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Oral history interview with Elizabeth Feldhusen

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.344.0003

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Elizabeth A. Feldhusen, born in Brooklyn, New York on April 21, 1918, describes why she became a nurse; joining the army July 1, 1943; being at Fort DuPont, Delaware for over a year; joining the 131st Evacuation Hospital in South Carolina; sailing on the RMS Queen Elizabeth and how the ship had to turn every seven minutes in order to avoid the submarines; landing in Greenock, Scotland; crossing the English Channel to Le Havre, France; how they were not allowed to keep diaries; how they had celebrated Christmas of 1944 in England; going through Germany to Austria; how their accompanying military unit left them at one point; being given the choice to go to the Gusen concentration camp and how all of her unit agreed to go; how she had not heard about concentration camps before; taking care of a ward, which was a barracks full of the sickest people; giving out sulfanilamide; how eventually they had young German prisoners of war help as ward men; the physical conditions of the camp survivors; being sprayed with DDT powder before going into the ward and how she wonders if it caused her to have cancer later on; activities when she was off duty and a story about bird watching in Germany; speaking with a female German civilian; hearing about Hitler’s suicide; how a woman drowned while trying to cross the Danube river one evening; how the French came to take all the French survivors and other national representatives came too; how they gave the best care they could under the circumstances; how the nurses bonded and still keep in touch; how her experiences during the war affected her life; one of her close friends, who is Jewish and was stationed in Burma; and her interactions with German prisoners of war in Austria and Fort DuPont.

Interviewee
Elizabeth Feldhusen
Interviewer
Neenah Ellis
Date
1995 July 14  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette (90 min.).