Germany’s Federal Health Minister apologized last week for the treatment of Jewish doctors during Nazi-era Germany.
On a visit to the Jewish Hospital in Berlin, Herman Gröhe said “the participation of German doctors during the 1930s, in excluding their fellow (Jewish) doctors from the German Medical Association, was an utter disgrace.”
Accompanying Minister Grohe on his visit to the hospital in the Wedding district of Berlin, were the vice-chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees and Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, the Berlin Jewish community rabbi and a Chabad Lubavitch emissary in the city.
Minister Grohe addressed an audience attending the traditional Jewish New Year’s ceremony held at the hospital.
He praised the hospital’s doctors and nursing staff, noting that “in this complicated district, you are doing extraordinary work. The Jewish Hospital in Berlin is an example of a high standard of treatment which holds the values of quality and excellence at its core.”
Rabbi Teichtal led the audience in a prayer for the New Year, before offering his own praise for the hospital.
“Saving a life is the most sublime act one can do, for we are taught by the Talmud that ‘he who saves a single life, saves the entire world.’ Therefore, this is not just a hospital, but a sacred house as well,” Rabbi Teichtal stated.
The Jewish Hospital in Berlin was established in the 1880s through charitable donations from the Jewish community of Berlin. The hospital is celebrating its 260th anniversary this year.