The Second World War was on.. At the doctor’s door in the town of Rozvadov, Poland, tapped a man with a unique complaint. He was one of a thousand, whom “lucky enough” get into a German labor camp, not to the death camp. A 14-day vacation was granted to the man, so he can visit his family, but he only had two days left.
He was desperate and did not want to return to the camp.. He knew, what if it doesn’t return to the appointed date, they will start looking for him and the first thing the Nazis will come to his family and send everyone to the death camp. At first he wanted to commit suicide, but knew, that if the doctor finds he has a serious enough disease, then he can save himself and his family.
Two doctors, with whom he shared the problem decided to help him and offered to give him an injection. The man agreed. The next day, doctors took a blood sample and sent a sample to a German laboratory. Soon they received a telegram, where was said: “The Weil-Felix Reaction – positive.” Their patient had a positive reaction to typhoid.. A telegram diagnosed has become evidence, that a man has an infectious disease, therefore, he was immediately released from the labor camp. All Germans were strictly forbidden to contact him, as well as with any member of his family.
Of course, the man was absolutely healthy. Doctors not just saved a man’s life, they also initiated a check of residents of the entire city and after analysis in a German laboratory, it turned out, that typhus is raging in the city.
One of the doctors, Eugene Lazowski, repeatedly saw the atrocities of the Nazis and therefore, as far as possible, tried to help the locals. Lazowski later said, what was it “personal war” with invaders. It all started that day, when he was arrested and brought to the death camp. In some unimaginable way, he managed to escape, and he returned to his home, in Rozvaduv, where he got a job at the Red Cross.
The doctor’s house was put behind the fence, which separated the ghetto from the rest of the city. The doctor was allowed to treat everyone, except for Jews, so he came up with a secret way to alert you to treatment. When someone in the ghetto felt bad, they hung a rag on the fence, and Lazowski, under cover of night, brought medicines and treated the sick. To not get caught, the doctor overestimated the number of sick non-Jews, so that there is enough medicine at all.
His friend Stanislav Matyulevich also practiced in Rozvaduva, and since both knew well, how the Nazis are afraid of all sorts of viral diseases, they went to the trick. German occupiers demanded to report any suspicions of typhus and send blood samples of suspicious persons to German-controlled laboratories for testing. In Rozvaduv, when “the virus broke out”, Germans released all labor camp workers, but the Jews were not spared and executed all to one.
The most common method for determining typhus at that time was the Weil-Felix test., which the, using antibodies, which the immune system produces in response to typhoid virus, helped determine human infection with the virus. Matyulevich knew, what if a healthy person injected dead typhoid virus, then the Weil-Felix test will give a false positive result.
He suggested his friend use a dead virus, or rather, false-positive results obtained in a German laboratory, for creating “typhoid epidemics” in Rozvaduv, what was supposed to make the Germans stay away from the city.
Doctors worked secretly, they didn’t even tell patients, what kind of manipulations did they make with them. About what they did, the world only found out 1977 year in an article in an American newspaper, in which Lazowski talked about, how during the war he deceived the Germans with a friend. Two doctors approached the matter with great responsibility, simulating the ebb and flow, like a real epidemic, making more injections and creating more “typhoid” winter and fall.
Fraud practically revealed, when the Germans revealed an almost complete absence of typhus deaths in Rozvaduwa. The Germans began to ask a logical question.: “Why do not people die?”. And very quickly a team of German doctors was assembled, which was sent to the city, to answer this question.
Lazowski greets visitors with open arms, set a table for German doctors and put some bottles of vodka. While senior German doctors celebrated, the younger went on a tour of the town with Lazowski. Before the visit, Lazowski gathered the most sick residents and dying from various diseases of the inhabitants of the town, introduced a dead virus to them and quarantined them in a fenced off area. Taking a few blood samples, to confirm the epidemic, and seeing half-dead people, young German doctors quickly left the quarantine zone. Young were terrified of what they saw, Yes, and the test did not fail. They told in emotions about what they saw drunken senior doctors and they decided to immediately leave the city.
In such a tricky way to doctors, for all years of the war, managed to save more 8000 human.