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April 25, 1975 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-04-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, April 25, 1975 19

Developer of Plague Vaccine Remembered

EDYTHE LUTZKER

Editor's note: the fol-
lowing article is based on
material submitted by Ed-
ythe Lutzker of New York,
who has traveled five con-
tinents to gather bio-
graphical material about
Dr. Waldemar Haffkine,
one of the world's most
prominent microbiolo-
gists.
It is ironic that a Jewish
scientist developed vaccines
for cholera and bubonic
plague, and that so little is

Women's JNF Auction Nears

Young. Women of Jewish president; and standing,
National Fund officers dis- from left: Kay Wolin, trea-
play some of the articles to surer; Myrna Dosie, vice
be auctioned at the group's president; and Sandra For-
fourth annual luncheon- man, fund-raising chair-
auction 11:30 a.m. May .8 in man. Not shown are Rissa
the Community Bank and Winkelman, vice president;
Trust Community Hall, and Debbie Yashinsky,
30900 Telegraph, Birming- ticket co-chairman. For
ham. Proceeds will benefit a tickets, call Ms. Wolin,
recreation base near Kiryat ticket chairman, 851-1010;
Shemona. Shown are or Ms. Yashinsky, 352-3358.
seated: Vicky Buckfire,

Dr. Cabot Leads Michigan Dentists

Dr. Joseph Cabot of Lath-
rup Village was installed as
president of the Michigan
Dental Association Tues-
day, during the Associa-
tion's annual scientific and
business meeting in Detroit.
Dr. Cabot has been a
member of the MDA board
of trustees since 1967. He is
a graduate of the University
of Michigan School of Den-
tistry and has specialized in
pedodontics (children's den-
tistry) since 1947.
Locally, he is a member of
the United Community
Service Assembly, and, with
the Selective Service Sys-
tem, is an appeal board
chairman, dental advisor,
and a member of the na-
tional medical advisory
committee. He is a member
of the Lions Club and PTA.
His professional leader-
ship has included the presi-
dency of the Michigan So-

I

DR. JOSEPH CABOT

ciety of Dentistry for
Children, Detroit District
Dental Society and Detroit
District Dental Society
Foundation, Delta Dental
Plan of Michigan, Detroit
Aid and the Kenneth A.
Easlick Graduate Society.

Men's Clubs

TEMPLE EMANU-EL
BROTHERHOOD will
have its annual paid-up-
membership dinner and
election night 7 p.m. Thurs-
day in the temple. Cocktails
will be served at 6:30. Bari-
tone Garth Taylor will en-
tertain. There is a charge.
For reservations, by Sun-
day, call. Dick Blumberg,

543-7412, or Jack Golds,
557-2511.
* * *

BETH MOSES MEN'S
CLUB will hear Lou Miller,
deputy ombudsman of the
city of Detroit, 9:30 a.m.
Sunday in the synagogue.
For information, call the
synagogue, 535-4434.

known about the man to-
day.
After hundreds of years
of pogroms in Europe,
where Jews were blamed for
the outbreaks of epidemics
as poisoners Of wells, Dr.
Waldemar Haffkine, a Rus-
sian Orthodox Jew working
in British India before the
turn of the century, devel-
oped vaccines for the two
dreaded diseases.
Under the influence of his
zoology professor and
friend, Elie Metchnikoff,
later a Nobel Laureate,
Haffkine was inspired with
the desire to devote his life
to science. Metchnikoff
went to Ur Pasteur Insti-
tute in Paris at Pasteur's in-
vitation and in 1889 Haff-
kine joined him there.
At the Institute, Haff-
kine created the first suc-
cessful anti-cholera vac-
cine in 1892, testing it on
himself rather than expose
other humans to the risk.
He reported results to the
Biological Society of Paris
and was warmly congratu-
lated.
Haffkine chose Bengal as
his testing ground for the
vaccine under epidemic con-
ditions. From 1893 to 1895
he travelled from village to
village in two horse-drawn
carriages, assisted by two
doctors and some laboratory
assistants, working without
pay. They were hampered
by official and popular pre-
judices.
His sense of dedication to
the people won their confid-
ence. By that time, 42,000
persons were inoculated,
two-thirds of them receiving
two injections. The death
rate had been reduced by 72
percent.
In September, 1896, ru-
mors reached Bengal that
bubonic plague had struck
Bombay, accompanied by
the usual newspaper deni-
als.
He was transferred to
Bombay, and in three
months created the first
anti-plague vaccine in his-
tory, and on Jan. 10,
1897, he had himself inocu-
lated in secret, with a dose
four times larger than was
later used. The principal of
the College was present as a
witness.
On June 22, 1897, Queen
Victoria made him a Com-
panion of the Order of the
Indian Empire.
The Bombay Bacteriologi-
cal Laboratory which he
initiated in 1896, became
the Plague Research Labo-
ratory and Haffkine was ap-
pointed director-in-chief.
It had to be enlarged
several times to meet the
growing world-wide de-
mand for anti-cholera and
anti-plague vaccines. Be-
fore the final move, the
Aga Khan _gave him the
use of Kushroo Lodge, one
of the largest he owned,
for his laboratory free of
charge.
In 1915, at the compul-
sory retirement age of 55,
Haffkine left India after
having spent 22 years there.
Ten years later, the Plague
Research Laboratory was
renamed the Haffkine Insti-
tute and to this day func-
tions under that name.

SEND FOR BOOKLET
Honoring 1776
and
Famous Jews
in
American History
Exciting accounts of Jew-
ish patriots in the creation
and shaping of the nation.
_Valuable reading for all
ages. SEND 50(t (NO
STAMPS PLEASE) TO:
Jewish Patriots, Box 4488,
Grand Central Station,
N.Y., N.Y. 10017

DR. WALDEMAR HAFFKINE

Haffkine's scientific pap-
ers in French, English and
Russian number more than
35, excluding translations of
botany and zoology text-
books from Norwegian and
German into Russian.
The Haffkine flask was
designed by him and he de-
veloped by cross-breeding
experimental white mice
still called "Haffkine's
mice."
A year before his death in
1930 he created the Haff-
kine Foundation with his
life's savings of $500,000,
the interest to be distrib-
uted to the yeshivot of East-
ern Europe.
He suggested that scien-
tific and vocational educa-
tion be added to the usual
studies in traditional Juda-
ism.

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