Guide to Mae Lopatin Herman papers
1988.1128

 

Summary Information

Repository
Tauber Holocaust Library
Title
Mae Lopatin Herman papers
ID
1988.1128
Date [inclusive]
1943-1946
Extent
2.0 Folder(s)
Language
English
Abstract
The collection documents the experiences of Mae Lopatin Herman, a United States Army nurse, at Mauthausen concentration camp following its liberation in 1945. Included are personal papers, memorabilia, and photographs, as well as a pocket guide to Germany and German phrase book for U.S. military personnel.

Preferred Citation note

Mae Lopatin Herman papers - 1988.1128, Tauber Holocaust Library - JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

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History

The 130th Evacuation Hospital was activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on March 20, 1944. The commanders was Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Callison and the unit was assigned to Twelfth Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army, for adminsitration and training. Training took place between May-August 1944. In September, the Hospital was selected to participate in airborne training and maneuvers at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. The hospital departed for oversaeas service from New York City on December 8, 1944, was transported to Tenby, South Wales uppon arrival in the United Kingdom. It was transported by troop ferry to DuClaire France, after debarkation at Le Havre. The hopsital became operational on May 1, 1945 near Moosburg, Germany; patients were Allied soldiers.

On May 14, 1945, the hospital was moved to Mauthausen, Austria. Patients were almost all political prisoners, primarily Russian and Polish. The highest number of patients treated was 1,945 on May 21, 1945. Remaining patients were transferred on June 15, 1945, and the hospital departed from Enns, Austria on June 22, 1945 and arrived in New York on August 6, 1945. On November 5, 1945 the hospital was inactivated.

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Biography

Mae Lopatin Herman was born on May 1, 1920 in New York City. Her parents were immigrants, her father from Russia and her mother from Austria-Hungary. Ms. Lopatin Herman grew up in New York, and worked at several jobs and attended college before deciding to become a nurse. She completed her nurses training in 1943, and joined the U.S. army the following year, heeding a call for nurses from the Red Cross.

Ms. Lopatin Herman completed basic training in Florida, and was assigned to the 130th Evacuation Hospital Unit at Fort Jackson. She served for eight months in the E.T.O. (European Theater of Operations) as a general duty nurse. She cared for Allied prisoners in Moosberg, Austria, before treating political prisoners at Mauthausen concentration camp, where she served as a public health nurse.

Her unit arrived six days after Mauthausen's liberation, and stayed about six weeks. During that period, Ms. Lopatin Herman developed relationships with Holocaust survivors in her barracks and assisted them in their attempts to contact relatives and avoid resettlement in Poland. She also worked as a translator, translating for German and Yiddish-speaking patients.

Mae Lopatin Herman left Mauthausen on June 22, 1944. A few years after the war she moved to California, settling first in Los Angeles, before moving to San Francisco, where she married and settling in Millbrae, California.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection documents the experiences of Mae Lopatin Herman, a United States Army nurse, at Mauthausen concentration camp following its liberation in 1945.

Twelve black and white photographs depict Mauthausen concentration camp after its liberation and include photographs of hospital workers, most of whom were former prisoners at Mauthausen. Also included are views of the camp, quarry and burning barracks. Additional photographs of nurses' quarters were taken at Moosburg, Austria. There is also photograph of Mae Lopatin Herman at Rouen Cathedral, Rouen France.

The collection also includes a booklet describing the history and personnel of the 103th Evacuation Hospital; a German-English phrase book; and a "Pocket Guide to Germany." The guide includes a note on the front cover stating, in part, "Keep faith with the American solidiers who have died to eliminate the German warmakers. DO NOT FRATERNIZE."

Photocopies of Mae Lopatin Herman's separation record from the United States Army, and of newspaper clippings are also included.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Tauber Holocaust Library

JFCS Holocaust Center
2245 Post Street
San Francisco, CA, 94115
415-449-3717
tauberholocaustlibrary@jfcs.org

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions to access for this collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

There are no restrictions to use for this collection.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

A video oral history of Mae Lopatin Herman was conducted on June 18, 1992, and is available for viewing upon request.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Mauthausen (Concentration camp).
  • United States -- Army -- Nurses.

Genre(s)

  • Personal papers
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Germany -- Guidebooks

Occupation(s)

  • Nurses -- United States

Subject(s)

  • Ex-concentration camp inmates -- Medical care -- Austria -- Mauthausen
  • German language -- Conversation and phrase books (for soldiers, etc.)
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Austria -- Mauthausen
  • Military nursing -- United States
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Liberation -- Austria -- Mauthausen
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Female
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Jewish.

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Collection Inventory

Photographs, 1945 

1. Nurses area at Moosburg, Austria, May 1945.  

General note

On rear of photograph: Moosburg May '45. Nurses's Area, rear view.

2. 11th Armored Division removing bodies at Mauthausen 1945.  

General note

On rear of photograph: 11th Arm'd Div. Getting bodies out of Mauthausen '45

3. Village pump, Mauthausen, Austria 1945. 

General note

On rear of photograph: Village Pump, Mauthausen Austria '45.

4. Tent hospital, Mauthausen, Austria, May 1945. 

General note

On rear of photograph: Our tent hospital, Mauthausen. [Lil] tent in center? Right,! - officers' latrine

5. Staff of hospital and Mae Lopatin Herman, Mauthausen, Austria, May 1945. 

General note

On rear of photograph. Mauthausen Austria 5/45. staff & me. Kids here say I look like the prisoners. Could be. (All Poles o Polish Jews)

6. Inmates in front of surgery, Mauthausen, Austria. 1945.   Black and white photograph. 3 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

On rear of photograph: Inmates of Mauthausen in front of Surgery '45

7. Doctor and helpers at Mauthausen, Austria undated. 

General note

On rear of photograph: Doctor, helpers at Mauthausen. Polish Jews.

8. Helpers at Mauthausen, Austria 1945.    Black and white photograph. 4 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

On rear of photograph: Helper at Mauthausen 45

9. Removing trash at Mauthausen, Austria, 1945.   Black and white photograph. 3 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

Rear of photograph: Removing trash at Mauthausen '45

10. Gate at Mauthausen, Austria, May 1945.   Black and white photograph. 3 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

On rear of photograph: May '45 Famous Mauthausen Gate. can Dad read the Russian.

11. Burning Russian barracks, Mauthausen, Austria, 1945.    Black and white photograph. 4 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

On rear of photograph: Burning Russian Barracks Mauthausen, Austria 45.

12. View of quarry and burning barracks, Mauthausen, Austria, May 1945.    Black and white photograph. 3 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

On rear of photograph: The most wicked curve on way to lager. Note overturned German vehicle. In foreground is quarry where prisoners had to work. Up a hill the concentration camp. Russian B'ks being burned. May '45 Mauthausen.

13. View of quarry and concentration camp, Mauthausen, Austria, June 1945. 

General note

On rear of photograph: View from route we took, of Quarry and concentration camp on top. Mauthausen, Austria, June 45.

14. Mae Lopatin [Herman] atop cathedral in Rouen, July 1945.   Black and white photograph. 3 1/2" x 2 1/2"

General note

On rear of photograph: Rouen atop the Cathedral July 45

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United States Army material, 1943-1945 

German Phrase Book, 1943 November 30 

Pocket Guide to Germany, 1944 

130th Evacuation Hospital pamphlet, 1944-1945 

1944-1945

130th Evacuation Hospital pamphlet, 1944-1945

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Photocopied material, 1945-1946 

Mae Lopatin Herman Separation Qualification Record (photocopied), 1946 January 19 

Brooklyn Eagle clipping fragment (photocopied), 1945, August 6 

Stars and Stripes clipping (photocopied), 1945 May 8 

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