I will not all die – the revolt of the ghetto doctors

Based on a film by Tal Michael

The documentary “Non-Omnis Moriar” recounts the remarkable story of the Warsaw ghetto doctors who, despite facing insurmountable challenges during the Holocaust, established an impressive medical system that operated round the clock and catered to the needs of the ghetto population. The medical system, which included nearly 800 doctors, distinguished scientists, and trained nurses, functioned under abysmal conditions of overcrowding, disease, and ghetto lockdown. The Film concentrates on  two remarkable initiatives that the ghetto doctors set up – an underground medical faculty and a groundbreaking study on the Hunger Disease – that have become icons of medical resistance during the Holocaust.

The underground medical faculty, established in 1941 in defiance of Nazi decrees, provided training to over 500 medical students who relocated to the ghetto. A number of professors and doctors, in collaboration with the head of the Judenrat health system, Dr. Israel Milejkovsky, prepared a curriculum for the 500 medical students who was forced to move to the ghetto. The studies took place in any condition and in any weather, secretly and under constant threat of death. Despite constant threats to their lives, the students and their teachers served the ghetto population, which numbered around 450,000 people at the time and was plagued by malnutrition, typhoid, and various illnesses.

As deaths in the ghetto escalated, the doctors embarked on a research project to understand the “hunger disease,” a condition that manifested differently in various ghetto residents. Their objective was twofold – to fathom why the disease presented differently and to find a cure for it.The research was conducted with great accuracy and attention to detail, and the findings remain revolutionary to this day. In 1942, Dr. Israel Milejkowski successfully smuggled the research out of the ghetto, and it was later published by Polish doctors after the war.

The documentary features first-hand testimonies of those who survived the Holocaust and participated in the underground faculty and the hunger study, bringing to light an untold story of defiance by some of the brightest and most compassionate minds during the Holocaust.

The documentary is a tribute to their bravery and ingenuity and a reminder of the power of humanity to resist even in the most adverse circumstances.

Directors: Duby Kroitoru, Udi Miron

Script: Irit Lechter

Research: Irit Lechter, Dan Reva, Keren Asaf, Haim Cohen

Producers: Udi Miron, Duby Kroitoru, Sasha Kermintzer, Karin Atdegi

Production company: 2shot Films and Mia Communications

Editing: Itay Finkelstein / Sharon Elovik / Steve Saban

Filming: Shalom Rufaisen

Animation: Avi. Katz and Yoel Froelich

Soundtrack: Aviv aldema

Music : Ran Bagno

75 minutes | Israel, Poland | 2023 | Hebrew, English, Polish

Produced by
  • Kan – Israeli Public Broadcasting Corp