The forgotten consequence of the Holocaust.

One aspect of the Holocaust which is often forgotten is the other damage caused. What I am referring to is the fatalities caused by a lack of qualified medical staff.

I am not sure if there is any data on that, but it stands to reason that aside of the 6 million or more Jews that were murdered. That there were doctors, surgeons and nurses among them. Medical staff who all could have saved lives during WWII.

Dr. med. Otto Hans Frank as born in Kellen, Germany, on the 8th of June 1916. At some stage he moved to the Netherlands. Kelle is just a short distance away from the Netherlands. I know his wife was Dutch so I assume that is why he moved and possible also to escape the rise of Nazism in Germany. He was a General Physician.

Dr Frank was murdered in Mauthausen on December 2,1941.

Dr. Frank was not the only Physician murdered by the Nazi regime. There were also several who committed suicide. In the Netherlands alone there were 226 medical professionals who were either murdered or ended their own lives by and as a result of the Nazi regime.

226 who could have helped and saved so many other, Jews and Non-Jews alike.

In Camp Amersfoort there were at least 30 Jewish Doctors imprisoned One Doctor, Carl Giesberts, who survived had kept a diary. These are just some of the excepts.

“In the middle and to the right on the terrain standing dead still, dressed in criminals outfits, men all shaved .Standing for 45 minutes, in the hot sun, burning on their bald heads. Not allowed to move, every once in a while an angry yell”

“About 30 Doctors had arrive, many of them from Deventer”

“For us young ones it was easy to endure, but seeing these sorry cyanotic old one slaving, would make you furious”

Cornelia Boekdrukker studied medicine in Amsterdam and sat for her medical finals on 20 January 1926. She lived and practised medicine at 264 Noorder Amstellaan in Amsterdam. Not only did she qualify as a Doctor she also had her own practice, which was quite rare for a woman.

She was murdered on November 1,1944 in Bergen Belsen.

Cornelia is the second on the left.

We will never know the true extend of the damage caused by the Nazi regimes across Europe. But the more I research these stories , the more I come do the conclusion that the number of fatalities caused by the Holocaust be it direct or indirect is much higher then the estimated numbers we know now.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/182920/otto-hans-frank

https://www.medischcontact.nl/nieuws/laatste-nieuws/artikel/een-gezicht-voor-de-gevangen-artsen-in-kamp-amersfoort-1.htm

https://www.medischcontact.nl/nieuws/laatste-nieuws/artikel/vanaf-1-mei-1941-ben-ik-niet-meer-te-consulteeren.htm

https://www.airbornemuseum.nl/nieuwsbericht/carl-giesberts-vertelt-over-oorlogsdagboek-van-zijn-vader

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/183910/cornelia-knorringa-boekdrukker#intro

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The Doctors resistance

I have written quite extensively about the failure of the Dutch to protect their Jewish neighbours, and even resist the Nazi occupiers in general. However on February 24th 1941, the Dutch communist party had called for a nationwide strike to protest against the treatment of Jews as well as the forced labour in Germany. The Communist Party of the Netherlands, made illegal by the Germans, printed and spread a call to strike throughout Amsterdam the next morning. The first to strike were the city’s tram drivers, followed by other city services as well as companies like De Bijenkorf and schools. Eventually 300,000 people joined in the strike, bringing much of the city to a halt and catching the Germans by surprise.

Though the Germans immediately took measures to suppress the strike, which had grown spontaneously as other workers followed the example of the tram drivers, it still spread to other areas, including Zaanstad, Kennemerland in the west, Bussum, Hilversum and Utrecht in the east and the south. The strike did not last long. By 27 February, much of it had been suppressed by the German police. Although ultimately unsuccessful, it was significant in that it was the first and only direct action against the Nazis’ treatment of Jews in Europe.

In May 1941 it was decided that the Dutch society of Physicians would be equalized to the German regime. This equalization meant that the Dutch Society for the Promotion of Medicine would have work under force, for the Nazi regime. Reluctantly and despite some protestation the society agreed to this. Doctors who were members of the NSB, the Dutch Nazis, would become the board of the society. The members of the society did not agree to this though.

On August 24,1941 at 3 pm In a coffee shop at the train station of Zutphen, Doctors ,Roorda, Brutel de la Rivière and Eeftinck Schattenkerk, and also some other members if the Society met, to set up a resistance group.

The name of this group would be “Medisch Contact” Medical contact. About 5000 of the 6500 Physicians joined the group. Initially the resistance was only aimed against the Society of Physicians

In March 1943 the group informed the German run Chamber of Physicians, that they will remove their signs from the door and will no longer fulfill their duties as Doctors. 42000 Doctors signed the letter. They also took in consideration that their Jewish colleagues could not sign, because they were not even allowed anymore to work as Doctors, most of the Jewish Doctors had already been in transition camps or deported at that stage.

The NSB would paint the word Arts(Dutch for physician or doctor) on the wall or doors of the Doctors of the Medisch contact.

There were also individual acts of resistance from some Doctors. Like Doctor Allard Oosterhuis

Allard Lambertus Oosterhuis (19 July 1902 in Delfzijl – 1 January 1967 in Killiney) was a Dutch resistance hero during World War II.

In 1922, Oosterhuis went to Amsterdam to study medicine and after his study he became a doctor in Delfzijl. Thanks to his work as a cruiser, with his ships Cascade and Libelle, he was able to put up a smuggling route for the resistance between the harbour of Delfzijl and Stockholm. An important colleague of his in the Dutch resistance was the coaster-captain Harry Roossien who made many trips during the war. Due to these activities many people and materials left occupied Netherlands, and radio transmitters, photos from the Dutch Queen and money for the resistance were shipped into the country.

He was the leader of the resistance group ‘t Zwaantje (The Swan) from Delfzijl. The name comes from a pub named De witte Zwaan (The White Swan]) which Oosterhuis regular visited. He used the name Zwaantje as a codename in the illegal documentation he sent to the resistance and the allies.

On 12 July 1943 the German Sicherheitsdienst rolled up the resistance group after they were betrayed. Despite a collective death sentence on 23 June 1944, most of the members survived the war in captivity in German camps. They were liberated in autumn 1945.

After the war, Oosterhuis, due to health reasons, quit his profession as a doctor and became a cruiser with his ship MS Stientje Mensinga, a rebuilt landing vehicle from 1943. The ship sunk during a heavy storm on the Irish coast by Erritshead in 1961.

In 1952, he settled permanently in Ireland and received the Bronze Cross for bravery against the occupier during World War II. He died age 64 in Ireland and was buried in Delfzijl.

sources

https://web.archive.org/web/20070311005856/http://www.oorlogsmonumenten.nl/omn/getuigenverhalen2/5217?nav=detail

https://www.medischcontact.nl/nieuws/laatste-nieuws/artikel/het-medisch-contact-in-verzet.htm

https://www.vpro.nl/speel~POMS_VPRO_380479~artsenverzet-tijdens-de-tweede-wereldoorlog-het-spoor-terug~.html

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Fatebenefratelli Hospital & Syndrome K.

Initially Italy was an ally of Germany and the other axis powers. during World War 2.

By 1943, Italy’s military position had become untenable. Axis forces in North Africa were finally defeated in the Tunisia Campaign in early 1943. Italy suffered major setbacks on the Eastern Front as well. The Allied invasion of Sicily brought the war to the nation’s very doorstep. The Italian home front was also in bad shape as the Allied bombings were taking their toll. Factories all over Italy were brought to a virtual standstill because raw materials, such as coal and oil, were lacking. Additionally, there was a chronic shortage of food, and what food was available was being sold at nearly confiscatory prices. Mussolini’s once-ubiquitous propaganda machine lost its grip on the people; a large number of Italians turned to Vatican Radio or Radio London for more accurate news coverage.

In July 1943, Allied troops landed in Sicily. Mussolini was overthrown and imprisoned by his former colleagues in the Fascist government. The Italian king replaced Mussolini as prime minister with Marshal Pietro Badoglio.

On September 8, 1943, Badoglio announced Italy’s unconditional surrender to the Allies. The Germans, who had grown suspicious of Italian intentions, quickly occupied northern and central Italy.

The 450-year-old Fatebenefratelli Hospital which is situated on a tiny island in the middle of Rome’s Tiber River, just across from the Jewish Ghetto. When Nazis raided the area on Oct. 16, 1943, a handful of Jews fled to the Catholic hospital, where they were quickly given case files reading “Syndrome K.”

The name Syndrome K came from Dr. Adriano Ossicini, an anti-Fascist physician working at the hospital who knew they needed a way for the staff to differentiate which people were actually patients and which were Jews in hiding. Inventing a fake disease cut out all the confusion, when a doctor came in with a “Syndrome K” patient, everyone working there knew which steps to take. “Syndrome K was put on patient papers to indicate that the sick person wasn’t sick at all, but Jewish.

The name Syndrome K not only alerted hospital staff that the “patients” were actually Jewish refugees in good health but also served as a jab to their oppressors, specifically, Albert Kesselring and Herbert Kappler. Kesselring was a Nazi defensive strategist and the commander responsible for the Italian occupation, while Kappler was an SS colonel.

Hidden away in a separate ward of the facility, those “infected” with Syndrome K were instructed to cough and act sick in front of Nazi soldiers as they investigated Fatebenefratelli. The patients were said to be highly contagious, deterring Nazi officials from coming anywhere near the quarters they were being kept in. Nazi officials became terrified of contracting the mysterious illness, steering clear at all costs.

Credited mainly to doctors Sacerdoti, Borromeo, and Ossicini, the operation was only made possible with the help of the entire staff, who played along with the plan, knowing exactly what to do when confronted with an incoming patient diagnosed with Syndrome K..

“The Nazis thought it was cancer or tuberculosis, and they fled like rabbits,” Vittorio Sacerdoti, a Jewish doctor working at the hospital under a false name, told the BBC in 2004. Another doctor orchestrating the life-saving lie was surgeon Giovani Borromeo.

Initially, the hospital was used as a hospice on the premises of the San Giovanni Calibita Church. Later, it was expanded into a modern hospital by Dr. Giovanni Borromeo, who joined in 1934, with the help of Father Maurizio Bialek.

Besides Fr. Maurizio and Borromeo, other doctors on staff assisted the Jewish patients and helped to move them to safer hideouts outside the hospital. In May 1944, the hospital was raided and five Jews from Poland were detained. However, the ruse saved dozens of lives.

Fr. Maurizio and Borromeo also installed an illegal radio transmitter in the hospital basement and made contact with General Roberto Lordi of the Italian Royal Air Force. After World War II, Borromeo was lauded by Government of Italy for his work and was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. He died in the hospital on 24 August 1961.

If only one person in the Hospital, be it patient or staff, had reported it to the Nazis, then without a shadow of a doubt, all of them would have been killed.

The combined efforts of Sacerdoti, Borromeo, Ossicini, and the entire hospital staff were only revealed 60 years later, and Borromeo specifically was recognized by the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in October 2004, not only for his work with Syndrome K, but for transferring Jewish patients to the hospital from the ghetto long before the occupation of the Nazis.

The Fatebenefratelli Hospital was recognized as a shelter for victims of Nazi persecution, and was named a “House of Life” in June, 2016. The ceremony was attended by Ossicini, 96-years-old at the time, along with some of the very people that his heroic efforts had helped save six decades before.

Fatebenefratelli survivors embrace during a reunion at the hospital on June 21, 2016

Sources

https://qz.com/724169/an-italian-doctor-explains-syndrome-k-the-fake-disease-he-invented-to-save-jews-from-the-nazis/

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/93650/syndrome-k-fake-disease-fooled-nazis-and-saved-lives

https://allthatsinteresting.com/syndrome-k

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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The execution of 5 physicians.

Trial

June 2,1948 was one of those rare days where justice was actually carried out. So many who were instrumental in the murder of millions during the Holocaust, did either serve no time or very little, leave alone receiving death sentences. Even many of those who did receive a death sentence had their sentence reduced.

But on this day 72 years ago 5 Nazi physicians were hanged. I will not waste too much time on these 5 so called Doctors I will only go into the crimes they were charged with during the ‘United States of America v. Karl Brandt, et al. aka Doctor’s Trial’  and some of their final words.

Karl Brandt

kb

1.Conspiracy to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity as described in counts 2 and 3;
2.War crimes: performing medical experiments, without the subjects’ consent, on prisoners of war and civilians of occupied countries, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts. Also planning and performing the mass murder of prisoners of war and civilians of occupied countries, stigmatized as aged, insane, incurably ill, deformed, and so on, by gas, lethal injections, and diverse other means in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums during the Euthanasia Program and participating in the mass murder of concentration camp inmates;
3.Crimes against humanity: committing crimes described under count 2 also on German nationals;
4.Membership in a criminal organization, the SS. The charges against him included special responsibility for, and participation in, Freezing, Malaria, LOST Gas, Sulfanilamide, Bone, Muscle and Nerve Regeneration and Bone Transplantation, Sea-Water, Epidemic Jaundice, Sterilization, and Typhus Experiments.

His final words

“It is no shame to stand upon the scaffold. This is nothing but political revenge. I have served my Fatherland as others before me.” he went on with his speech but at that stage a hood was placed over his head.While he still was talking he was hanged.

Wolfram Sievers

WS

Wolfran Sievers was charged with being a member of an organization declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal (the SS), and was implicated in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In his defense, he alleged that as early as 1933, he had been a member of an anti-Nazi resistance movement which planned to assassinate Hitler and Himmler.

 

Waldemar Hoven

wh

Guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and membership in a criminal organization. Special responsibility of typhus and other vaccine experiments in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Viktor Brack

vb

During the Doctors’ trial, Brack was convicted of murder of victims in the T4 Euthanasia Program. The program was later applied under secret order “Action 14f13”; the extermination of those concentration camp inmates deemed unable to work.  Additionally to his crimes in the T4 program he also devised the plan of sterilizing young and strong Jews they were being  sterilized without being aware of the process. It was done by using X Ray radiation . These young man were used in forced labour.

Karl Gebhardt

kARL G

He was personal physician to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and President of the German Red Cross. He was responsible for medical and surgical experiments on prisoners in the concentration camps at Ravensbrück  and Auschwitz. In Ravensbrück he carried out a series of experiments on Ravensbrück concentration camp prisoners, breaking their legs and infecting them with various organisms in order to prove the worthlessness of the drugs in treating gas gangrene. basically to proof Himmler wrong.He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity

In total there were 23 defendants at the Doctor’s Trial but only these 5 men received the death sentence and were all hanged on June 2, 1948. They had an easier death then their vicctims.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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sources

https://web.archive.org/web/20071013160628/http://ushmm.org/research/doctors/persons.htm

http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/documents/11-brief-prosecution-closing-brief?q=*#p.7

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/photo/nazi-doctor-victor-brack-on-trial

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/photo/defendant-karl-brandt-testifies-during-the-doctors-trial

Wikipedia

http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/documents/4134-extract-from-testimony-of-karl?q=karl+brandt#p.3