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Gumbel, E. (1958). Dr. Gershon Barag. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:617-619.

(1958). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39:617-619

Dr. Gershon Barag

Erich Gumbel

On 26 May 1957, Dr. Gershon Barag of Tel-Aviv died at the age of 54½ years. In the midst of a rich and industrious life, just about to reap the fruits of three decades of labour and to settle down to a more comfortable way of living, he met his fate, suddenly, cruelly. Feeling a slight feverish indisposition, he did not stop seeing his patients as usual. With the help of acromycin he got rid of the fever, only to feel worse than before, and was confined to bed. The same day his younger child fell ill, evidently with the same virus infection. But as the daughter recovered, Barag was, all of a sudden, stricken with paralysis. At once his own diagnosis was fixed in his mind. He told his wife that he thought he suffered from polyneuritis toxica and that his death was imminent. Watching in full consciousness the paralysis expanding over his whole body, he disbelieved the optimism of his doctor, who held out the prospect of complete recovery. Six days of torment and agony had passed by, when a change for the better seemed to set in. He regained even the use of his voice sufficiently to utter his wife's name, was overjoyed to be understood by her, and fell asleep in a happy mood. In that same night he passed away, a victim to an insidious attack of polyradiculitis (Guillèm-Barré). His death came as a terrible shock to his people, his friends and colleagues, and left the Israel Psycho-Analytical Society bereft of one of its prominent active members.

Barag was born in Russia. But having come to Palestine in his early childhood, he was generally considered a native of that country.

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