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Medizinhist J. 2016;51(4):295-326.

Posthumous Testimony for Dr. Leo Gross and his Family / Restoration of the 'Lost' Biography of a Physician Victim of the Holocaust


At a time when the last direct witnesses of the Holocaust are passing, new approaches to the restoration of 'lost' biographies of victims need to be considered. This investigation describes the potential of an international collaboration including surviving family members. Archival documents discovered in Jerusalem in 1983 concerned a discussion on the cancellation of a medical licence for a German Jewish physician, Dr. Leo Gross of Kolberg, who had been disenfranchised from medical practice under Nazi law. After applying for a medical licence during a 1935 visit to Palestine, Gross remigrated to Germany, where he was imprisoned in a concentration camp. No further information was found until 2014, when a group of scholars linked a variety of archival and internet-accessible sources and located a nephew of Gross. The nephew's testimony, cross-referenced against data from other sources, enabled the reconstruction of the 'lost' biography of his uncle and family, in fact a posthumous testimony. The resulting narrative places Dr. Leo Gross within his professional and social network, and serves his commemoration within this context of family and community. The restored biography of Dr. Leo Gross presents an exemplary case study for the future of Holocaust testimony.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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