A BELSEN HEROINE
RESEARCH AT HORROR CAMP LONDON. Dr. Janet Vaughan, new principal of Somerville College, Oxford, 45-year-old mother of two girls, Is the Englishwoman who went to the horror camp of Belsen to treat men and women at the point of death from starvation. She was one of a small team of workers who went at the request of the War Office to study methods of treating cases of extreme starvation. She stayed there for a month, living in a German barracks. A "Human L,aundry" Here is Dr. Vaughan's own story of some of her work: "The hospital, was a German barracks, in a filthy condition, furnished with wooden beds and straw pallets. Each floor had about 100 patients. "There were two water taps on each floor, but sometimes no water for days. Hot water was obtained by means of a Primus stove ahd during the first weeks candles were the only artificial light. "Patients severely ill were admitted to the number of 700 to 1000 a day. They went straight to what was called the 'human laundry'— really the barracks laundry—where they were laid on tables and scrubbed by German nurses to remove the caked dirt of months." Feared Torture It was from the "grossly emaciated" that Dr. Vaughan chose patients for research into the treatment of starvation. An insight into the mentality of the patients is. given by her comment that when an attempt was made to give food by nasal drip or oral tube "the patients regarded this as a new form of torture." This was because they had been given injections of benzol and creosote by the German medical staff to induce paralysis, which would "justify" cremation. When Allied doctors approached with syringes the patients often cried out, begging not to be taken to the crematoriuni.
Permanent link to this item
A BELSEN HEROINE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 182, 3 August 1945
A BELSEN HEROINE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 182, 3 August 1945
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Auckland Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Auckland Libraries.