Tag Archives: Stalin

Shostakovich, shrapnel, and chronic poliomyelitis

Michael Yafi Houston Texas, United States   Illustration by Elena Toponogova Pianist, London, U.K The life of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has fascinated artists, musicologists, and physicians who have tried to make a connection between his medical history and musical repertoire. Having once said, “When I hear about someone else’s pain, I feel pain too,” Shostakovich […]

The 1918 Pandemic—the collective story versus the personal narrative

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   U.S. Army Field Hospital No. 29, Hollerich, Luxembourg Interior view- Influenza ward. Copyright Statement: The National Library of Medicine believes this item to be in the public domain. Stalin’s claim that a “single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”1 reverberates at a time when the world […]

Embalming Vladimir Lenin

One of the last photographs of Lenin with his sister and one of his doctors. May 15th 1923. Photo by Maria Ulyanova. Via Wikimedia. In 1997, two years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ilya Zbarsky wrote a book about embalming the body of Vladimir Lenin, a process in which both he and his […]

Norman Bethune’s mobile blood transfusions

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Canadian Blood Transfusion Unit which operated during the Spanish Civil War. Dr. Norman Bethune is at the right. ca. 1936 – 1937 / Spain. From the Library and Archives Canada. Public Domain. Norman Bethune was born in Ontario’s cottage country in 1895 to missionary parents who influenced him to […]