1946 · Varsovie:
by [WARSAW GHETTO] APFELBAUM, Emil (1895-1946) (editor).
Varsovie:: American Joint Distribution Committee, 1946., 1946. 8vo. 264,  pp. 11 black and white photographic plates, 50 tables, charts, index. Original printed wrappers; scotch tape along spine, front and rear covers age-darkened, first 3 pages (including half title), and last three blank end-papers are loose. Main body of work remains bound and in good condition. Loose pages have some slight area of extremities missing. Some fading and foxing to pages. Thus, wrappers poor, but text good to good plus. First edition. SEMINAL WORK IN MEDICAL CLINICAL RESEARCH & A CRITICAL ARTIFACT OF THE WARSAW GHETTO AND HOLOCAUST. Copies of the book are uncommon, in part because of the fragile nature of the paper used to publish the report. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, paper, ink, and binding facilities in Europe were scarce. The published report was done with economy in mind, and with a rushed sense of needing to reveal to the world what happened. / Six articles report on the clinical research by 28 Jewish physicians and a student intern (the 1946 book only records the names of 21 physicians and the student – subsequent research in the 1960s revealed the additional names) who conducted the studies on adults and children at the two Jewish hospitals in the Ghetto. Abbreviated biographies of the physicians can be found in The Uses of Adversity: Studies of Starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto by Leonard Tushnet, published in 1966. The physicians hoped to study these patients to somehow benefit humanity, perhaps in the spirit of the Jewish concept of tikkun olam - to repair the world. The studies were conducted in secret, since any scientific research in the Ghetto was prohibited by the Nazi overseers. It is also quite possible that many, if not all, the clinical physicians believed that granting children and others the status of being a patient would protect them by preventing their transport out of the ghetto to death camps. Theories also suggest that the physicians wanted to preserve a record of the atrocities being committed, as well as advance medical research. The studies remain the most comprehensive research of the effects and progression of starvation, in part because any contemporary studies would largely be blunted by existing ethical guidelines for informed consent and subject welfare. Contemporary debates about the ethical wisdom of conducting these studies remains contentious. / The Warsaw Ghetto occupied approximately 1.3 square miles (3.4km2), and its population was as much as 500,000 men, women, and children. The Ghetto was a staging area for transporting Polish and Eastern European Jews to the death camps, and a locale for starving to death Jews prior to transport. The average daily caloric intake of a resident of the Ghetto was 600 to 800 calories of low-protein food for adults. This amount was calculated by Adolf Eichmann to starve-to-death most of the residents in approximately nine months. The physicians performing the research were no exception to the plan. All were starving as they performed their studies. Equipment for clinical research was smuggled into the hospitals. / Each article in the book is devoted to specific results of these studies. Chapter V offers autopsy results on 710 patients; 492 died of starvation and 218 died of complications of secondary conditions. Chapter VI offers clinical observations of one-hundred adults who died from starvation. Chapter VII offers clinical observations of 40 children who died of starvation. Chapter VIII examines the effects of starvation on the cardiovascular system in adults and children. Chapter IX discusses changes in peripheral blood and bone marrow. Ophthalmic responses to starvation are discussed in Chapter X. Only one doctor engaged in the research, Emil Apfelbaum, survived the war. He arranged to have the studies smuggled out of the Ghetto to a Polish professor of medicine, who released the reports after the liberation of Warsaw. After the war, Apfelbaum edited the report for publication by the Joint Distribution Committee. He died a week before the book was published. / Research was performed at the two hospitals in the Ghetto from late February to July 22, 1942. On July 22 the hospitals were closed and any patients unable to be transported were summarily executed regardless of age. The attending and clinical physicians were fully aware of the fate awaiting transported patients, and in many instances, they performed euthanasia on elderly and child patients who were scheduled for transport. Some of the physicians committed suicide rather than face transport. Other physicians accompanied their patients to the death camps, providing whatever aid they could. / The studies were smuggled out of the ghetto in a manner befitting a Ken Follet thriller. A Jewish physician, Henryk Fenigstein, played a crucial role. "Before the war Henryk was a stamp collector. In fact, he had one of the largest collections of Polish stamps in the country. One day two SS members arrived at the hospital and told Henryk to come with them to Gestapo headquarters. Of course, he was terrified. Jews taken to Gestapo headquarters did not return. On arrival he was taken to the office of a senior officer who told him that he himself was an avid stamp collector. He took out a list and handed it to Henryk. He wondered if Henryk had these stamps and if not if he knew where to procure them. Henryk told him that he had many of the stamps, including some of the very rare ones. He told him that he thought he could procure the rest. In order to do this he would need a pass to get out of the ghetto for a few hours each week. And of course the SS officer was welcome to those that he had. The officer agreed and even gave Henryk his phone number in case he needed any help. Thus, Henryk Fenigstein, a key member of the study team, was able to leave the ghetto" (2005 lecture, Myron Winick). During such an outing, Fenigstein arranged for the smuggling of the reports. A pregnant woman reportedly was used to hide the documents and transport them out of the ghetto. / The supervising physician of the project, Israel Milejkowski, wrote in his Introduction to the studies that each author refused to allow the Nazis to destroy their work, and that through the research and the publication of that research, "Nous avons termine nos Recherches et nous les conserverons bien, comme c'etait Ton desir. Les paroles immortelles que Tu a jetees "Non omnius Moriar" doivent etre en premier lieu appliquees a Toi! Gloire eternelle a Ta Memoire !" / The research, as well as results from the Minnesota Semi-Starvation studies of 1944-1945, continues to benefit the millions of persons facing starvation each year. The participants in the Minnesota study lost an average of 25% of pre-test body weight, and the final phase of the study included recovery techniques and methods. The Warsaw studies measured effects until death. This artifact of scientific integrity, individual bravery, and resistance to oppression, is a rare opportunity to truly own a small piece of history illuminating the courage of physicians determined to use their craft to help the world and advance the memory of atrocities.
(Inventory #: MMRM1658)