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    Lina Stern

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    August 26, 1878 – March 7, 1968

    The Soviet military lost over 10 million soldiers during World War II. If not for Lisa Stern, it would have been more.

    Stern was born in what is now Latvia, but was educated in Switzerland, where she became the first female professor at the University of Geneva. In 1925, the made the fateful choice to emigrate to the Soviet Union.

    Stern was a pioneer researcher on the blood-brain barrier, the membrane that separates, well, blood from the brain. It was that work that helped saved thousands of lives during the war: Stern's discoveries were used to treat wounded soldiers to prevent shock and brain disease.

    So, how did the Soviet Union repay Stern? In 1949, she was arrested and sentenced to death (later reduced to prison and exile). Her crime? She was a Jew.

    We're not exactly shocked.

    Verdict: Jew.

    September 18, 2017

    See Also

    Paul Ehrlich

    Waldemar Haffkine

    Karl Landsteiner

    Ilya Mechnikov

    Grunya Sukhareva
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