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Origins of the Para-Olympics now going on in London.

I had always thought it was Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Turns out it was Dr Ludwig Guttman, a Jewish (hey, who could tell??? Wink ) refugee who ran the Spinal Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital during and after WW2.

An incredibly gruff, demanding doctor who believed in tough love long before the concept was named. He wouldn't accept the patients' understandable depression and withdrawal, introducing first darts then snooker, then other competitions leading to wheel chair races and wheelchair football (soccer) and other sports. The Stoke Mandeville Games have been run since 1947 or 48.

There was video of him approaching a patient lying in bed saying "I understand thet you're not very hopeful for your future."
"There isn't one." the patient replied.
"Come along, none of that!" said Dr. Guttman sharply.

In retrospect the patients recognized that there was a great humanity and a great desire for the patient's own welfare behind the rough treatment. But only in retrospect. He was almost certainly reviled and vilified in the wards, and probably by his staff as well with whom he was a very hard taskmaster. But he never lacked for Doctors looking to do Fellowships to learn his methods, or staff looking to work with him.

Many thanks to Hitler in giving the Allies all those superb scientists and doctors (and soldiers and technicians and people in general who were a major gain for the British and American economies) his downfall was assured. The Manhattan project originated from an idea by Leo Szillard, a Hungarian physicist, and Eugene Wigner.

"In August 1939, prominent physicists Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner drafted the Einstein-Szilard letter, which warned of the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type". It urged the United States to take steps to acquire stockpiles of uranium ore and accelerate the research of Enrico Fermi and others into nuclear chain reactions."
Szilard, Wigner and Edward Teller were all Jewish Refugees. source Wikipedia Manhattan Project.

There were thousands of others, despite the dreadful record in the US and Canada of blocking Jewish refugees before and throughout the war. The scientists only got in through the intervention of large numbers of American scientists on their behalf, or via England, whose record was not great, but was better than the other countries. France was moderately better than England but turned out to be unsafe.

Rob

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