Hadassah Rosensaft

Showing incredible courage and ingenuity, Hadassah Bimko Rosensaft saved countless lives in the concentration camps and helped survivors recover from their ordeal. Rosensaft earned a dentistry degree in 1935 from the University of Nancy in France and worked for years as a dentist in her hometown of Sosnowiec before being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. There, she worked in the infirmary under Josef Mengele, saving women by stealing medical supplies, performing rudimentary surgery, and disguising women’s injuries to avoid sending them to the gas chambers. After transport to Bergen-Belsen in 1944, she tended a barracks full of 150 children, helping many survive the war. Two days after the camp’s liberation in 1945, she was appointed head of the doctors and nurses working to save the survivors from disease and malnutrition. Later that year, she was a key witness in the trial of the first Nazi war criminals. She spent the next five years as head of the health department for the Central Committee of Liberated Jews and the only female member of the senior leadership of the She’erit ha-Pletah, the community of survivors. In 1978 she was appointed to President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on the Holocaust and spent the next sixteen years working to create the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Topics: Holocaust, Medicine

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A concentration camp survivor credited with saving the lives of thousands of Holocaust victims both during and after the war, and dedicated to preserving the memory of those who perished, Dr. Hadassah Bimko Rosensaft embodied the Jewish essence of the Holocaust in both its tragic and heroic dimensions.

Institution: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Hadassah Rosensaft." (Viewed on June 13, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/rosensaft-hadassah>.


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