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Dr. Carl W. Bordas papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.230.1

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    Contains photographs; postcards; newspaper and magazine clippings; correspondence from former prisoner at Ebensee; US Army discharge papers; and a US Army inventory of captured enemy military equipment, all collected during the military service of Carl W. Bordas in the 139th Evacuation Hospital in the US Army medical corps while stationed at Ebensee after liberation.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the family of Carl W. Bordas
    Collection Creator
    Carl W. Bordas
    Dr. Carl William Bordas (1920-2011) was born in West Decatur, Pennsylvania, to John and Edna Goss Bordas. Carl had eleven siblings. He graduated from Philipsburg High School and attended Penn State College (now Penn State University) where he completed four years of schooling toward his chemistry degree. In July 1944, Carl was drafted into the U.S. military. He entered into the army on July 12 as a private, and received serial number 33768784. On March 23, 1945 Carl was shipped to Europe, where he served as a surgical technician with the 139th Evacuation Hospital in the United States Army Medical Corps.

    On May 6, the Ebensee Concentration Camp, a sub-camp of the Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated by the 80th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. They quickly found the malnourished prisoners were living in squalor and were suffering the effects of years of abuse, starvation, and forced labor. Most of the prisoners were forced to excavate and build a series of giant underground tunnels to house war production facilities safe from Allied bombing. Initially the 30th Field Hospital was administering care to the prisoners but they were relieved by the 139th. Carl arrived at the camp on May 9, and upon entering, he noticed the dead and dying bodies of emaciated men and boys strewn everywhere on the ground. The camp was filthy and severely overcrowded with prisoners that had been force marched by the Germans away from advancing Allied troops. When the soldiers first arrived, they removed dead bodies from the bunks only to discover living prisoners below them, too weak to move. Many of the prisoners had contracted tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Carl and the 139th remained at Ebensee for two months administering care and helping the prisoners recover.

    On December 24, 1945, Carl married Margaret Brown, a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps. On June 26, 1946 Carl was discharged from the army and returned home to Pennsylvania. He returned to Penn State, and earned a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education and his Doctor of Education degree in Administration and Chemistry. Carl worked as a chemist and later, an educator, teaching high school physics and chemistry. He then went on to teach at the collegiate level at Penn State and as a Professor Emeritus at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Throughout his life, Carl frequently shared what he witnessed at Ebensee concentration camp and advocated for Holocaust remembrance.

    Physical Details

    3 folders
    1 oversize folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2018 by Linda Nance on behalf of the Family of Carl W. Bordas.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 16:52:15
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