Did you know that during WWII, doctors at an Italian hospital invented a fictional lethal disease to fool Nazis and save Jewish lives? It was called Syndrome K disease (Il Morbo di K), described as highly contagious and deadly, oh and it was also completely made up.

Fatebenefratelli Hospital had become known as a safe haven for Jews under the direction of Professor Giovanni Borromeo. On October 16, 1943, the Catholic hospital opened its doors to Jews seeking shelter. Borromeo knew the hospital was most likely to be searched and so he, and two doctors; Vittorio Sacerdoti and Adriano Ossicini, came up with a brilliant plan. They decided that any Jew who came to the hospital seeking refuge would be admitted as a new patient, quarantined and declared to be suffering from Syndrome K. When Nazis arrived to search the hospital, they were told of patients suffering from the deadly disfiguring disease. The plan worked and prevented the Germans from entering those areas of the hospital, ultimately saving numerous lives.