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January 13, 1984

The Witch Doctor: Memoirs of a Partisan

JAMA. 1984;251(2):267. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340260071040

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Eighteen months as a German prisoner of war were only the beginning.

In The Witch Doctor, Dr Michael Temchin tells of his life during the Second World War. Already a physician, he was in the Polish Army when captured by the Germans in 1939. In 1940, he escaped from a labor camp, lived for a while in the Warsaw ghetto, then fled to Grabowiec. When the Jews of that town were rounded up the next year, he jumped off the train bound for a concentration camp and became a bandit in the Polish countryside. Gradually, he allied with others in hiding, then joined with partisans, and ultimately became chief medical officer of the People's Army. Dr Temchin survived the war and eventually practiced medicine in New York.

"Znachor" (Witch Doctor) was the name the author came to be known by. Throughout this memoir, Temchin gives evidences of the special accord