Extraordinary curtailment of massive typhus epidemic in the Warsaw Ghetto

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Science Advances  24 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 30, eabc0927
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc0927

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  • RE: The Typhus Epidemic in the Warsaw Ghetto
    • Ann Margaret Altman, Retired, Ph.D., Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University 1974

    The child of Holocaust survivors, I read the article by Stone et al. with great interest, in particular because my late mother’s aunt, Helena Wotzilka, died of typhus in the Warsaw Ghetto.
    Here is a link to a photo of her portrait (which I have actually seen in Czechia but was unable to claim) with an explanatory note by my mother, Edith Körner (1921-2000). The second photo shows a postcard from Helena’s husband, my mother’s uncle, in a concentration camp, that I discovered at the Wiener Library in London. It was sent to an Ernst Steiner, who, as far as I can determine, also perished. The card says (and it had to pass the censor, obviously) “We are healthy and doing well. Thank you so much for what you sent.” It is likely that Helena was with her husband in the concentration camp before they were both sent to the Warsaw Ghetto, where both perished.

    By sharing this information with you, I hope to keep alive the memory of two people whose lives were cut short by the typhus epidemic and to give a name and a face to, at least, one of the victims.
    Ann M. Altman Ph.D. (retired)

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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