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Hippocratic heroes

“The systematic, deliberate, physical annihilation of the European Jews was Nazi Germany’s Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (

WHEN HITLER SEIZED POWER in 1933, around 9 500 000 Jews lived in Europe. Six million of these were killed by the Germans and their Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and other collaborators, or died of starvation and epidemics in ghettos and concentration camps. A tiny number survived.

Questions have been asked about an apparent absence of resistance, especially in the military sense. There was some by the Bielski brothers and other bands of partisans, and in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland.

Grodin, Professor of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health, and his coauthors have carefully documented a different kind of resistance — against the hazards of overcrowding in unhygienic conditions. The associated starvation, malnutrition and epidemics in the ghettos and holding camps killed tens of thousands of inmates. The survivors were packed into cattle trucks without food, water or toilet…