Dr. Josef Mengele's victim: Why One Auschwitz Survivor Avoided Doctors for 65 Years

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by BikerBabe, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

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    From Dr. Mengele's Victim: Why One Auschwitz Survivor Avoided Doctors for 65 Years - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

    By Christoph Schult, Der Spiegel



    [​IMG]

    Yitzhak Ganon survived Auschwitz SS doctor Josef Mengele's medical experiments -
    and swore never to set foot in a hospital again.


    Sixty-five years ago, infamous Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele removed Yitzhak Ganon's kidney without anesthesia. The Greek-born Jew swore never to see a doctor again -- until a heart attack last month brought his horrific tale into the open.

    He is a thin man. His wine-red cardigan is a little too big, and his legs are like matchsticks in his brown pants. Yitzhak Ganon takes care of himself. He's freshly shaven, his white mustache neatly trimmed. The 85-year-old sits on a gray sofa, with a cushion supporting his back. He is too weak to stand by himself, but he still greets a guest in German: "Guten Tag."

    Speaking is hard for him. "Slowly, Abba," his daughter Iris says, and brings him a glass of water. Her father has never in his life complained of any pain, she says.

    A month ago he came back from his morning walk and lay down. "Are you sick, Papa?" Iris asked. "No, just a little tired," Yitzhak Ganon answered, before going to sleep. But after a few hours he was still tired. "I don't need a doctor," he told his daughter.

    The next morning things were even worse. Ganon's wife and daughter called a doctor, who diagnosed a viral infection and told him to go to the hospital. Ganon resisted, but finally realized his life was in danger. At some point he stopped fighting the doctor's orders.

    'Just One Kidney'

    His family brought him to the hospital in his home town of Petach Tikva near Tel Aviv. He had hardly been admitted when he lost consciousness. Heart attack, the doctor said. The blood clots were cleared with the help of tiny balloons, and the doctors put five stents in him. "We thought he wouldn't survive the operation," said Eli Lev, the doctor. "Especially since he had just one kidney."

    When Yitzhak Ganon came to, he told the doctors where he lost the other kidney -- and why he had avoided doctors for 65 years. A reporter from the Israeli paper Maariv heard about the story. And now, weeks after the operation, Ganon is ready to tell his story to a German reporter for the first time.

    He stretches his back and looks at a photo on the living room wall. It shows the Acropolis in Athens. "I come from Arta, a small city in northern Greece. It happened on Saturday, March 25, 1944. We had just lit the candles to celebrate the Sabbath when an SS officer and a Greek policeman burst into the house. They told us we should get ourselves ready for a big trip."

    The 85-year-old slides the sleeve of his shirt up and uncovers his left forearm. The number 182558 is tattooed there in dark-blue ink.

    Tied Down

    The transport to Auschwitz took two weeks. His sick father died on the journey. Upon arrival, they had to strip and submit to an inspection. Ganon's mother and five siblings were then sent to the gas chambers.
    Yitzhak Ganon was taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau hospital, where Josef Mengele, the so-called "Angel of Death," conducted grisly experiments on Jewish prisoners.

    Ganon had to lie down on a table and was tied down. Without any anesthetics, Mengele cut him open and removed his kidney. "I saw the kidney pulsing in his hand and cried like a crazy man," Ganon says. "I screamed the 'Shema Yisrael.' I begged for death, to stop the suffering."

    After the "operation," he had to work in the Auschwitz sewing room without painkillers. Among other things, he had to clean bloody medical instruments. Once, he had to spend the whole night in a bath of ice-cold water because Mengele wanted to "test" his lung function.
    Altogether, Ganon spent six and a half months in the concentration camp's hospital.

    'Just Fatigue'

    When they had no more use for him, the Nazis sent him to the gas chamber. He survived only by chance:
    The gas chamber held only 200 people. Ganon was number 201.

    On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops.
    Yitzhak Ganon made it back to Greece and found his surviving siblings -- a brother and a sister -- and emigrated to Israel in 1949. He got married. And he swore never to go to a doctor again.
    "Whenever he was sick, even when it was really bad," his wife Ahuva says, "he told me it was just fatigue."

    But now Ganon is happy he finally went to the hospital after his heart attack.
    One week later, he had another heart attack, and was given a pacemaker.
    "If the doctors hadn't been there," he says, smiling for the first time, "I would be dead now."
    Yitzhak Ganon has survived, again.

    ------------------------------

    I certainly don't blame the man for not wanting to see a physician, nor a hospital, ever again. :shock:
    Abd I'm glad for him and his family that he eventually did. ;)
     
  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  3. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Reading things like that always cause a loss of words for me.
    Thanks for posting BB.
     
  4. mudpuppy

    mudpuppy Member

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    Thanks for posting the article BB, but I'm with Heinz....aside from my admiration at this man's tale of survival; I am shocked into near silence when I try to imagine what happened to him and his family at Auschwitz. I hope he has had a peaceful life since then.
    Derek
     
  5. Aussie1001

    Aussie1001 Member

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    I honestly am lost for words....Poor bastard.
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Dang. Can't really blame him for not wanting to see a doctor.
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It begs to question how many more stories like this one go untold.
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Certainly does Eric, horrific story and completely understandable why he didn't want to go and see another doctor...
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Absolutely horrific!

    Mengele is rotting in hell right now and having pineapples shove dup his ass every day.
     
  10. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    I dont dare to try and think what these people go thru, It even makes me shudder and complete silence falls over me.
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  12. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    I don't like to go to Doctors, and I've never seen the horrors that this man has! A great story, BB. Thanks for the heads-up!
     
  13. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Exactly. Scary , bloody scary

    Bloody sad too

    'Bloody' being a huge understatement
     
  14. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    What one person is willing to do to another person still shocks me.
    I can't blame him for not wanting to see another doctor.


    Wheels
     
  15. Doughboy

    Doughboy Member

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    You really can't blame him for not wanting to go see a doctor. Poor guy.:(
     
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