A Healing Hope

Lessons from a WWII ghetto resonate with doctors today by Judy Foreman

“In the Lodz ghetto in Poland, home to as many as 204,000 Jews during World War II, there were 170 doctors, as well as a few nurses and midwives, according to diaries and memoirs. Like all the others, the Jewish healers lived with the daily terror of being shipped off to a death camp.

Still, they tended to their fellow inmates. There was almost no food, no medication, and certainly no X-ray machines, laboratories, or any of the other accoutrements that we think of as essential to medicine today.

And yet, when there was nothing to give the sick, the Lodz doctors did find something.

“These doctors gave people hope,’’ said Dr. Harold Bursztajn, a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center psychiatrist whose parents lived in the ghetto and who spoke about the Lodz experience at a recent meeting for colleagues.”

Read the rest of this fascinating article in today’s Boston Globe here.