Hospitalizing a Healthy Man to Save Him from the Holocaust

Hospitalizing a Healthy Man to Save Him from the Holocaust

Credit:(Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Photograph #17021)

Dr. Jozo Jagodic

Life: 1897-1973

Why you should know him: Jozo Jagodic was a Croatian doctor who saved the life of a Jewish man by inventing false maladies to keep him hospitalized, while also hiding other Jewish patients to save them from deportation to death camps.

While the Nazis and their evil allies were murdering millions of Jews and others across Europe, there were those who stood for good and the Jewish people, saving many with their selfless actions. One of these was a Croatian doctor named Jozo Jagodic.

A Croatian Jew named Gustav Erenfrajnd took steps to save himself when the Nazis invaded his country in 1941 – converting to Christianity and changing his name. These measures, however, didn’t help him.

On the day that Croatian Jews were to be deported to death camps, a friend of Gustav told him to pretend to be ill. Under Nazi guard, the Jewish man was taken handcuffed to the hospital. There, Dr. Jozo Jagodic diagnosed Gustav with appendicitis, ordering him to undergo immediate surgery. The surgeon informed Dr. Jagodic that the patient was fine, so the kindly doctor began to invent further illnesses.

By creating fake complications, Dr. Jagodic was able to keep Gustav in the hospital from August 1942 until January 1943. During that time, Gustav – who was hidden in the hospital basement and even in doctors’ homes – noticed a group of Jewish women also being sheltered from the Nazis.

After five months, Gustav was able to join a partisan group that fought the Nazis. But it would not have been possible without the heroic actions of Dr. Jozo Jagodic, who was posthumously named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 2002.

Tags: Advocates and Allies

More From Fellowship Blog

Fellowship Blog

Pray with The Fellowship’s Bishop Lanier

During this time, The Fellowship is turning to prayer – and we want to pray for people on the front lines, for people affected by the virus, and for you, too.

Fellowship Blog

New Israelis Zigzag Their Way to Holy Land on Fellowship Freedom Flight

Despite fear and uncertainty during the coronavirus crisis, 31 Brazilian Jews have at last made aliyah with The Fellowship.

Fellowship Blog

Project Spotlight: Emergency Deliveries for Passover

Just before Passover, we’ve mobilized our staff and volunteers to provide emergency deliveries of food boxes to the most vulnerable – Holocaust survivors and elderly.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.