Gisella Perl

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Gisella Perl (1907 - 1988) was a Jewish gynecologist who lived in Sighetu Marmaţiei, Romania (at the time Máramarossziget, Hungary due to the Second Vienna Award), until 1944 when the Nazis invaded Hungary and deported its Jewish population.

She was deported along with her family to Auschwitz concentration camp, where she lost both her husband and only son as well as her extended family and parents. She was given the task of working as a doctor within the camp, helping the inmates through their disease and discomfort, which she had to do without the bare necessities: antiseptic, clean wipes, even running water. She is most famous, however, for saving the lives of hundreds of women by aborting their pregnancies, as pregnant women were often beaten and killed or used by Dr. Josef Mengele for vivisections.[1]

After leaving Bergen-Belsen, her final destination, she found out both her husband and son had died. She tried to poison herself and was sent to recuperate in a convent in France until 1947. Upon her arrival in New York City (March 1947), she was interrogated upon suspicion of being of assistance to the Nazi doctors of Auschwitz in carrying out human rights abuses. She was finally granted citizenship in 1951. She began work as a gynecologist in New York's Mount Sinai Hospital and delivered around 3,000 babies in New York alone, becoming an expert in infertility treatment.

In June 1948, she published the story of her life in Auschwitz, detailing the horrors she encountered there (being an inmate doctor). She was later reunited with her daughter, Gabriella Krauss Blattman, whom she managed to hide during the war, and they both moved to live in Herzliya, Israel. She died in Israel in 1988.


Dr. Perl was sole author or coauthor of nine papers dealing with vaginal infections published between 1955 and 1972.

In June 1948, she published the story of her life in Auschwitz, detailing the horrors she encountered there as an inmate doctor.

Perl, Dr. Gisella I was a doctor in Auschwitz ISBN 0-405-12300-0

In 2003, a film entitled Out of the Ashes was released. It was based upon the story of Dr. Perl's life, and starred Christine Lahti as Dr. Perl.


  1. ^ Brozan, Nadine. Out of Death, a Zest for Life. New York Times, November 15, 1982

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