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August 7, 1991

I Remember Nothing More: The Warsaw Children's Hospital and the Jewish Resistance

JAMA. 1991;266(5):718-719. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470050118037

If it had not been for the Nazi invasion of Poland, Adina Blady Szwajger might have been a pediatrician working among academically inclined colleagues on a staff with many other women physicians, treating the relatively few sick children of a cosmopolitan European city.

Instead, Dr Szwajger spent the war in her native Warsaw, both inside the Jewish ghetto and out, alternately plying her trade on uniformly doomed children and working the resistance. After war's end, she went on to practice medicine for 40 years. "But," she writes, "somewhere underneath I thought that I had no right to carry out my profession. After all, one does not start one's work as a doctor by leading people not to life but to death.... And it does not help me that I know that it was all in order to save people's lives, that it was all necessary... along the way something was