Pioneers

Ernest Sterzer

Ernest Sterzer
Name:
Ernest Sterzer
Date of birth:
April 28, 1925
Hometown:
Vienna, Austria
Diabetes Type:
Type 1

Ernest Sterzer is the only reported case of somebody with type 1 diabetes surviving the Holocaust in World War II.

Sterzer, who was born in Vienna, Austria, first arrived at the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia in October 1942.

Sterzer had to steal bread from a bakery to trade for insulin to keep him alive for two years.

Sterzer later moved to three different camps: Auschwitz, Heinkel Werke and Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen. During the travel, he went for days without insuli, and eventually developed complications including a mastoid and paralysis of the gum sail.

Sterzer eventually escaped during a death march, finding two American soldiers who provided him with medical treatment. Upon returning to Vienna, no insulin was available, with the concentration camps among the only places insulin would have been accessible to Sterzer.

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