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All Our Brothers and Sisters

Jews Saving Jews during the Holocaust

Edited By Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Alan Schneider

The book focuses on the heroism of Jews throughout Europe who risked their lives to save their coreligionists under Nazi rule. The contributors discuss and analyze the actions of Jews who rescued other Jews from the hands of the Nazis. These actions took place, to different degrees, in Germany, in Axis states and all across Nazi-occupied Europe, from the early stages of persecution until the war’s end, in the framework of collaborative efforts and individual initiatives. The Jews who rescued other Jews during the Holocaust came like their non-Jewish counterparts from different backgrounds: men and women, old and young, religious and secular, wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated. The rescue missions took place in ghettos, areas without ghettos, jails, camps, hospitals, children’s homes, schools, monasteries, in hiding. This book focuses on these rescue missions and the people behind them, reminding us of their courage and willingness to act, even when it put their own lives in danger.

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Jewish Physicians in Ghettos and Camps Who Rescued Jews during the Holocaust, 1939–1945


By: Noa Gidron

Among the Jewish rescuers during the Holocaust who acted upon their own conscience as individuals, and not as members of an underground movement, a significant number of medical personnel stand out. Living under the same harsh conditions as their fellow concentration camp and ghetto inmates, they faced an even more constant and serious threat to life due to exposure to infectious diseases and a complete lack of protective measures. Some initiated perilous, covert rescue operations which would have meant certain death had they been discovered.

Examination of the rescue efforts of physicians and medical personnel in the ghettos and the camps yields surprising revelations. For example, they used similar methods, despite dissimilarities that existed during the Holocaust years and across the different occupied lands with their diverse populations, regimes and Jewish communities.

This chapter will focus on the rescue methods employed, at great personal risk, by Jewish medical personnel in diverse locations such as the various ghettos and camps, the forests and other places on European soil.

The rescue operations on the part of Jewish medical personnel in the ghettos were mainly actions taken within the organized framework set up by the Judenrat or the local Jewish leadership there. Essentially, the Nazis exploited the issue of public health as a justification for the systematic extermination of Jews by ostensibly preventing the spread of contagious diseases they carried. Therefore, the medical personnel’s actions had vital implications for the continued survival...

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