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Survivor Stories

Mae H.

Mae H. served as a nurse in the US Army’s 130th Evac. Hospital. Her unit was diverted from the Pacific theater to Austria, where she worked for six weeks at Mauthausen. She responded to the commanding officer’s request for volunteers to work inside of the camp, while the rest of the hospital was set up some distance away.

Mae emphasizes the difficulty of discussing the things she witnessed, stating that some things cannot be told.

Excerpt from Video Testimony

Mae discusses how the camps were explained to her before she went in, and the experiences she cannot put into words.

Video Transcript

And we were aware that terrible things were happening. But nothing prepares you for what you see. You just – you cannot believe it. It’s not acceptable to the human mind. Even I said, I don’t want to go to a concentration camp, I didn’t sign up, I signed up to take care of combat officers. My father had been trying to get over, relatives over here, and had sent money several times. And they waited and waited and waited, and then they couldn’t get out. And so I really didn’t want to do that sort of thing, to me. And most people did not know. I don’t know anybody who knew what was really happening. If you look at my booklet of the outfit and read what the colonel said, he says it was “political prisoners.” … And you can’t talk to anybody because nobody- in those days, you didn’t talk to anybody, because nobody would comprehend. And then some things I’m not telling you. Some things you never can tell. And I know, as victims, there are things that they will never tell. There are some things that are – you just cannot. You cannot.