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There is no record of medical practitioners along the centuries; however, three were mentioned during the Second World War.

The first mentioned was Professor Carl Warburg; he was arrested by the Gestapo, and subsequently released at the insistence of his faithful patient, King Christian of Denmark. The personal life and the scientific legacy of Otto H.


German Jewish military personnel of World War I - Wikipedia

Warburg are difficult to separate. In fact, it seems that very little could separate him from his research.

Emil was a distinguished Professor of Physics in Freiburg. The impact of those early studies on his future cancer research proved to be most significant. At times controversial, his work was eventually appreciated by the Nobel Committee. Soon, he became head of the Cell Physiology Research Laboratory, established and financed by the Rockefeller Foundation. From there, over the next 50 years, Warburg would develop his many theories and publish articles and five books.

His many years of research were first interrupted for four years during World War I. Warburg volunteered in the army, working first as a physician and later on in the army headquarters.

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He was injured and decorated with the Iron Cross, Class I. He continued to serve until mid, when at the instigation of a group of academics headed by Albert Einstein , Warburg resumed his work in cancer research. Warburg looked back on his four years of service to Germany in World War I with pride.

Although he did not deny his Jewish origin, he considered himself a German patriot.

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In the summer of , the Russians confiscated his equipment; however, Warburg himself was respected. Warburg remained a bachelor and resided in the institute with his faithful companion, Jacob Heiss, a personal friend and the secretary and manager of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. In , he suffered a broken femur, complicated by deep vein thrombosis, and in , Otto Heinrich Warburg died from a pulmonary embolism and was buried in a Christian cemetery. Warburg introduced technical advances in experimentation that have since become standard tools, still in use today.

He improved the methodology for gas analysis in processes such as cell respiration and photosynthesis, and invented a manometer referred to as the Warburg apparatus; he also invented the spectrophotometer and developed a tissue-slicing technique for measuring cell metabolism. He discovered the cell respiratory enzymes, tried to find the energy source for cell growth, and oxygenation in normal versus cancer cells.

His theory regarding the primary source of cancer, namely fermentation glycolysis under low-pressure O 2 , was only partially accepted by future researchers. However, it was awarded to someone else. The essence of the Warburg effect was that malignant cells, starved of oxygen, would transfer to a primitive form of fermentation as a source of energy, namely glycolysis, resulting in acidosis in the body pH 6.

Warburg was nominated by another Nobel Laureate, Szent-Gyorgyi, for the discovery of nicotinamide later on utilized by others in the cure of pellagra and flavins yellow enzymes. In any case, Warburg would not have been allowed to leave the country. In any case, officially, the award went to someone else. The question has been raised as to why Warburg was able to remain un-molested in Berlin throughout the 12 years of the Third Reich.

Although according to Judaic Law Warburg was not considered Jewish, under the Nazis he should have been deported.

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He was dismissed from his position as Head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and not permitted to teach or take up an academic position. Warburg had been quoted unofficially criticizing some issues relating to the Nazis, but in general he remained apolitical—a strict scientist. He lived in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, worked six days a week, and, although many other scientists left or were dismissed, Warburg remained in Berlin.

He was shunned by foreign scientists for his tacit acceptance of anti-Jewish measures taken against his colleagues and the rest of the Jewish people. After the Second World War, Warburg was readmitted into the international scientific community. By , with numerous accolades accorded to him, he was often invited to lecture in Europe and the US. Also, despite international censure, his membership in the Royal Society since was not rescinded during the war. In fact, Warburg received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University in and was invited to participate in the Lindau Conference in This question remains a puzzle open to personal interpretation.

His attitude could be considered as collaboration, since Germany benefited from his publications. However, since Warburg performed no known unethical human experiments, his research results could be accepted as not being immorally obtained.

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During his 12 years under the Third Reich, Warburg published another scientific articles. Following the war he went on to publish another articles and three books. It is widely accepted that Warburg was a brilliant researcher, with innovative experimental methods, pedantic, addicted to research, demanding of his team, reclusive, self-sufficient, critical, and controversial.

Nevertheless, his scientific legacy remains important to this day. His triple sins in the Nazi ideology were his Jewish ancestry, some anti-Nazi criticism, and his probable sexual orientation. All three were hypocritically overlooked, and Warburg remained unscathed. Perhaps it is one of the numerous illogical Nazi theorizations. Or, rather, was it a reluctant recognition of a brilliant mind, even within the hated race?

This same hypocritical attitude was held by the scientific world: ostracized during World War II, Warburg was hesitantly welcomed back to its fold after the war. Nevertheless, the life of Otto Heinrich Warburg and his ability to survive make an interesting footnote to his enduring contributions to cancer research. Perhaps, like the cure for all disease, some questions will never be answered. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Rambam Maimonides Med J. Published online Jan George M. Weisz , M.

Ortho , M. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Conflict of interest: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported. He had glimpsed a six-pointed star on the door of a building when he was a young boy and his mother, a religious Catholic, silenced his questions. But the first crack in his seemingly unified world came at age 14 during the Munich Olympics of Again he saw the star as the Israeli athletes triumphantly paraded with their flag on the family TV and a cold silence descended on his parents and their invited friends as they watched.

Saturday, September 28, Main menu Toggle navigation. Jewish Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger holding a Torah, and a picture of his Nazi father, on cover of his book. By Malka Eisenberg. Report an inappropriate comment Comments. Other items that may interest you.