the pharmacology department of the Institute of Animal Physiology in Cambridge (Great Britain); her research focused on the role of several molecules in brain functioning.

Marguerite Vogt

Marguerite (1913–2007), geneticist and a doctor of medicine, emigrated to the United States in 1950. She worked at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (California) and developed with Renato Dulbecco (1914–2012), future Nobel Prize winner, a new method for the growth of the polio virus. In 1963, she followed Dulbecco to the Salk Institute (La Jolla, California) and devoted significant work to the relationship between virus and cancer.

Read our post about Marguerite and Dulbecco.

Read our post about Marguerite and Marthe .

While there is a trace of Marthe and Marguerite, Claire loses track.

Thanks to the article published by Jacques Poirier and Patricia Poirier, we are able to discover something more than this forgotten daughter.

Daughter of Cécile Mugnier and unnamed father, Claire was born on June 1, 1898. Her birth certificate, drawn up in the town hall of the 1st arrondissement of Paris, mentions that Dr. Hippolyte Morestin (1869–1919) declared her birth and specifies that it was he who “gave birth” her in the mother’s house:

« L’an mil huit cent quatre vingt dix huit à dix heures, le trois juin à neuf heures du matin, Acte de naissance de Claire, du sexe féminin, née avant-hier soir à dix heures, chez sa mère, fille de Cécile Augustine Mugnier, âgée de vingt trois ans, sans profession, domiciliée rue Croix des Petits Champs 5, et de père non dénommé, qui a été par nous Arsène, Henri Gigon, adjoint au maire, officier de l’état-civil du premier arrondissement de Paris, officier de l’instruction publique, sur la présentation de l’enfant et la déclaration faite par Hippolyte Morestin, âgé de vingt neuf ans, docteur en médecine ayant opéré l’accouchement, rue de l’Oratoire 6, en présence de Honoré Buisson, quarante-quatre ans, marchand de charbon, rue du Pélican 10 et de Maxime Fougère, trente trois ans, restaurateur, même rue 9, témoins qui ont signé avec le déclarant et nous après lecture. »

“In the year 1898, June 3 at nine in the morning, birth certificate for Claire, female, born the other night at ten o’clock pm, from her mother, daughter of Cécile Augustine Mugnier, twenty-three years old, without profession, domiciled in rue Croix des Petits Champs 5, and unknown father, drafted by Arsène, Henri Gigon, vice mayor, chancellor of the first arrondissement of Paris, official of public education, the presentation of the child and the declaration issued by Hippolyte Morestin, twenty-nine years old, doctor in medicine who performed the birth, domiciled in rue de l’Oratoire 6, in the presence of Honoré Buisson, forty-four years old, coal dealer, domiciled in rue du Pélican 10 and Maxime Fougère, thirty-three, restaurateur, same street 9, witnesses who signed with the registrant and us after reading medium. “

Was Hippolyte Morestin Claire’s father? We will never know.

However, at the age of 4, as evidenced by a marginal mention on her birth certificate and the act of August 25, 1902, Claire was recognized by her mother and her husband Oskar Vogt, in the town hall of the 1st arrondissement of Paris. This was not an adoption but an acknowledgment of the little girl who, in the eyes of the civil status, places Claire in a situation strictly identical to  her two stepsisters who will be born later.

There is no information on Claire’s childhood. Poirier and Poirier found some her information when she was studying at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris.

Album de l’Internat des Hôpitaux de Paris, 1925.

She practiced her externship in 1920. During her four-year externship, Claire received commendable reviews from her tutors. She was accepted for internship period at the 23rd hospital in Paris in the 1924 competition. Later she became head of the clinic and in 1929 defended her doctoral thesis in medicine on brain tumors in children.

Album de l’Internat des Hôpitaux de Paris, 1926.

Together with Georges Heuyer (1884–1977) – founder of child psychiatry in France, organizer of the 1st international congress on child psychiatry held in Paris in 1937, holder of the first chair of child psychiatry, created for him in 1948 -Claire Vogt participated in the birth of child psychiatry specialty in France and therefore she should be considered a pioneer of child neuropsychiatry.

On January 9, 1937, at the town hall of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Claire, at the age of 39, married Aurel Popp, born in Slatina (Romania) in 1882, 54 years old, archivist secretary of the Romanian Legation in Paris, and took the name of Claire Popp-Vogt.

In the years 1943-1944, Claire Popp-Vogt practiced in the city of Paris as a doctor, specialized in neuropsychiatry and children’s diseases. She was a medical assistant in the hospitals of Paris, connected to the Salpêtrière in the medical service of Dr. Marcel Faure-Beaulieu (1878–1959); she replaced Dr. May at Tenon hospital during hostilities in 1940, then served in the late 1950s in the department of Professor Raymond Garcin (1897-1971). At the same time, until April 1, 1961, Popp-Vogt provided pediatric advice at the Centre Hospitalier communal de Saint-Denis.

Claire signs numerous publications, most often published in the “Revue neurologique”.

Aurel Popp died in the marital home on May 31, 1957 (act 1105) and was cremated in Père-Lachaise. On March 5, 1958, Claire purchased two niches (nos. 3501 and 3573) at Père-Lachaise.

Claire Popp-Vogt died at the Foch hospital in Suresnes on 18 June 1978 at the age of 80. Her death certificate confers on her the title of retired hospital medical assistant, Aurel Popp’s widow, domiciled at 78 avenues de Villiers in Paris, on the 17th.

For completely unknown reasons Claire is ignored in the literature and biographers of her parents, the famous neuroscientists Cécile and Oskar Vogt.

Yet, a doctor of medicine, a former intern and medical assistant at the hospitals of Paris, author of numerous publications, Claire can be considered a pioneer of child neuropsychiatry.

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