NYMC Faculty Publications


"This is a Christian Institution and We Will Tolerate No Jews Here": The Brooklyn Medical Interns Hazings

Document Type


Publication Date

December 2018


Radiation Medicine


Anti-Semitic quotas to restrict access to medical school, graduate medical education and hospital privileges were common in the United States from the 1920s to the 1960s. In Brooklyn, New York, medical education prejudice resulted in violence. In 1916 a Jewish intern at Kings County Hospital, Matthew Olstein, was bound and gagged by Christian interns, put on a train at Grand Central Station, and warned that if he returned he would be thrown in the East River. Olstein died in combat in World War I as an Army physician. In 1927 3 Jewish interns at Kings County Hospital were assaulted, bound, dumped in tubs of water and covered in black fluid. Six gentile physicians were charged with assault. Criminal proceedings and public investigations followed. These attacks are the only known episodes of violence associated with American medical education anti-Semitism.