Nahariya's 19th Conference on Medicine and the Holocaust, in cooperation with the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum, Azrieli Faculty of Medicine Bar Ilan University, Israel's Medical Association (IMA), the Western Galilee Academic College and Israel's Society for the History of Medicine, was held at Galilee Medical Center (GMC) on May 15th. The annual conference examines and commemorates enlightening perspectives relating to medicine and the Holocaust and gives voice to the mantra "never again."

Prof. Shaul M. Shasha, conference chairman and GMC's previous general director, initiated the annual conference nineteen years ago to foster knowledge about medicine during the Holocaust, promote awareness of the needs of the survivors and their descendants and to review ethical lessons of the past in order to apply them to our own time.  Following Prof. Shasha's opening comments, greetings and remarks were also given by Dr. Masad Barhoum, CEO, Galilee Medical Center, Prof. Karl Skorecki, Dean, The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Miriam Offer, Western Galilee College, The Holocaust Studies Program, Mr. Yigal Cohen – Director General, Ghetto Fighters Museum and his Excellence The Ambassador of Poland to Israel – Honorable Marek Magierowski. Also, during the conference, there was a special exhibition of paintings that commemorate the Holocaust by Bothaina Halabi, a Druze artist.

A highlight was the presentation of a special award to Galilee Medical Center by Yigal Cohen, Director of the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum, for the hospital's humanitarian medical care to about 3,000 Syrian casualties in their time of need during 2013 - 2018, in accordance with the decision of Israel's government.

This year the three conference sessions were: "Medical Aspects of Survivors and their Descendants," "From Disease and Destruction to Growth in Israel," and "War, Combatants and Ethics."
Issues raised at previous Nahariya conferences have been used by the Dorner Committee, by Israeli courts to discuss and determine survivors' claims, and they have been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Health which then made provisions for diagnosis and adequate compensation to survivors. As in the previous years, the conference gave participants new and enlightening perspectives relating to medicine and the Holocaust.

Our thanks to all the researchers and lecturers who gathered from near and far to share with us their valuable studies and research.

Photos: Eli Cohen