EAST GERMANY: Nurse's Resentment

Among his many patients in the East German town of Waltershausen, fiftyish Fritz Rudloff was known as a kind and gentle man. "He took real pride in healing the sick," said one of Rudloff's friends. But because he was only a male nurse and not a licensed doctor, Rudloff nursed a deep-seated resentment against those more qualified to heal than he. Beyond all of them, Rudloff resented most the stiffly disciplinarian chief surgeon at Waltershausen Municipal Hospital.

One day early this year, the chief surgeon, a stern moralist as well as a martinet, learned that Rudloff was involved in a...

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