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Oral history interview with Mary Bergquist

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.344.0006

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

Mary Rita Bergquist (née Hannan), born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1923, describes her family and early life; graduating from high school in 1940; beginning her nurse’s training in September 1940 at Saint Vincent’s in New York City; becoming a nurse because her aunt was one during WWI; enlisting in the army in 1943; getting basic training in Atlantic City, NJ; joining the 131st Evacuation Hospital; sailing on the RMS Queen Elizabeth; arriving in Greenock, Scotland and going to Alteringham, England (possibly Altrincham, England), where they lived in private homes; being assigned to a general hospital; taking care of wounded American soldiers; going to Sedan, France; the names of their tents; her experiences treating the wounded from the war front; talking to the patients; living in homes in Austria; smelling the camp before they arrived; seeing mass graves; treating the camp survivors: changing dressings and helping them walk; treating only male patients; seeing the crematorium burned down; her experience with Holocaust denial; not having much contact with Austrian civilians; being told they would be deployed in the Pacific; returning to the U.S. on the General Bliss; being home on leave when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima; not being sent to the Pacific; being discharged; her reflections on her experience during the war; and keeping in touch with the nurses from her unit.

Interviewee
Mary Bergquist
Interviewer
Neenah Ellis
Date
1995 July 15  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette (90 min.).