Jews denied medical services in Poland


Jews rounded up for forced labour in Warsaw, March 1939

German policies made it increasingly dangerous for ordinary Poles to assist Jews in any way. Dr Zygmunt Klukowsk records in his diary for 29th March:

Yesterday Dr. Spoz went to Zamosc to clear up once and for all the question of whether we have a right to care for Jewish people. He spoke with health department officials. I just received an answer: “It is illegal to give any medical attention to the Jews, just as it is illegal to admit Jews to hospitals. Jews can be treated only by Jewish physicians.” But what do we do if there are no Jewish physicians? I had a difficult situation. I was called to see a sick Jewish man. I went to him wondering whether anyone was spying on me. I feel terrible. On my prescription I even omitted the name of the sick man. So now we come to this: the main goal of every physician is to give medical help, but now it becomes a crime, punishable by imprisonment.

Zygmunt Klukowski was the Superintendent of the Zamosc district county hospital at Szczebrzeszyn, in Eastern Poland. He kept one of the most detailed contemporary diaries of the German and subsequent Soviet occupation of Poland. See Zygmunt Klukowski : Diary from the Years of Occupation.

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