Jewish Medical Resistance in the Holocaust

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9781782384175: Jewish Medical Resistance in the Holocaust
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Faced with infectious diseases, starvation, lack of medicines, lack of clean water, and safe sewage, Jewish physicians practiced medicine under severe conditions in the ghettos and concentration camps of the Holocaust. Despite the odds against them, physicians managed to supply public health education, enforce hygiene protocols, inspect buildings and latrines, enact quarantine, and perform triage. Many gave their lives to help fellow prisoners. Based on archival materials and featuring memoirs of Holocaust survivors, this volume offers a rich array of both tragic and inspiring studies of the sanctification of life as practiced by Jewish medical professionals. More than simply a medical story, these histories represent the finest exemplification of a humanist moral imperative during a dark hour of recent history.

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About the Author:

Michael A. Grodin, M.D. is Professor of Health Law, Bioethics, and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health, where he is also Director of the Project on Medicine and the Holocaust, and Senior Faculty at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies and the Division of Religious and Theological Studies. As a practicing physician, Dr. Grodin has been named one of America's Top Physicians and has received a national Humanism in Medicine Award for "compassion and empathy in the delivery of care to patients and their families." An internationally recognized scholar on the Holocaust, Dr. Grodin has received a special citation from the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum for "profound contributions- through original and creative research – to the cause of Holocaust education and remembrance."

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"The 20 chapters in this four-part volume are well researched, based extensively on primary sources, and highly readable. This book should be read by anyone interested in understanding more about resistance to the Holocaust and the complex roles that medicine played in defying the genocidal intentions of the 'Final Solution'." · Choice

"The essays in this volume are of uniform quality... [It] is must read for any scholars interested in the complex and often contradictory details of medicine in the world of the Holocaust." · Modern Judaism

"[This book] is more than simply a medical story. It is one of the most heroic and moving accounts of the Holocaust this reviewer has ever read." · Jewish Book Council Review

"[Grodin] compiled a fascinating series of articles documenting a little-known aspect of the Holocaust: medical resistance by Jewish physicians and health care workers... The articles cover a wide range of topics related to health care... [and] are fascinating to read. They inspire both compassion for those affected and awe of the courage of the health care professionals who risked their own lives to assist and save fellow Jews. Their sanctification of life, the core Jewish value, is duly honoured here. Libraries supporting programs in medical history, Holocaust studies, and bioethics will definitely want this book for their collections." · Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

"[A] brilliant scholarly piece of work, very well written, underpinned with rich sources. The list of authors - some of them survivors, or children of survivors - is impressive... The book covers a hitherto fairly new and unknown chapter on the Holocaust... The stories of these physicians can serve as a model for future generations of doctors on how to preserve humaneness, morality and loyalty to the basic ethical principles of medicine in a deeply inhumane and destructive environment." · Christian Pross, Zentrum Überleben

"This is an interesting and important publication on Jewish medical resistance, a subject rarely covered in the literature on the Holocaust... the overall amount of information, the variety of approaches and the general insight given into this emotionally laden topic makes this volume unique and outstanding. And while the personal accounts as well as the scholarly data paint the picture of horrific suffering, they also leave the reader with hope in the realization of the nurses' and doctors' determination to alleviate suffering even under near impossible circumstances." · Sabine Hildebrandt, Harvard Medical School

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