Back to Blood (German Edition)

Should we pay people for donating blood?
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During the I World War Hirszfeld according to his memoir was rather engaged in fighting voluntarily plague in the Balcans then researching blood purity theory. Finally one of the main topic of his memoir is about researching blood samples from various geographical areas not to support purity blood theory but to challenge its credibility.

Ludwik Hirszfeld was a very dissent person and should be treated with great respect by journalists and scientists. So a journalist writing about him and about a book about his work should in the first place get to know his own account of what he was doing as a scientist and a man. Comment by professors Jacek M. The article mixes facts with falses leaving the impression about Professor Ludwik Hirszfeld, one of the founders of modern Polish serology and immunology, being the conscious and willing source of scientific basics for Nazi [ This unjust defamation to the scientist is clearly not true and requires clarification.

Hirszfeld was born in Poland in Polish-assimilated Jewish family and he considered himself a Pole throughout life.

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This is in straight opposition to Thadeusz's calling Hirszfeld "the German doctor" and including him among … "German scientists who were propagating theories about blood purity". However, his links with German science were evidently tight, starting from his work with his mentor Emil von Dungern; they discovered together the red blood cells groups. Following his interest in the distribution of the blood groups in different populations, during World War I Hirszfeld and his wife gathered blood samples of willing and consenting soldiers from the multinational Army of Orient not the POWs as stated in the Thadeusz's article!

Neither in that nor in any other of Hirszfeld's publications there was any statement linking the blood groups with qualifiers of personality; also, the term "blood purity" was never used. The author did not draw the conclusion, which of the two opinions is correct, while Hirszfeld's attitude to Hitler was extremely negative and well accentuated ['The story of one life' by L. Hirszfeld, English edition issued by the University of Rochester Press already in , available on Amazon is a must read for anybody interested in his life and discovery in order to attain an unbiased view.

Thadeusz does not provide any evidence for his defaming statements: "It was the Hirszfelds, who laid the foundation for this fanaticism with their blood group study"and "Hirszfeld and other blood researchers of the Nazi era considered it self-evident that various blood groups were indications of inferior or superior racial characteristics". Certainly, several German scientists paved the way for such thinking, but Hirszfeld had never expressed such point of view, nor had any intention to stimulate Nazi geneticists; this is the nonobjective, prejudiced idea.

We do not suspect that Mr.

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The article by Frank Thadeusz offends the memory of Ludwik Hirszfeld by implying racist motivations to his research. The results of the Ludwik and Hanna Hirszfeld study published in The Lancet in laid the foundations — [ The results of the Ludwik and Hanna Hirszfeld study published in The Lancet in laid the foundations — according to the author — for the development of Nazi theories on "blood purity" and the superiority of the German race.

In addition the author states that "Ludwik and Hanna Hirszfeld had begun spreading dubious theories in the s, for which he presents no evidence. Today more than 30 types of bood groups are known and the discovery of each new group raises interest as to its frequency in various populations. In view of this, the fascination of Ludwik Hirszfeld is totally understandable: he was able years ago to test the frequency among different ethnicities of the only ABO blood groups known at the time in a population of several thousand soldiers from different parts of the world who were located in the Balkans during the war.

In this landmark study that in fact opened the field of human population genetics he established that the frequency of the groups A, B, AB and O varies among different populations. However neither in the Lancet publication nor later did Hirszfeld ever state that one blood group was "better" than the other, nor did he ever use the expression "blood purity".

On the contrary, many documents, including his autobiography The Story of One Life written during the German occupation, do attest of his deeply negative opinion and courageous attitude towards racism and nazism. The author of Der Spiegel article did not mention that the reason for the Hirszfelds' decision to stay in the Balkans was to fight the epidemics, which in fact they did with much success saving thousands of lives in difficult wartime circumstances. According to the author of Der Spiegel article, one of the proofs of the "guilt" of Hirszfeld was his use of the word "race" when speaking of people.

We should remember, however, that this was years ago when the word "race" did not yet have a pejorative conotation. The existence of various populations is a fact and racism is only the conviction that one race is superior to another. A racist attitude cannot be found in any of the publications or statements of Hirszfeld.

Ludwik Hirszfeld was an outstanding Polish scientist, the teacher of many adepts of science and he was characterized by a rare kindness towards people regardless of their origins, education or economic status. He also contributed much to the prevention and battle against bacterial infections not only during the First World War but also in the interwar period in Poland. He continued his activities after the Second World War which he survived thanks to his and his family's escape from the Warsaw Ghetto with the help of relatives and friends.

Thus, presenting Ludwik and Hanna Hirszfeld as precursors of racism is based on absolutely false premises. Comment by Dr. Kielbasinska, biochemist,Dr. Kielbasinski, prof. Balinska, Dr.

Bruner, Dr. Balinski, Ecole Polytechnique, Dr.

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Schneider, Indiana Univ. This article, based on the book Reines und gemischtes blut by Dr.

Spoerri, is mostly devoted to the work of Ludwik and Hanna Hirszfeld, two doctors who studied human blood groups during World War I. Many statements are entirely [ Many statements are entirely wrong and the article is defamatory with regard to the memory of two exceptional scientists.

Our letter, prepared by relatives the Hirszfelds, addresses only the most glaring of the article's false allegations. First, Ludwik Hirszfeld is mentioned as "a German doctor".

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Born in Russian-occupied Poland, Hirszfeld — who considered himself Polish — was at the time serving in the Serbian army. While it is true that he studied medicine in Germany, he became a Polish citizen after when Poland became an independent country. Hanna Hirszfeld is mentioned only as his wife, even though she too was a medical doctor, also serving in the Serbian army, and a scientist in her own right.

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The use of "races" to describe human populations may shock today. But in the 's the expression was common and did not necessarily have a "racist" connotation. The populations studied by the Hirszfelds are classified as either "races" or "nationalities" in their landmark Lancet paper that opened the field of human population genetics.

The second error is the statement that "Hirszfeld approached these languid POWs with a needle" The implication is that prisoners of war were used without their consent.

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However, these soldiers were Allied troops and thus not prisoners. How much blood you have depends mostly on your size and weight. A man who weighs about 70 kg about pounds has about 5 to 6 liters of blood in his body. Blood has three important functions:. The blood transports oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body, where it is needed for metabolism.

The carbon dioxide produced during metabolism is carried back to the lungs by the blood, where it is then exhaled. Blood also provides the cells with nutrients, transports hormones and removes waste products, which the liver, the kidneys or the intestine, for example, then get rid of. The blood helps to keep certain values of the body in balance. For instance, it makes sure that the right body temperature is maintained. This is done both through blood plasma, which can absorb or give off heat, as well as through the speed at which the blood is flowing.

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When the blood vessels expand, the blood flows more slowly and this causes heat to be lost. When the environmental temperature is low the blood vessels can contract, so that as little heat as possible is lost. Even the so-called pH value of the blood is kept at a level ideal for the body. The pH value tells us how acidic or alkaline a liquid is. A constant pH value is very important for bodily functions. If a blood vessel is damaged, certain parts of the blood clot together very quickly and make sure that a scrape, for instance, stops bleeding.

This is how the body is protected against losing blood.

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White blood cells and other messenger substances also play an important role in the immune system. The blood plasma is a light yellow liquid. Blood plasma also contains electrolytes, vitamins and nutrients such as glucose and amino acids. The rest are pale or colorless white blood cells leukocytes and platelets thrombocytes.

Red blood cells look like discs with indentations on top and on the bottom. Red blood cells have no nucleus, in contrast to many other cells. Each red blood cell contains hemoglobin, which can transport oxygen. In tiny blood vessels in the lung the red blood cells pick up oxygen from inhaled air and carry it through the bloodstream to all parts of the body.

When they reach their goal, they release it again. The cells need oxygen for metabolism, which also creates carbon dioxide as a waste product. The red blood cells then pick up the carbon dioxide and transport it back to the lung. There we exhale it when we breathe out.