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The suicide of Adam Czerniakow
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 09:46 authored by Walter, G, Saxby PridmoreSaxby Pridmore
Objective: The aim of this article is to describe the circumstances surrounding the suicide of Adam Czerniakow during the Holocaust. Method: Examination of Czerniakow ï¿½ s (translated) diary and other Holocaust literature. Results : Head of the ï¿½ Judenrat ï¿½ (Jewish Council) in the Warsaw ghetto, Czerniakow had the impossible task of obeying oppressive German orders, while trying to serve and protect his people. Following instruction to have ready for deportation from the ghetto several thousand Jews each day, Czerniakow took his life. Although Czerniakow may not have known the precise destination of those deported (they were sent to death camps), he is believed to have held grave fears for their fate. Conclusions: Suicide in the context of avoiding having to perform an unacceptable task is not commonly recorded, but may have applied in Czerniakow ï¿½ s case and was not infrequent among Judenrat members.
Publication titleAustralasian Psychiatry
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2011 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists