German Minister Apologizes For Attitude Against Jewish Doctors In Nazi Era


unnamedDuring a visit to the Jewish hospital in Berlin last Thursday, Herman Gröhe, Germany’s Federal Health minister said, “The participation of German doctors during the 1930’s, in excluding their fellow Jews from the German Medical Association, is an utter disgrace.”

Minister Gröhe’s visit to the hospital, located in the “Wedding” district of Berlin, was accompanied by the vice-chairman of the board of trustees of the hospital and by Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, Berlin’s Jewish community rabbi.

After visiting the hospital, Minister Gröhe’s addressed the audience at the hospital. During his speech, the minister addressed the nursing staff and doctors of the hospital saying that: “In this complicated district, you are doing an out of the ordinary work. The Jewish Hospital in Berlin is an example of a high standard treatment which holds the values of quality and excellence in its core”.

The ceremony was concluded by Rabbi Teichtal who led the audience in a prayer for the New Year, which he followed by a speech saying that: “Saving a life is the most sublime act one can do, for we are taught by the Talmud that “he who saves a single life, saves the world entire. Therefore, this is not just a hospital, but a sacred house as well.”

The establishment of Jewish Hospital in Berlin, which celebrates its 260th anniversary this year, was possible thanks to donations made by the Jewish community of Berlin during the 1880’s, A fact which has granted it with the local nickname of “The little Charity”. It is the oldest Jewish founded institution in berlin, which even today, continues to be a milestone for the community in particular and in Berlin as a whole. During renovations made in 2003, a small synagogue was constructed, in order to serve the hospital’s patients, visitors and medical staff. In addition, from its inception in the 19th century, the hospital has set the goal of serving the population as whole.

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