This is the story of how the Polish town or Rozwadów was saved from the Nazis by a pair of doctors. Taking advantage of a flaw they discovered in the Weil-Felix test, then the standard test for typhus, they manufactured a complete imaginary epidemic.
At first, the epidemic only affected non-Jews, who would be excluded from the concentration camps for having typhus. (Jews with typhus were simply shot) But as the carefully crafted epidemic continued to spread, waxing and waning with the seasons, Rozwadów earned a reputation as a place Germans tried to keep out of as much as possible – earning the town a respite from many of the worst atrocities.
Thanks to +Kitty Stryker
and +A.V. Flox
for this amazing find.