Body will be exhumed for an inquest Child of Louis Greisman died after circumcision-Jacob Halpern performed the operation. This morning Chief Coroner A. Johnson will apply to the Attorney General for an order permitting an undertaker to exhume the remains.
Had the remains not been buried the inquest would have been opened last night. Chief Coroner Johnson will himself conduct the inquiry. The report on the case made to the Chief Coroner by Dr. Walter McKeown states that Jacob Halpern, a butcher at 59 Chestnut Street, was called in by the father on Sunday to perform the Jewish rite of circumcision.
After the operation bleeding was so profuse that Halpern applied carbolic acid, with the result that the child died in terrible agony. Johnson and a jury, who sat for over three hours. McKeown had been examined, an adjournment was made to the Police Court. Walter McKeown explained to the jury that he issued the burial certificate. Death was due to acute disease of the kidneys caused by the excessive use of carbolic acid.
He was present at the birth of the child and at the circumcision. The day after the operation he was called in again to see the child and attended the infant until death occurred on Sunday night. Rabbi Jacobs of the Holy Blossom Synagogue pointed out that under the Jewish law circumcision has to be performed the eighth day after birth. He described at length the mode of operation which had been in existence for 3, years.
The Chief Rabbi of the British Empire twelve years ago formulated a set of rules for the guidance of circumcisors. In Canada there is no special training. All that is required is that the circumcisor be a conscientious Jew. Isaac Halpern, who performed the circumcision, told the jury how he did the operation on baby Greisman. Although he had no certificate to act, he believed that he was full qualified. He had performed three operations last week and had a like number for this week.
Halpern declared that he was a Rabbi. When there were very few Jews in Toronto he performed the marriage ceremony and other duties of a Rabbi. At the present time he kills all the cattle for his congregation to see if the meat is fit food.
John Caven, who conducted the autopsy, said that the condition found in the body was consistent with death from carbolic acid poisoning, the poison having been applied externally.
The children who died were a girl, born three days ago to Mrs. Abraham Block, to whom some of the mixture was also given,became ill yesterday afternoon and was taken home. The child was fretful andthe rabbi gave him a drink of brandy, water and sugar to quiet him. Miss Lillian Reynolds, a nurse, asked the rabbi what the mixture contained and he told her and explained why he had given it. Miss Reynolds said that on Wednesday night when the Cooper and Rosenweig children became fretful she gave them a drink similar to that given by the rabbi to the Block baby.
All three children became ill on Thursday afternoon. The Cooper girl developed convulsions and Dr. Medelowitz of Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, the family physician, was summoned for the girl and Dr.
Blaustein of Rodney Street, Brooklyn, was called forthe Rosenweig baby. Neither physician gave the babies any medicine. Later in the night both babies died. Rabbi Spund said last night that he got the brandy which he gave to the Block baby.
Martin, Medical Examiner in Brooklyn, performed autopsies yesterday upon the bodies of two children who died on Thursday in the Brooklyn Maternity Hospital, and announced that he thought it extremely unlikely that the babies had died from a mixture of whisky and water and sugar given to them at the hospital.
However, chemical analysis will be made for traces of any poisonous element. The children were a five-day-old daughter of Mrs. Max Rosenzweig [sic] of Clymer Street, both of Brooklyn. Miss Lillian Reynolds, a nurse at the hospital, said she had given the mixture to the children as a pacifier, at the suggestion of Rabbi Gustav Spund of East Third Street, Manhattan. Martin found no traces of disease in the bodies. He did find, he said, that hypodermic injections, probably of adrenalin, had been given to both children, just over the heart, possibly to stimulate the heart action when death was imminent.
The hospital kept no record of medication, he said. A paraldehyde sleeping potion and not brandy caused the death of an infant girl and an infant boy in the Brooklyn Maternity Hospital last Thursday, according to an announcement yesterday by Dr.
The infants, a three-day-old girl born to Mrs. Ellen Rosenzwei [sic], became ill at the same time that another child, the ten-day-old son of Mrs. Abraham Block, took sick. Rabbi Gustav Spund circumcised the Block baby and gave him a mixture of brandy, water, and sugar to quiet him.
A nurse in the hospital administered a similar dose to the two other children when they became restless. The Block [baby] recovered but the two other infants died the next day. Gettler said the organs of both children contained a large amount of acetaldehyde, derived from paraldehyde. He did not believe the alcohol could have caused the deaths because only a small quantity of brandy had been administered and the infants had lived for twenty-four hours.
The alcohol, he said, would work itself off in that time. Martin, Medical Examiner of Brooklyn, submitted the finding to District Attorney Dodd, who said last night that he would not make any statement concerning the case until today.