The Lviv Hospitals in September 1939 Cover Image

Lwowskie szpitale we wrześniu 1939 roku
The Lviv Hospitals in September 1939

Author(s): Paweł Naleźniak
Subject(s): History
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Lviv hospitals; World War II; Polish-German fighting; bombardment

Summary/Abstract: Before the outbreak of World War II, there were eight hospitals in Lviv. After receiving news of the German aggression, two additional hospitals were set up in the specially adapted school buildings. In September 1939 all hospitals went through a difficult time as from the very first day of the war, the city had been systematically bombarded by the Luftwaffe. The situation deteriorated even further when on 12 September, the city found itself directly on the front line. From that moment onwards, for nine consecutive days Lviv had been the target of attacks both from the air and the land; fierce Polish-German fighting led to the death of many soldiers and civilians. The number of wounded reached several thousand. In view of the unsuccessful attempt to evacuate the wounded by an ambulance train, it became necessary to ensure suitable help to them on the spot. During those difficult days the work of doctors, nurses, paramedics and orderlies deserves the highest of praises. They fulfilled their duties both on the front-line and in hospitals deprived of window-panes, water, electricity with the growing shortages of medicines, food, dressings and aseptic materials. In the midst of bombardment, the drama of death and injuries, as well as depression caused by the Soviet aggression, these people persevered until the end. In spite of total exhaustion, they did not refuse their care and services to anyone, including the wounded enemy soldiers. They did not abandon their patients even after the surrender of the city, ensuring to them safe shelter, as well as further care and assistance on the way to their family homes. Up until now the research studies devoted to the defense of Lviv in September 1939 have focused chiefly on its military aspects, while relatively little space has been devoted to the plight of the civilian population. As yet no one has even tried to characterize, however briefly the work of hospitals, give an estimate of the number of convalescents and especially those who were not lucky enough to survive. The present publication constitutes the first such attempt undertaken in the hope that the discovery of new, still unknown sources and documents will one day allow one to create a more comprehensive study.

  • Issue Year: 139/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 181-219
  • Page Count: 39
  • Language: Polish