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Mae Lopatin Herman papers 1988.1128
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Related Archival Materials note
  • Preferred Citation note

  • Title: Mae Lopatin Herman papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1988.1128
    Contributing Institution: Tauber Holocaust Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.0 Folder(s)
    Date (inclusive): 1943-1946
    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.

    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.


    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.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    Preferred Citation note

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

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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