The Polish Doctor Who Saved Thousands From The Holocaust

Samuel Reason | March 7th, 2018

Eugene Lazowski was born in 1913 in Czestochowa and grew up to be a medical doctor in the Polish Army. During the height of World War II when Poland was occupied by the Nazis, he was able to save thousands of Polish Jews from the holocaust with a fake epidemic.

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Lazowski studied at Jozef Pilsudski University in Warsow and completed his medical studies before the start of World War II. When the war started he was serving in the Polish Army as a medical lieutenant on a Red Cross train. Helping as many people that he could survive was always Lazowski’s goal. So when Poland was overrun and invaded by the Nazis he knew that he had to act.

Joining the Polish resistance he became a military doctor for the Home Army. The Home Army was a group dedicated to disturbing the german occupation of Poland and fighting for their freedom. During this time he was reunited with a close friend and together they were able to pull off one of the biggest cons during World War II: the fake Typhus epidemic.

Lazowski knew that the Germans had a particular regard for hygiene during this time. So he was trying to figure out ways that he could play on this fear of catching a disease to save lives. With his friend Dr Matulewicz they discovered that if you injected someone with a vaccine of dead bacteria, then they would test positive for the Typhus disease. Yet the person injected would not contract any of the deadly symptoms and would stay completely healthy

Together they started an ingenious plan and injected thousands of people in the surrounding villages. The Germans did not want to go anywhere near anyone infected as it was a disease known to be very contagious. Anyone that was infected was not sent to forced labor camps or extermination camps. In fact once the area was known to have the disease, it would be quarantined and the Germans would not enter the area at all.

It is estimated that they saved around 8000 people executions and deportations, by spreading the fake epidemic and causing the Germans to abandon the area.

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