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Jerzy Einhorn; Holocaust Survivor Revolutionized Cancer Care in Sweden

April 30, 2000

Jerzy Einhorn, 74, an internationally known cancer specialist based in Sweden who survived a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Born in Czestochowa, Poland, Einhorn left his Polish school after several anti-Semitic incidents and studied in a Jewish school, where he learned Hebrew. During the Nazi occupation, he was first placed in the Warsaw ghetto, and later in a camp outside his hometown. He studied medicine in Poland after the war, leaving in 1946 to study medicine in Denmark. Einhorn decided not to return to his homeland after new anti-Semitic outbursts and the murders of several Jewish students in Lodz. He and his wife took a train to Sweden and asked for asylum. From 1967 until retirement in 1992, he was director of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, where he had revolutionized cancer care in the country. "He worked not only with concrete treatments for cancer, but also with all the symptoms and other problems by taking an interest in the organization of cancer care," said Ulrik Ringborg, the hospital's current director. An oncologist, Einhorn was on the board of many international cancer organizations and published many scientific works. He wrote two books about his life and worked to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. "You must never forget what can happen when organized Nazism gets established," Einhorn told an International Forum on the Holocaust in Stockholm earlier this year. "We appeal to you all, for your sake and for your children's sake, do not forget us." On Friday of leukemia at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm.

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