Nachum Remba sets up fake hospital to save Jews from deportation in Warsaw

Nachum Remba

Nachum Remba stood tall, always calm, always smiling. He came from a theatrical family where he developed a jokester personality, which with his dry sense of humor, he used to make people laugh. People described him as thoughtful and kind, a stubborn optimist. And what he wanted most was to help others.

Nachum lived in the Warsaw ghetto. Where he watched men, women, children marched to the Umschlagplatz, a holding area to await deportation to concentration camps, to a nearly certain death.

He grew tired of just watching. So along with others, he set up a fake hospital. Where he wore a long white doctors coat. And he would walk into the Umschlagplatz, the very place no Jewish person wanted to be, where bullets whizzed by from snipers up above, and he would face Nazi soldiers to convince them that some of the Jews weren’t fit for transport. He would take these rescued Jews to his “hospital.” Where he and his nurses would “bandage” them and by “ambulance” take them back in to the ghetto.

And his nurses, well they wore especially wide coats. So they could hide children they were rescuing. They would chloroform the kids to keep them quiet during rescues.

The hospital was open for just a few weeks. But in that time they saved two to three hundred people.

Soon his time for deportation came. He was deported to the Majdanek concentration camp. And even there he spent time with children, doing whatever he could to lift their spirits.

Nachum was killed on November 3rd, 1943.

Sources:, Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo