Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Holding on to Humanity

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 20 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5582
  1. Kenneth Collins, research fellow, History of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G46 6RE
  1. drkcollins{at}

When Shamai Davidson (1926-1986) began his groundbreaking work towards understanding the psychological traumas of holocaust survivors in Israel in 1955 he was appalled by the silence and seeming indifference of his psychiatric colleagues. Davidson was born in Dublin but grew up in Scotland, completing his medical studies at the University of Glasgow in 1950. Though living in the security of wartime Glasgow he was acutely aware of the fate of European Jewry and in particular that of his father’s two sisters and all their children, who were to perish at the Treblinka death camp in Nazi occupied …

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