Although he was a child at the time, the horrors of Nazi Germany have come back to haunt Dr. Horst Gunter Seydel in a special way.
The 47-year-old hospital radiologist has been receiving abusive calls since the Jewish Defense League (JDL) discovered he was a member of the Hitler Youth Group between 1943 and 1945 when he was in his early teens.
The letter carrier has brought him daily mail from the JDL including pictures of "tortured bodies and dead Jews," even though there is no evidence he ever participated in any wrongdoing in his youth.
And JDL pickets apeared at Seydel's suburban Huntingdon Valley home where he lives with his pediatrician wife and three young children.
The harassment campaign was aimed at one thing: Seydel's resignation from a historic Jewish hosptial here.
And last week, Seydel whose "crime" appears to have been membership in a government-indoctrinated youth group whose older members engaged in terrorism against Jews, submitted his resignation from the staff of Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division.
"His resignation has been greeted with a sence of ontrage by the staff said a spokesman for the Jewish funded hospital, which has a predominantly Jewish medical staff.
"He is a very, very decent man with a remarkable reputation in radiation the spy," a staff acquaintance remarked. "But it is a personal matter at this point and he simply does not wish to be harassed any longer.He is particularly concerned about his family."
Seydel, a tall, clean-shaven, athletic man, has refused to be interviewed about the five-month-old JDL campaign or his life.
His resignation takes effect in October, a sore point with the JDL.
"Our response to his resignation is a sense of relief," said Ed Ramov, executive director of the Philadelphia Jewish Defense League. "Justice has finally prevailed, but we're going to have to look very closely at the delay until October. It shouldn't take more than a month for him to get out. We must have to harassing over again, you know, the whole deal telephone calls, letters, demonstrations."
The JDL which has been [WORD ILLEGIBLE] by established Jewish organizations, and the hospital administration , concedes it has no proof the "Seydel participated in the terror campaigns of the Nazi youth group. At the time, German youths were under a great deal of social pressure to join the group and "people thought you were quee rif you didn't," said Ramov.
"The youths destroyed Jewish business, killed people, threw rocks at elderly Jewish men. They were murderers. They were old enough to know what they were doing.
"We have no proof of his direct participations but we are just saying let him work in another hospital, not a Jewish hospital. It is a desecration to the memories of 6 million Jews."
Before Seydel joined the hospital in 1975, which was established in 1866 by Jewish charities, he was investigated by a three-member committee of physicians.
"The committee found no evidence to substantitate allegations of his participation [in terror campaigns] and unanimously recommended support for his application," said a hospital spokesman. At least two of the doctors on that committee are Jewish.
Seydel came to the United States in the 1960s with a medical degree from Germany. He received a master's degree from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1961, moved to Baltimore, and joined the staff of the University of Maryland. In 1967, he joined the staff of another Philadelphia hospital before going to work at Einstein.
Seydel's practice centers around radiation therapy for cancer patients. He was the leading candidate to succeed Einstein's chief of radiation therapy, who is scheduled to retire this year, a hospital spokesman said.
"The real victims are him patients, many of whom followed him to Einstein," said one acquaintance.