Lodz and the Shoah
- Exhibition: Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross. Given Dr. Bursztajn's longstanding interest in the clinical and forensic neuropsychiatric understanding of the intergenerational transmission of memories of trauma and resilience, he was interviewed for WBUR about the exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts of the Henryk Ross photographs of the Lodz Ghetto during the Shoah, 1939-1945. In the face of oppression and the Nazi program to use Jews as slave labor and to humiliate and destroy them via mass murder, the dignity, beauty, resistance, and resilience of the Ghetto's inhabitants portrayed, including the Fekalists such as his own parents, Abraham and Miriam Bursztajn, moves this exhibition from photojournalism to art in the tradition of Rembrandt, Goya, and Hyman Bloom. The work of Ross and the Fekalists each served as resistance to the planned demoralization and destruction of what was before World War II a vibrant multicultural community. Dr. Bursztajn's contributions to the MFA Lodz Ghetto photography exhibition include a Gallery talk: Trauma, Resilience, Resistance, Photography, and the Memory of the Shoah. The last room in the exhibition meaningfully links to resistance to other attempts at humiliation, cultural destruction, and community mass murder, including the Balkan "ethnic cleansings" and the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
- Presentation: Physician know thyself to help and heal: From the (1939-1945) Shoah's times of catastrophe and great moral hazard to today's (2015) ethical challenges to clinicians. Dr. Bursztajn presents how physicians and other health care workers do their best in times of great moral hazard, community catastrophe, and faced with tragic choices and decision making under conditions of unvertainty using an awareness of one's own autobiography, including remebering one's own original motivations for the practice of medicine. Presented by the Flexner Dean's Lecture Series at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine on Monday, March 9, 2015.
- Article: Love
in the Shadow of the Third Reich. An introduction by Susan Kweskin
that appeared in the print edition of the Psychiatric Times to
the online-only article Revisiting
Lodz, Poland in 2011 and Reconstructing How My Parents Survived the
- Article: Lessons
from a WWII ghetto resonate with doctors today. The Boston Globe
features a story on Dr. Bursztajn's teaching activities at Harvard
medical School relative to learning from his parent's experiences
with doctors during the Shoah. This article was inspired by a recent
Surgical Grand Rounds, "Health
Care in the Lodz Ghetto: Care, Compliance, Conscience and Resistance" that
Dr. Bursztajn presented at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on
July 8, 2009. More recently, the story has been picked up by the Los
- The Shoah and its Aftermath: the
testimony of Dr. Bursztajn's father, a Holocaust survivor.
- Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin issue from Autumn 2006 titled "Sparks
of Inspiration" includes the article "Prescriptions
for Hope". Lessons from the Holocaust in how doctors
can heal through hope, an adaptation of Dr. Bursztajn's original
- For more information on Jewish Lodz, please visit the Lodz
ShtetLinks home page.
- A photograph of Dr. Bursztajn's
mother who was part of the Lodz resistance in 1944.
- Stories and recollections of fragments of Doctor Salomea Kape's life
with the shadow of the holocaust behind it:
- The Unforgotten,
first place in the Literature: short story category in the
2003 American Society of Anesthesiologists 35th Annual Art
of Youths." This is a powerful story about the complications
- On the Autopsy
Table in Lodz...Biebow from Bremen, a Memoir by Salomea
Kape published in the Summer 1993 issue of Lilith, The Independent
Jewish Women's Magazine, Volume 18, No. 3.
- Hunger, appeared in
JAMA, September 23/30, 1988, Volume 260.
- Fatal Freedom,
a short story.
- From one of Dr. Bursztajn's medical school classmates, another way
to remember the past:
I was on a cruise of the western Mediterranean last month,
followed by a few days in the south of France. I spent them with
a teacher who guided her elementary pupils through a project
to document the life and times of two Jewish girls, aged 3 and
8, who lived in the town of (then) 300 before being taken to
Sobibor. A pupil proposed renaming the school "Lea and Elizabeth
Schnitzler"; this was done. Their work won a French national
award for teaching the Holocaust. When the award was about to
be given at the Sorbonne nearly two years ago, a French Jewish
organization looked to see if there were any surviving relatives
of the girls. Through a convoluted set of Internet connections,
they got in touch with me. Those girls were my third cousins!
When I visited France, I met the girls' former playmates, now
septuagenarians. Here is
a journalist's account of my visit to the school. Later I saw
a displaced persons' camp (Rivesaltes) near Perpignan, a maternity
home for those from the camp, some marvelous churches, and (just
before the teacher and her husband drove me across the Spanish
frontier) the town where the girls were arrested.
Numbing and Genocide," the lead article in the November
15, 2007 issue of the American Psychological
Association's Psychological Science Agenda.
- Article: Holocaust
Survivors at Higher Risk for All Cancers. Jewish survivors of
World War II who were potentially exposed to the Holocaust are at
a higher risk for cancer occurrence, according to a new study published
online October 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
- Interview: History's Most Prolific Executioner. Dr. Bursztajn is interviewed in this article about Vasili Blohkin, a Soviet major-general who murdered 10,000 people during Stalin's purges and World War II.
Dr. Bursztajn has an active patient care practice and consults to physicians,
institutions, judges, and plaintiff and defense counsel nationally.