Friday, May 24, 2019

Scamming the Nazi's.

Influenza, Flu, Fever, Grippe, Cold, BedI watched a show the other day, which shared the story behind a very old vial from World War II that is kept in a museum.  The contents of this vial, saved thousands of people from being sent off to concentration and labor camps.  The method was ingenious and it played on the Nazi fear of Typhus.

It happened in the town of Razwadow, Poland.  A man who worked in a labor camp came home to visit his family but didn't want to go back.  If he refused to go back, he and his family would be forcibly shipped of to the death camps but if he went back, he might not survive so he went to a local doctor.

The doctor and his coworker created a mixture that when injected into people would turn the results of a blood test for Typhus to positive, every time.  People didn't actually have the disease but their blood tests said they had it so the Nazi's refused to send them off to camps.  Instead, people were quarantined in their village.

The doctor, Eugene Lazowski, believed it was part of being a doctor to fight the Nazi's in anyway he could and proved it by first escaping from a German POW camp and going home.   Since his house backed up against the Jewish Ghetto, he was prohibited from treating any Jew.  but he worked out a way to help them anyway.  If anyone was sick, someone would tie something on the fence and he'd sneak in at night, treat them, and sneak out before dawn.  To get supplies, he adjusted records so they showed he used more supplies treating his Polish patients so he'd have what he needed for his hidden patients.

During World War I, the Germans developed a fear of typhus because it ran ramped through the trenches, making so many soldiers sick.  As a result, the Germans still feared the disease and required all people infected with or suspected of having typhus be reported to the authorities, given a blood test, and German labs tested all samples.  Any Pole infected would be quarantined and spared work in labor camps but any infected Jew was killed.

Lazowski and another doctor discovered if people were injected with the dead bacteria that caused typhus, their blood tests came back positive so they regularly used this on people in the area so their village would be declared an "Epidemic Area" and the Germans would regularly avoid it.

They made sure they followed the natural ebb and flow of the disease so it mimicked real life and they often sent patients to other doctors for tests otherwise if they were the only ones treating infected people it might alert the Germans.  As time went on, they began offering the "Protein Stimulation Therapy" to patients in other villages who were coming down with a variety of symptoms such as coughs, aches, etc.  Every person tested positive for typhus.

Unfortunately, the death rate did not match the expected death rates for Typhus so the Germans sent out doctors to investigate the anomaly.  Lazowski quickly gathered the sickest of the villagers, put them in a dirty room and invited the doctors in to check them out.  The doctors quickly took samples, saw the positive results, and got out of there as fast as they could due to their fear of the disease.

Due to their quick thinking, Lazowski and the other doctor saved over 8,000 people from death, some who were Jews and others who were Poles.  They did not reveal their scam until 1977 when they wrote a paper for a medical journal.

By playing on Nazi fears, these two doctors proved you could fight the Nazi's.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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