Loth Edward

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Story of Rescue - Loth Edward

Edward Loth was a professor of anatomy at the University of Warsaw as well as a specialist of balneology and orthopedics. He founded the first Poland’s modern Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Warsaw. He had a wife Jadwiga, also a doctor, and a daughter Helena.

In 1939, during the siege of Warsaw he was a commander of the 1st District Hospital which was transferred to the University of Warsaw. He was also responsible for the network of additional hospitals. In the first months of the German occupation he created the Centre for Instructing Invalides which was located in the Ujazdowski Hospital in which Polish wounded soldiers were rehabilitated. In the same period he led the National Prosthesis Factory on Kujawska Street 1.

Professor Loth was a co-organiser of the underground medicine teaching, also in the Warsaw Ghetto. Between 1940 and 1944, he was a member of the Council of the Faculty of Medicine of the Underground University of Warsaw and examined students in correct anatomy. In the period from 1941 until 1944, he was a lecturer at the Zaorski School and at the Secret University of Western Lands.

Under conspiratorial nickname “Gozdawa” he was a member of the health management of the Home Army Headquarters. He was imprisoned twice in the Pawiak prison (in 1939 and 1943) for his underground activity.

Professor was directly involved in helping Jews. Due to his efforts, the Warsaw Ghetto was left by his friend, Dr Ludwik Stabholz. Professor personally brought him false documents to the ghetto for the name of Bolesław Desidewicz. He wrote in the documents that Desidewicz was wounded in the fighting fought in the Third Reich. Still in the ghetto Professor Loth put a plaster bandage on Stabholz’s leg. A week before the uprising in the ghetto, Ludwik Stabholz was smuggled to the “Aryan side”, where his wife and his mother were waiting for him in a rented apartment. Due to the constantly impending danger, the family was taken to the Miłosna village near Warsaw. In the spring of 1944 Dr Stabholz and his wife escaped to the region of Lviv, where he joined the engineering battalion of the Red Army which was building a bridge over the Vistula River.

In the Warsaw Uprising Professor Loth, as a lieutenant colonel, served as a main doctor of the 5th Circuit (Mokotów) of the Warsaw District of the Home Army. After the bombing of the Hospital of Sisters of Staint Elizabeth on Goszczyńskiego Street 1, where Professor worked as the hospital’s head, he moved some of the wounded to a villa on Wejnerta Street. His courage and resourcefulness helped to reduce the dramatic effect of the evacuation of the wounded, and to create a network of alternative hospitals in a short time.

On 15 September 1944 r, on the day of intensive bombing of the Mokotów district, he went to the villa on Wejnerta Street to meet his wife Jadwiga. When entering the building, a bomb fell on this two-storey town house, burying the professor together with his wife and daughter under the rubble. After his exhumation in 1945, Professor Loth's body was buried at the Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw.

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Bibliography

  • Łyskanowski Marcin, Stapiński Andrzej, Śródka Andrzej, Dzieje nauczania medycyny i farmacji w Warszawie (1789-1950), Warszawa 1990
  • Urbanek Bożena red., Słownik biograficzny polskich nauk medycznych XX wieku, Warszawa 1996
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2293