Perspective  |   June 2009
Laryngologist Leon Zamenhof—Brother of Dr. Esperanto
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrzej Wincewicz
    Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
  • Mariola Sulkowska
    Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
  • Marcin Musiatowicz
    Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
  • Stanislaw Sulkowski
    Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
  • Contact author: Andrzej Wincewicz, Department of Pathomorphology, Medical University of Bialystok, Waszyngtona 13, 15-269 Bialystok, Poland. E-mail: andwinc@gmail.com.
  • © 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global
Perspective   |   June 2009
Laryngologist Leon Zamenhof—Brother of Dr. Esperanto
American Journal of Audiology, June 2009, Vol. 18, 3-6. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0002)
History: Received January 8, 2008 , Revised April 1, 2008 , Accepted October 18, 2008
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2009, Vol. 18, 3-6. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0002)
History: Received January 8, 2008; Revised April 1, 2008; Accepted October 18, 2008

Purpose: To reconstruct the biography of the Polish otorhinolaryngologist Leon Zamenhof (1875–1934), a brother of Ludwik Zamenhof, who is famous for invention of the international language Esperanto.

Method: Biographical information was collected from pre-World War II resources.

Results: Zamenhof developed several important new forms of treatment to help the hearing impaired. Zamenhof was especially interested in the education of deaf children and the therapy necessary to facilitate their integration into society. His significant achievements were a phonetic method of therapy for the hearing impaired and an automatic device for ear insufflation that was considered indispensable in the management of pyorrhea. In addition, Zamenhof initiated various forms of social support among physicians within the medical community of Warsaw, Poland; made health care available to children with hearing impairments; and organized a Jewish school for deaf children. Zamenhof tried to change public attitudes toward deafness, working to promote the integration of the deaf into wider society. He also translated Polish literature into Esperanto.

Conclusions: With similar aims to his brother Ludwik, Leon Zamenhof strived to enhance and broaden communication among people who could not hear and to persuade people to change their attitudes about deafness.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Prof. E. James Lieberman, Prof. Robert Zamenhof, and Eleazar Shafrir for proofreading of the manuscript. Andrzej Wincewicz would like to acknowledge the Foundation for Polish Science and express his thanks for awarding him a START scholarship, which helped to support this research.
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