Against all odds, Jewish health providers struggled to avoid the worst through innovative steps to save lives. Despite the removal of their equipment, drugs, and other resources, they organized health care and sanitary hygienic measures. Doctors were forced to conceal cases, falsify diagnoses and cause of death in order to save lives. This important study explores the role of the International Red Cross in typhus epidemics during and after World War I and World War II. It details the widespread complicity of foreign companies in the Nazi typhus research. Finally, the author stresses the importance of monitoring and holding accountable the medical profession, researchers, and drug companies that continue to invest in research on biological agents as weapons of war.
Naomi Baumslag, M.D., M.P.H., is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Georgetown University Medical School.