Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eugene Lazowski

Dr. Eugene Lazowski took all kinds of risks in his plan to use the dreaded disease typhus to save villagers from death camps in World War II. He and his colleague Stanislaw Matulewicz injected healthy people with a killed strain of the bacteria to produce positive tests and cause quarantines.

In secrecy, Dr. Matulewicz tested it on a friend who was on special leave from a work camp in Germany. He desperately needed a way to avoid going back to face death in the work camp—and becoming just another number. He injected the man with the bacteria and sent a blood sample to the German laboratory. About a week later, the young doctors received a telegraph informing them their patient had Epidemic Typhus, which prohibited the man's return to the work camp. It worked.

Others were treated as well, creating fake epidemics. It is estimated that 8,000 people owe their lives to Dr. Lazowski. Read the story here.

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