The Polish Schindler
Dr. Eugene Lazowski (1913 – December 16, 2006) was a Polish medical doctor who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust by creating a fake epidemic. Thanks to a medical discovery by his friend, Dr Stanislav Matulewicz, Lazowski created a fake outbreak of Epidemic Typhus, a dangerous infectious disease. Matulewicz discovered that by injecting a healthy person with a “vaccine” of killed bacteria, that person would test positive for Epidemic Typhus without experiencing the symptoms. Lazowski spread it in and around the town of Rozwadów (now a district of Stalowa Wola), which the Germans then quarantined. This saved an estimated 8,000 Polish Jews from certain death in German concentration camps during the Holocaust.
The Germans were weary of Epidemic Typhus because it was highly contagious. While Jews who tested positive for typhus were normally executed by the Nazis, the doctors injected the non-Jewish population in neighborhoods surrounding the ghettos, knowing that a possibility of widespread outbreak inside would cause Germans to abandon and quarantine the area instead.