My college history professor is discussing WWII with us currently and we got on the topic of the Holocaust. She was talking about the struggles those at the concentration camps faced and it made me interested to know more information about the type ones that were sent to the concentration camps. I did a quick google search of “type one diabetes in the holocaust” and the biggest search result was about this man named Ernest Sterzer. Let me tell y’all, he is my new role model. He had a camera bag with a few vials of insulin and a few needles on the train to the concentration camp but lost it and went into a coma after not receiving insulin for 3 days. He was sent to the hospital due to his unconsciousness and the doctor lied saying he was ill due to a swollen leg but would be better. He tried to sneak him insulin but it got taken away by the guards within the same day. He somehow was able to get insulin snuck to him at the concentration camps but only received it every 3 days and had to trade his bread for the medication. He was also only checked once a day. He could barely walk but somehow was able to run away to the nearest American soldiers while his guard was not present. They got him medical attention and he had to take 100 UNITS of insulin to bring his sugars down. He became blind because of the damage of being too high for too long, but he survived. This man felt absolutely horrible, yet somehow managed to persevere through the incredible pain and illness he felt to survive. I have obtained so much respect for him by reading about him. If he can survive through that and go on with life after how horrible he felt and after all the things he went through, then I am absolutely positive I can do the same after having a bad day of being 400. He is so inspiring and makes me put into perspective that a bad day is okay and things could be A LOT worse. I’m sure some of you have already heard his story, but I just wanted to share for those who haven’t and maybe provide the same inspiration for them as he has for me.
I had not heard this story, at least not that I remember. Thanks for posting! It’s good to put things in perspective. When I’m feeling frustrated, I often think of those who were diagnosed before the discovery of insulin. Makes the day I’ve had (currently sitting at 19 mmol/L) seem not so bad at all.
Thanks for sharing this story! It’s all about the “will to live”. If you have the will to live and a positive attitude, it’s amazing how much pain and suffering the human body is capable of withstanding. Thanks for the lesson! Truly remarkable man.
I learned about this on a dLife TV episode, and was so amazed.
On another forum, one member shared her story of getting insulin, while being hidden during occupation in france. Her story is here.
Many members here knew her though the forum.
what an amazing story! I am so glad that you posted it. Sad but also so inspiring!