Prof Dr Norbert Grzywa

Victim | 1891 | Surgeon

Surgeon and medical practitioner in Bandung

Because of his academic background, Norbert Grzywa stands out in the group of internees and becomes their spokesperson in North Sumatra. In Sibolga harbor a infamous incident takes place, witnessed by many and quoted in several records: Norbert Grzywa dares to confront the military commander overseeing the boarding of the prisoners. Grzywa points out that the ss Van Imhoff is not properly marked with the protective Red Cross whereupon, allegedly, the commanding officer shouts: "The rules of humanity are now thrown overboard" ("De regels der humaniteit zijn nu overboord geworpen").

NOTE: It is odd that the Van Imhoff is not marked with the protective Red Cross flag, as three flags were allowed by the Japanese to evacuate the prisoners. This incident possibly points at the mobilisation of four ships rather than three with the fourth ship (i.e. ss Van Imhoff) travelling unprotected and the third ship travelling with selected NEI citizens. This suspicion is occasionaly raised in the post WWII history writing.

Norbert Grzywa was born in Lemberg (Lvov). He graduates in medicine in Vienna (1919) and specializes in surgery.
He writes several scientific essays in the German and Dutch language and becomes well-known and respected among his colleagues, patients and the general public.

He is also mentioned in a overview article on the application of cosmetic-surgical principles in NEI:

With thanks to Hans van der Linden for his e-mailed contribution (2017)

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