Courage in the Face of Death

Nurses’ and Physicians’ Involvement in Resistance
  • Cheyenne Martin
  • Susan Bakewell-Sachs


As we move from a century indelibly scarred by the Holocaust and other genocides into a new millennium with continuing global strife, the study of resistance in the face of intolerance and tyranny takes on a renewed sense of urgency and importance. Although there has been a dramatic increase in literature focusing on resistance during the Holocaust in the past decade, there is limited published research which has systematically explored the extent and nature of nurses’, physicians’ and other caregivers’ involvement in resistance activities. Yet their contributions appear to have been significant because of their abilities to provide critical medical and nursing care to those engaged in resistance. This paper briefly examines some of the individual and collective resistance activities and ethical choices of health professionals as they and millions of others were forced into the unrelenting brutality of ghetto life and later transported to the ‘killing fields’ of labour and death camps. There is a particular focus on resistance activities among caregivers who were imprisoned in the Warsaw, Kovno and Lida ghettos as well as in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and a discussion of medical resistance among partisans in the Lipiczaner Forest in Byelorussia.


Resistance Activity Moral Courage Medical Resistance Jewish Hospital Death Camp 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheyenne Martin
  • Susan Bakewell-Sachs

There are no affiliations available

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