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Max Spiro

(1864 - 1934)

doctor of medicine, chemical engineer, painter

Max Spiro was born in Poland. He graduated from Heidelberg University with two diplomas, in chemical engineering and in medicine. At the end of the 19th century he joined the Montefiore draft and went to Palestine with other certified doctors to help the first Jewish settlers. He worked as a doctor and saved many lives; he also suggested an idea to plant eucalyptus woods on the malaria-infected marsh lands, which stopped the epidemic. There in Paletine he got married to Fanni Berman. They moved to Lublin, Poland, where two daughters were born, Tania and Ru. In Lublin Max worked as a chemical engineer and in his free time treated residents of poor Jewish quarters. He would regularly visit their homes, brought toys for children and never took any fees for his services. One day he heard his Polish employer make an anti-Semitic remark. His immediate reaction was to quit. He moved his family to St. Petersburg where he got a job as an engineer at a factory. In the beginning of 1920s he received an official letter from Palestine informing him that for his selfless efforts he was awarded a piece of land and a house. Max decided to leave Russia: he didn't like the Bolsheviks. Max Spiro's grave is at the old Trumpeldor cemetery in Tel-Aviv.

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