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Alina Margolis-Edelman


Alina Margolis-Edelman, born 1922 in Łódź

She came from a family of assimilated Jewish doctors. Her mother Anna ran a children’s tuberculosis ward in the Warsaw Ghetto’s hospital. In the summer of 1942, during mass deportations to concentration camps she gave the children morphine to spare them the suffering.

Alina studied at a nursing school. On the streets of the ghetto and in her work in the hospital, she would see the results of the debilitating policy of the occupier. The gradual collapse and dehumanization were intended to make it easier for tormentors to carry out mass murder in the near future, gradually planting in them with the idea that they were not dealing with people.

“Tormentors. The word morality does not apply here. Whoever they may be, and whatever their emblem, the tormentors do not know morality. Whatever is human in man is disappearing. There are no rules. Bestiality remains. A young German soldier kills a Jewish infant in the ghetto by smashing his head against a wall,” wrote Alina in her diary.

She would get out of the ghetto several times to the “Aryan side” and participated in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. After the war, she became a pediatrician and actively worked to protect the lives of children in armed conflicts within the organization “Doctors Without Borders”.