A primary concern of medical personnel in the ghetto was to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Typhus, in particular, was rampant due to the lack of medicines to treat the disease or supplies to maintain sanitary conditions. As a result, thousands died slow and agonizing deaths. This deliberate neglect corresponded with the German policy to cause the deaths of large numbers of Jews through over-crowded, squalid living conditions and a lack of reasonable medical care.
This policy of neglect was not without its consequences for the German occupiers. Although the typhus outbreaks were at their worst in the ghettos and labor camps, the disease (contrary to Nazi theories of “race”) also spread to German personnel. Many Germans associated with the Janowska Street forced labor camp in Lvov were stricken with the disease. In order to stem the tide of illness, camp administrators periodically marched prisoners out of the camp and into the ghetto for mass disinfections. Disinfection baths were established on Balonowa Street where Frey lived at the time.