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They fought alone. You're there stranger. Yes. What is your business here in Geneva. We had travelers the merchants. So let me see your papers. Of course your captain as I thought guards take them give me a run for it. You know you you are under arrest. We were warned to watch for both of you. Gabriele Sylvie as a runaway girl and Miko surveyed us heretic. Not the kind of gun. Where there is an idea whether.
The University of Michigan present stories of men who struggled against tyranny of the mind. In an age when it was dangerous outspoken when it was folly to speak brain when defiance was suicide it was an age of darkness of fear of home of fists beating out the tiniest spark of. It was the age of the youth Inquisition. And Mike who was a vetus was a bright torch in its face. I knew him when we were students together at the University of Battus
medical students. The year 15 37 then because of certain restrictions imposed by the law of the times we were forced to do some of our homework in what we called a private laboratory. Andre this abominable setup is like working in a dungeon here. Now the scalpel again right there in this light. It's bad. Well we can't risk anymore. Good Lord. Who could that be. Police maybe quick cover the body scan. Michael Ware done courage Andre. Maybe we can bluff them. All right all right I'm coming. Gabrielle It's alright no one followed me. Gabrielle what are you doing here this time of night. I have to come. Michael I'm so worried here set out. Now tell me darling what is it what's right and you an official from the police came to
the house tonight. Talk to my father about what he said the body of a criminal had been stolen from the public gallows so they went directly to the rector of the medical school. Then they know they know their evidence but they do suspect that medical students are guilty fanatics he said. Yeah us fanatics ghouls grave robbers medical students were all in a class of pleasant perverted company. I suppose your father was furious. He was wild. That's what frightened me Michael. He promised to find out who was responsible and turn them over to the police. Good Professor Sylvius searcher into truth protector of his brood Silvia's the pig headed light of our lives Michael. Please I'm sorry. I know how important your work is. Yes of course you do Dolly. Forgive me. Gabriele Were there any names mentioned tonight. No father had no idea who it might be but he said he would investigate. That's why I
slipped out to warn you. You'll have plenty to say and lecture tomorrow. Yes well we mustn't give ourselves away. Just be as innocent and outraged as the rest. Quite right. Andre be a good fellow Well you see Gabrielle home. I'll get things cleaned up. Please don't let him get under your skin. That's a very bad joke where did you know what I mean. Don't be such an old woman. The day I let this go on before I begin my lecture for today I have a few remarks to make and I should be most to the point with them. A vicious incident has been brought to my attention perpetrated by some member members of this anatomy class. It concerns the theft of a corpse from the public gallows. A crime against both civil and Canon degrees and a decent man himself in the face of that.
Must I assume that the guilty are also cowards. Very well gentleman. Therefore stern measures upon me as I call the ROE rise and take your oath that you know nothing of this affair. Professor Sylvius Michael my CUSA vetus you have something to say. A question professor. Very well. Is there not something more at point here than the theft of a single corpse. Precisely what the integrity of medicine and teaching this year groveling before the blind dictates of a dead lawyer. If I were you savages I should choose my words with more care. These are dangerous times. The Inquisition has a keen ear and along it may reach in to pass the university into this very room. We are dealing with a natural matter and the sickness and free research is the natural weapon against it. Dusty decrees
and inquisitions provide no cures. Do you imply that a few ghouls inspecting a stolen corpse by torchlight will save humanity. Why are we here in this classroom. Waste our time teaching nonsense. Professor Sylvius this is a class in human anatomy. Yet before you on the distracting table is the body of a dog. Our patients will not bark. They will cry. But we must prescribe for dogs. Since dogs are all we know we just do not seek to make fools of us with your childish rhetoric. We have the folios of Dell and they provide all the information necessary on human anatomy. Galen wrote his folios fourteen centuries ago man's body has not changed. I put it to you that Galen was in many respects wrong. Silence silence. I will have silence.
Michael Ware you were stopped pacing and sit still for a moment. Yes please dialing your head some of this. She then a little whine. You haven't eaten all day. I'm not hungry. Andre What time is it. Almost seven. Well he's certainly taking his time about it. Perhaps he hasn't made up his mind yet about what I'm sure he'll expel me and what else the polies. Yes that's another matter. Well it was worth it. I'm told that Paris jails are quite the rage these days. My God you're not going to prison. Didn't Father call a conference with Professor Green as Don they're all solve them together in the rector's chambers. You see he's not certain in his own mind what to do. Well when he has a good old fellow but he'll probably not intercede for me. Of course he will not. Darling please stop worrying.
And no more talk about prison. I can't bear to see you like this. I'm sorry little one. What are folks who know you're an honest man with fine strong things in you. And if you believe the world is wrong then fight with all your strength for whatever happens. You've done what you know is right. That's why I love you Michael. Because you believe in yourself and you're not afraid. Little Gabrielle so young and so good. Oh here comes new was come in last again Terry. Good evening good evening. Here let me have your cloak. Oh thank you Andre stands quite a
climb for an old fellow like me wedded. Michael you caused me consternation this day. The rector was in a rage this morning talking about expelling the police and inquisitions and Lord knows what. I must say I've rarely seen him so angry. Could you imagine what you'd said to rile him like that. I told him Galen was wrong. You mustn't do that Michael. So I say this business about the corpse Well that's one thing. But I'm surprised at you. Well he was wrong about certain things perhaps but it simply isn't your place to say so. No at any rate. What have you accomplished. Nothing. You've insulted directed and endangered your whole career with graduation only a few months away because you couldn't hold your tongue. That's foolishness.
Hot headed foolishness Andre. Don't you agree completely. Of course bear you up your own classmates and so what is his going to do Professor with. He grumbled a great deal but I think we touched the old boy's vanity as a discerning educator. Agreed to let you stay. On one condition that you publicly apologize for your outburst in class and settle down to serious study with no nonsense I say all right I'll do it that using sense my boy. A wise choice Michael. Yes I have learned a good lesson. You're right Professor. Now is not the right time at all. Where we do say no more about it. The matter is closed. Professor let me pour you a bit of wine. Thank you I should like that.
Michael will need a new bottle. And there's one in the cupboard here. Professor I never would have believed that on a day that I'd seen Michael Servetus use a bit of discretion. You know as one doctor to another I'd say we just witnessed the work of a potent medicine. Oh yes. The extraordinary influence of a woman's tears. Here's the line that looks good. Time passed and true to his word Michael became a model of behavior. The change in him was remarkable. He applied himself didn't plead to whatever way it was assigned in class and seemed suddenly content that dogs in the photos of given would satisfy his medical training and nobody. Wanted to move there was peace of mind. The mines with the shadows and father probably for are
in fact professors who for years was already acquiring a deep well of the universe in the young minds of it. One day shortly before graduation he some of might enter. Yes Michael come in here sit down. Thank you. Professor Greene tell us tells me that your friend Andre has come into a bit of good luck. Yes the University of Padua has invited him to join its medical staff as an instructor. No doubt he will lecture brilliantly on Galen. No doubt. I have no fears for his success. Andre was an excellent student. All his knowledge of anatomy is remarkable. And that yes that reminds me. An odd recurrence of something you and I once talked about. I have here a police report seems another body was stolen from the
gallows. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you Michael. Body miss you stolen how ghastly. Why it isn't safe for a man to be hanged in public anymore. I certainly hope they catch the fiends responsible. Yes. Well now let us turn our attention upon more pleasant matters. How are you and Gabrielle getting on. I hope she will one day see fit to marry me monsieur. All right then let's get down to cases. I want is your financial condition. My family was not wealthy. We had a bit of land in Spain but it bought only enough to pay for my schooling. See then your plan to set up my practice to give surgical treatment to the poor perhaps the Barbers do that quite adequately do they. Come now my boy I want better things for my son in law. What you need is a steady position social approval a reliable income. Andre has the right diet.
You should take a lesson from him. But I've had no offers. You have one now. Forgive me monsieur but I I don't understand I coul you are a very fortunate young man. There was a faculty meeting yesterday at to fill a vacancy on the staff. You have been selected to teach medicine. You know mathematics. I see. Michael I strongly urge you to accept. Miss you. I am honored by your interest. I shall remain in Paris and teach mathematics. A short time later. Our class was graduated. I went off to Padua to teach anatomy and Michael became a master of mathematics at the University of powers. Where had seemed the end of the firebrand. And the beginning of his let me. But. Such was not the case.
For as his letters to me revealed. The work is going very well although the devices for secrecy are as troublesome as ever cadavers are still impossibly hard to get. But I am managing somehow to continue the sketches and notes from before are invaluable aids to me now and I have been lucky enough to secure a very good artist to draw the finished plates. He would of course prefer a painting of Venus to working in a damp cellar with my specimens. But money seems to increase greatly his artistic flexibility. Little Gabrielle has been so good through all this. She understands completely why I resort to such terrible subterfuge to remain here. Paris is the center of the medical profession the brain of this octopus of dogma. Smug and vicious and it's and trying security. But I have my weapon now a bomb that will shock that tend of those loose. And I must exploded here in Paris. My book is almost finished.
That last might who has had his way. A book. And in those days books were taken by him as it contained medical facts which constituted the first radical departure from given his instructions. Critical of sort of everything's a veto has been very powerful and the fuse was shot. Michael this book was printed secretly and distributed late one night. Next day the bomb exploded. Look at him down there. Students don't want to write with their tear the school district says it is he'll be a stand away from the window I pray church and police authority is screaming for action. Read the accusations. Body Snatcher phonetic class from a slender
ghoul. We must conduct this meeting. Still you will fool and in turn is what to do in all of this. I suspect that other hands can when he has no nothing it is my own work my own book and no one else is involved and upon your head alone with the guilt. Trust. Your position of honor. Welcome to you as my daughter's suitor. And this is how you repay me with this book. Denunciations of medical procedure. Inflammatory statements against the Inquisition and the Trinity. Accusations against civil and Canon Law. This would be your grave marker of this fantastic vicious book. Gentlemen. I demand immediate impeachment proceedings against Master Michael so beat us then turn him over to authorities for arrest. They will add the final line to your book. That the fate of a heretic is sure and swift. Gabriele was by his side and with a book published that was all he cared about.
They traveled across France with forged papers he had friends in Europe. There they could be married in high don't save me. One might almost at the end of their journey with only the make between them and their goal. They approached the Geneva was. It. Guide your horse carefully. Keep away from the edge of the stock. Michael. Is a company with guarding the street over there. I'm looking at is that you don't show your front door look straight ahead. Once we get out on the lake we'll be safe. Down there on that fishing boat coming here. Yes. You were there old man. Is that your boat. No doubt. Tell me a good you make passage for us across the lake this night. This
night. I could perhaps done that put a plank to the dock if you will. Michael you that's strange. Yes. What is your business travelers. Merchants So let me see your papers. Of course you know I kept it as I thought. Darts take them all wrong for you know we talk about your future lives with false papers. You are under arrest. We were warned to watch for both of you. A runaway girl and my heretic. It was placed on the heavy God. For the tribe my Lord Lieutenant of excuses against my
God we bear a case full of men to get their prize last rites of the sea. This is all that was needed. We charged with Empire parts of the book were read aloud entered into the record of proceedings. The end atomic drawings were exhibited in evidence drawn from them. Look upon these illustrations I did with the source of the subject for them. These drawings were made from the disaffected corpse. All right and so with wings day after day until finally these and other reasons desiring to cut off from us such a corrupt member and furnish an example to others who might wish to commit the like. We condemn the fetus to be bound and lead
to the place of shame they had to be fastened to a stake and burned alive. Who who is it. It's so dark I can't. Andre. Yes Michael I'm going to go first. How did you get in here. Bribe the jailer gentleman. Oh my friends it's so good to see you. Tell me quickly what have they done with Gabrielle. She was held at the castle book before during the trial. She's all right. She's waiting for you. What do you mean. I mean you can get out of this Michael if you want to escape is impossible. No not that way. Another How Michael we've talked to the Lord-Lieutenant pleaded with him. He's agreed to permit you to Rick can't or
can't. Yes they will put the question to you at the stake. And I must denounce my book and all my work as lies instigations of the devil is that it. Yes. And the sentence will be commuted. You would how could I do such a thing. Reject everything I hold as truth. Scream for mercy in the shadow of the stake. Mike listen to me once before you were in trouble. I gave you my advice and you took it. I beg you to take it again recant and go free. I won't do it. All right then. If not for yourself at least consider Gabriele. Hasn't she suffered enough. But she said you burned at the stake now. Gabrielle little Gabrielle remember Michael she's waiting for you. Gabrielle. Mourning with the beautiful
and bright of the moment. Thank you. Was he in a car. Ruffling up the majority of. The Lord-Lieutenant step. Also if he does. He'll stand condemned to death there's a heretic of the faith. Russ you were an instrument of evil Apollo's. If there is no other way we must save your soul with Fiat. I have always done God's will
and you know we choose to be myself and with your results your work as a creature of the devil stuffed with lies and false doctrine. I reject your creed and you have strayed from truth into darkness. Recant and you are scape the Fiat. What say you recant. Like listen to me once before you were in trouble. I gave you my advice and you took it. I beg you to take it again. Rick can't buy cars. At least consider that she suffered enough. With strong
fight with all your strength. That's because your torch was. As for myself I never forgot the book and the was proud clear eyes of that man at peace with himself. His conscience his God. I love the blaze of blood return to the book still unfinished. Man
must not die for nothing. And years later when I myself face the court of the Inquisition. I remembered my hopes of ETUs. And took strength from him. Perhaps now you know my name. They say to us. Visit us. Now. This is Professor Claude Albert C. Furstenberg dean of the Medical School of the University of Michigan brings to a close this story of Michael Servetus there is exemplified in the story of Servetus the truth at the progress of medicine is the direct result of research like Servetus we must have strong deliberative members of the profession who observe derives theories explore them and reduce them to
facts. So if you just establish the scientific fact that blood is carried from the heart to the lungs where it picks up oxygen and returns to the heart for further distribution with conviction of the accuracy of his discovery and at the risk of losing his life he made this colossal contribution to the progress of medicine and humanitarian welfare. The lives of millions of Americans depend upon freedom to learn freedom to create and freedom to administer. I heritage to which modern medicine is dedicated. This has been the story of Michael Servetus on the University of Michigan. They fought alone so the leaders though did not really fight alone. He marched in the goodly company of those who have battled for our freedom to know across 30 cent.. Today's program featured Bob Goldmark Dark Knight catarrh Richard
Bergman and Fran writes. The cast also included Ed Burroughs Frank James the Broadhead Stephen Nelson and Dick Dino. Music arranged and played by John Barry. Editorial supervision by Professor Claude Egerton and William Bender Jr.. A script by Bob Dole. The program was directed by Edwards Daschle. This is at Griffin speaking. The program was produced and transcribed by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. This is the end I network.
They fought alone
Michael Servetus
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Michael Servetus challenges the medical dogma of the church and is burned at the stake.
Series Description
Drama series on pioneering individuals produced at University of Michigan
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Actor: Fleming, William
Actor: Burroughs, L.C.
Performer: McCreary, John
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Speaker: Eggertsen, Claude A. (Claude Andrew), 1909-
Speaker: Furstenberg, Albert C.
Writer: Foshko, Robert
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-3-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00
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Chicago: “They fought alone; Michael Servetus,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “They fought alone; Michael Servetus.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: They fought alone; Michael Servetus. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from