Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Good Read! The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl

Dr. Rudolf Weigl was an eccentric and accomplished Polish zoologist, infectious diseases specialist and immunologist who developed a typhus vaccine. Dr. Ludwik Fleck was an assistant of Weigl. Both worked independently, under duress (Fleck in Buchenwald concentration camp), to produce typhus vaccines for the Nazi cause. 

The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl explores typhus from a sociopolitical perspective and chronicles the horrors of the Nazi medical corps and war machine. 

However, the story has a fantastic twist: 

Dr. Weigl is the medical version of Oskar Schindler. He hid the Polish intelligentsia from the Gestapo by hiring them to work in his laboratory. Dr. Fleck duped the Nazis by producing bogus vaccines for their troops and the SS. Both survived the Nazi regime.

Brilliance in the face of horrific adversity.

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