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, and children marched to the Umschlagplatz, a holding area, to await deportation to concentration camps, to 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 doctor’s coat. And he would walk into the Umschlagplatz, which was the collection area prior to deportation to a concentration camp, the place no Jewish person wanted to be, and where bullets whizzed by from snipers up above, and he would face Nazi soldiers to convince them that some of the Jewish people weren’t fit for transport. He would take these rescued people to his “hospital.” Where he and his nurses would “bandage” them and, by “ambulance,” take them back into the ghetto.
And his nurses, well, they wore especially wide coats. So they could hide the 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.
Nachum was deported to the Majdanek concentration camp after being captured during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943.
But even there, he spent time with children, doing whatever he could to lift their spirits.
Nachum was killed on November 3rd, 1943.
“Nachum Remba sets up fake hospital to save Jews from deportation in Warsaw” sources: Holocaust Education & Resource Team (https://bit.ly/2EHafBv) / Irena’s Children: A True Story of Courage By Tilar J. Mazzeo. Gallery Books, 2017 / Holocaust Historical Society