World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

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Nurses in World War II

World War II Nurses and their wartime stories and adventures.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Female Pilots, Women in WWII, Comfort Women.

Angel of Dieppe: World War Two heroine Agnes-Marie Valois dies at 103
The Angel of Dieppe has died at age 103 - more than 75 years after she helped save the lives of many Canadian and British soldiers. Sister Agnès-Marie Valois became a Canadian military legend for treating soldiers captured by German forces after the failed Dieppe landing. She has received honours from both her native country of France and Canada.

Honor for nurse heroine who slept with Nazis to give them STDs in 'vengeance' after she was assaulted
A femme fatale who divided a Czech community by sleeping with Nazi soldiers to give them STDs has had a plaque erected in her memory. Locals in the south Bohemian town of Trebon said the nurse, who worked in a local hospital, decided to get revenge on the Nazi invaders after she was violated shortly after the occupation in 1938. It was the Gestapo who eventually got to Trebon's mystery nurse, after they sent an agent to find out what was happening to their soldiers in the town.

Women Nurses throughout military history
Women Nurses throughout military history, short intros with links from various wars.

Alice Quinlisk reflects on her time as World War II Army nurse
Alice Quinlisk joined the Army as a nurse in 1945 just as World War II was coming to a close. "I later found out the FBI was investigating me because my parents were born and raised in Germany. Since I was going to be an officer they wanted to confirm I wasn`t a spy." After basic training at the U.S. Army Camp in Lehigh, Va., they were given arctic gear and Quinlisk thought they were going to Alaska first. "Then we found ourselves in the Philippines. Since we were second lieutenants we all had to buy our own warm weather uniforms. The first place had these really, really high ceilings and all the nurses were squealing and walking around hunched over to avoid big spiders that kept dropping down."

300,000 records of women who were in the Cadet Nursing Corps during WWII released (photos)
To commemorate National Nurses Week, has launched a collection of 300,000 records of women who were in the Cadet Nursing Corps during World War II. The Corps was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1943 to increase the number of nurses available for war efforts. The Corps was non-discriminatory, training nurses from backgrounds. The monthly stipend and scholarship these women received offered for many women an education they otherwise could not have afforded.

Role of German nurses, who made up the bulk of the workforce in hospitals where killings took place, overlooked
The work of Nazi doctors is a well-documented lesson in medical ethics. There was even a separate trial for them at Nuremberg and 7 were hanged. But what about the nurses who assisted them? Their role has been airbrushed from history, says Professor Linda Shields, who expressed her concerns in Nursing Review. "There has been a great deal of scholarship on the role of doctors and what they did in Nazi-occupied Europe, what has been neglected or overlooked is the role of nurses. And yet most of the killings that we are looking at occurred in hospitals where nurses made up the bulk of the workforce. Nurses were very much involved in the killings and the camp experiments."

The amazing story of WWII nurse Vivian Bullwinkel - Surviving Japanese massacre was just the beginning
On the February 12 1942, 65 Australian nurses left Singapore on SS Vyner Brooke. Out of the 47 ships that fled during those last chaotic days before the Fall of Singapore, only 5 made it to safety. The rest, including the Vyner Brooke, were sunk by Japanese aircraft. 12 of the nurses were lost at sea while the remaining 53 swam or clung to life rafts. They washed up on various parts of Bangka Island, which by mid-February had been taken over by the Japanese. The Japanese soldiers ordered the nurses to walk into the sea - and then shot them. One nurse, Sister Vivian Bullwinkel, survived. But that was just the beginning of her adventures.

Congolese nurse who saved hundreds of GIs in the besieged Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge honoured
A 93-year-old Belgian Congolese nurse who saved hundreds of wounded American soldiers during World War Two has received an award for valour from the US army. The 67-year delay in presenting the award was because it was thought Ms Augusta Chiwy had died in battle. She volunteered at an aid station in the besieged town of Bastogne, at the height of the Battle of the Bulge. At the time there was only one doctor treating wounded and dying American soldiers during a week-long siege of the town in December 1944. Ms Chiwy braved enemy fire to search the battlefields for the wounded.

Women in uniform: World War II Army nurse Rosana Masse
(Q) What is one of your most memorable moments from your experience in WWII?

(A) Our hospital tents had a big red cross painted on the top of them and they lit up at night so the Germans honored the hospitals and wouldn't bomb us. We were never hit until one time one of the German planes was hit. Pilot tried to avoid our hospital but he got rid of his bomb load and crash landed on the outskirts of the hospital. I was on duty and walking at the time - the force made me fall face forward on the floor! The irony of it was after he crash landed he was brought to our hospital. We patched him up and sent him on.


Army nurse Henrietta Landman remembers World War II
Like many WWII vets, Henrietta Landman can remember some experiences in astounding detail and with a healthy sense of gallows humor: "This was new for everybody. We were not used to being in war. Everybody did the best they could with what they had." She was shipped to Oran, Algeria, a port city on the Mediterranean Sea captured by the Allies in 1942. Landing at dark and in the rain, Landman's unit found its tents flooded: "One of the guards looked into our tent and asked us if we needed anything. And so one of the nurses told him, 'Go get us some liquor!' We passed the bottle around till morning." From there they learned, for the first time, how to dig their own foxholes.

Ora Pierce Hicks, 100, was one of 500 black nurses who served in World War II   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Some elements of the Second World War are less covered than others, like for example black soldiers and nurses. And if you happen to a black nurse...

In this article Army nurse Ora Pierce Hicks, who has reached the respectable age of 100, recalls her WWII service. For her the best part of being a nurse in the U.S. Army was trying to help young soldiers become Christians.

"I heard on the radio that soldiers were dying because they didn't have enough nurses. I wanted to help. ... [Despite the fact that nearly all the nurses were white, the doctors were white and the patients were white] They never called us names or nothing like that. When your life is at stake, you better be nice because we might be the one to save your life."


Edith Swain - nurse in famous WWII "Times Square Kiss" photo - passes away at 91
The nurse in the famous World War II "Times Square Kiss" photograph has passed away. Edith Swain was immortalised in photographic history when she was snapped locked in a spontaneous kiss with a US sailor in Times Square New York on Victory over Japan Day, August 14, 1945. The picture, one of the most iconic World War II images, was taken by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life magazine in 1945 with the text: "In New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers". The identity of the sailor remains disputed.

World War II Flight nurse Evelyn Wisner tells old stories of wartime service   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Wearing a 1944 Navy nurse cape and cap, Evelyn Wisner joined the Ridgefield's Memorial Day parade for the first time in 2010. Wisner was 22yo when she signed up to become a WWII Navy flight nurse. Once Navy flight nurse training was finished, she made regular trips from Guam to combat zones in the Pacific, to collect patients. The C-47 planes she flew in were old cargo planes transformed into hospitals. She recalls the fear of Kamikaze pilots and one that hit a hospital ship her friend was serving on. "Those young Marines were so glad to get on that plane, all they wanted was a drink of water..."

World War II flight nurses exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
"The Winged Angels: U.S. Army Air Forces Flight Nurses in World War II" -exhibit, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, tells the story of the 500 Army nurses who served in 31 medical air evacuation transport squadrons. On display are a flight nurse blue uniform and all 4 versions of the flight nurse wings. Highlights include the uniform of 1st Lt. Suella Bernard, the only nurse known to have taken part in a WWII glider combat mission, and a flight jacket of 1st Lt. Mary L. Hawkins, who was granted the Distinguishing Flying Cross for her efforts with 24 patients after surviving a C47 crash-landing.

German nurse on Eastern Front: Everyone knew about killing the Jews
Annette Schücking-Homeyer - a nurse on the Eastern Front, recalls the atrocities against the Jews, and how everyone knew about it. (Q) When did you discover that Jews were being murdered? (A) In the train on the way to the front. Two soldiers joined us... one of them told us how he had been ordered to shoot a woman... the woman had begged for mercy, pleading that she had to take care of her handicapped sister. He had someone get the sister, and then he shot them both. (Q) In Zwiahel, the city's Jewish community was wiped out. When did you learn of this? (A) On the day we got there... at the dinner table.

World War II Front Line Nurse by Mildred Radawiec MacGregor [book review]
"World War II Front Line Nurse" is Mildred Radawiec MacGregor's memories of being on a ship traveling through U-Boat hunting grounds, huddling through air raids in England, experiencing 120-degree heat in North Africa and following the First Army across Europe. The first part of the book does not dwell on the rough aspects of her service duties; chapters read like a travel guide. She notes architecture and the cultural quirks of local inhabitants. In between duties she dances with were members of bomber crews and goes sightseeing, often detouring around German minefields. In the book's second half, the barbarity of war is very much in evidence.

World War II nurses landed with the troops on June 6, 1944?
Andrea Noto hopes to get her mother's wartime adventures out to the public. In 1943 Anna Donato enlisted in the U.S. Army. From April 1943 until November 1945, Lt. Donato's military service took her to the beaches of Normandy for the D-Day invasion in 1944, the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and the Battle of the Rhine in 1945. The greatest of Donato's disclosures to her daughter was that of her being one of only 3 nurses and 3 medical corpsmen selected for a secret mission to land with the troops on the beaches on June 6, 1944. Unfortunately, the Army has never confirmed this. Andrea has gone to great lengths to try to prove her mother's story.

Edith Shain, nurse in the iconic Times Square war photo, reunites with Navy
A 90-year-old, who says she's the woman being kissed by a sailor in Times Square in one of World War II's most famous photos, reunited with the Navy. Edith Shain, wearing a white nurse's uniform like the one she wore in 1945, went to see the musical revival of "South Pacific" and posed for pics. On Aug. 15, 1945, Shain joined thousands celebrating after Japan surrendered (V-J Day). On Broadway and 45th Street, a sailor grabbed and kissed her - and the moment was caught by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who didn't get the names of either party, and efforts to id them produced a number of claimants. "The end of the war was a wonderful experience."

The Flying Nightingales, who treated 100,000 WWII troops aboard planes, honored
For 64 years, their bravery in World War II has gone unrecognized. But now 7 nurses who risked their lives to help evacuate over 100,000 wounded soldiers from the battlegrounds of Europe have finally been honoured. The women, nicknamed the Flying Nightingales, were presented with lifetime achievement awards by the Duchess of Cornwall. The Flying Nightingales were air ambulance nurses who flew on military aircraft to evacuate badly injured soldiers after the D-Day landings. Their RAF Dakota aircraft carried military supplies, so they could not display the Red Cross, and frequently came under attack by the Luftwaffe.

Phyllis Thom: World War II nurse, who was imprisoned by the Japanese
As a WW2 nurse taken prisoner by the Japanese, Phyllis Thom saw a Japanese soldier grind his foot on her patient's wound. She herself, when badly ill, had to line up twice a day for the "tenko", or roll call. "Every hour a Japanese guard tramped through our block and seemed to take delight in hitting our shins with the butt of his rifle." She recorded the systematic abuse by the Japanese in an account which is now in the Imperial War Museum. When the Japanese refused to send for the right instruments, a knife had to be made into a saw to amputate his leg. Another patient was killed with a bayonet for attempting to get a drink of water.

Spanish honour for British war nurse Penny Feiwel - "English Penny"
Just months away from her 100th birthday, Penny Feiwel is about to be honoured for her role in the Spanish Civil War. As one of the last British survivors who helped fight Franco's rebels, Penny is to be offered joint nationality. She travelled to Spain as a nurse, on humanitarian basis, earning lieutenant rank and the nickname "English Penny". Penny nursed casualties from both sides 1936-1938 before her war was ended during a fascist bombing raid. "I've no idea what happened when I was injured. I just remember waking up and someone was treating me." She had shrapnel wounds across her arms and body.

Nightingale Nurse Dorothy Lewis stormed the beaches at Normandy 4 days after D-Day
Dorothy Lewis and a handful of other nurses stormed the beaches at Normandy. Rather than going in by glider, which was the original plan, the nurses spent 4 days aboard the freighter William N. Pendleton. On June 10 they jumped into the landing craft. Thinking the landing craft was filled with reinforcements, soldiers who met them were surprised to find the "reinforcements" dressed in men's uniforms, but wearing red lipstick. Loaded down with equipment and wearing boots and helmets, the nurses were greeted by German shells and a German plane attacking the beach with machine-gun fire.

World War II Nurses get their due
With the Battle of Okinawa raging around her in 1945, Omi Jensen flew to the fiercely contested Japanese island to care for wounded US servicemen. She was one of only 122 women during WW2 who earned Flight Nurse Wings. She was part of a pioneering group of Navy nurses who flew into Pacific battle zones on aircraft and cared for badly wounded Marines as they were flown to safety. They were designated VRE-1 but nicknamed "Hell's Angels" by the servicemen. Jensen recalls how in 3-month period, the "Hell's Angels" evacuated 9,600 wounded from Okinawa - over twice that of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal combined.

Sisters in Arms: British Army Nurses Tell Their Story by Nicola Tyrer
Nicola Tyrer has saved the last group of unsung heroines of World War II: the nurses. 10 years ago she brought to light the history of the Land Army Girls. The QAs (Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service) who owed their origin to Florence Nightingale, had been in Boer War field hospitals in whalebone stays and flowing skirts, and in the same clothes in WWI. But in WWII they served in battledress, at the front line. 9000 QAs were serving overseas by 1945. They were bombed on hospital trains as they moved troops - with advise: "If a man's foot is cold and gangrenous, don't waste time, cut it off."

WWII Army nurse Ruth M. Puryear: took part in D-Day invasion, Battle of the Bulge
Ruth Motter Puryear volunteered for military service in 1943 and served with the 107th Evacuation Hospital. 3 days into the 1944 Allied D-Day invasion, Army Lt. Ruth Motter Puryear went running down the ramp of a transport pointed at Omaha Beach and sank into water over her head. Two GIs came to the aid of the petite Army nurse. With one on either side holding her out of the water, she made it to shore, where she took a handful of sand as a precious memento. She also served in the Battle of the Bulge and was among the first Army nurses to see the Buchenwald concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

The Diary of Jean Hays: A WWII Army Nurse in Fiji
Tiffany Musuneggi Mura came upon on a partial set of diaries written by World War II nurse Jean Hays, and she knew she would have to bring this unknown nurse to public attention. "Jean's story is not as dramatic as some of those other WW2 nurses. She was not taken prisoner in Bataan or Corregidor; she did not land with soldiers on the beaches of Anzio." But Hays was one of 59,000 nurses who served in that war, and her journals give a glimpse into their lives. --- Oct 27, 1942: "patients were coming ... 220 Marines from the Solomon Islands. Boys 17-30 with arms, legs, eyes and hands missing, burns, shrapnel wounds ... courageous happy good old American boys."

WWII nurse Ann Agnes Bernatitus: Congressional Legion of Merit medal   (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War II Navy nurse Ann Agnes Bernatitus was the first person awarded the Congressional Legion of Merit medal in 1942 for her heroic deeds of treating wounded soldiers as the Japanese bombed Bataan Island in the Philippines. The retired captain was memorialized as a 4-foot black marble stone etched with her photo was unveiled during a dedication ceremony in front of Exeter’s borough building. Bernatitus was the only naval nurse not captured when Manila was taken over by the enemy. She wound up serving in Bataan after a series of evacuations. She is sometimes referred to as the Angel of Bataan.

Rita Wong - World War Two Flying Tigers nurse
A legendary Chinese nurse who cared for injured U.S. Flying Tigers airmen and suffered beatings during the Cultural Revolution has died at 95. Rita Wong, who escaped the Japanese in Hong Kong to join the Flying Tigers in China, had lived in anonymity in Kunming for the past six decades. "The story of Rita Wong, the only Chinese nurse at the hospital for the Flying Tigers, could be one of the most touching tales of World War II." The Flying Tigers was the nickname for the American Volunteer Group that formed a fighter group that defended the Burma supply line to China over the Himalayas known as the “Hump” before the US entered the war.

WWII Nurse watched as mob hung Mussolini's mistress Clara Petacci   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Cardross residents are mourning the death of a War heroine Meg Brown - natural historian described by those who knew her as "a truly remarkable woman". She became a Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nurse, serving in France, Africa, and Italy during WWII. She nearly drowned when a boat she was travelling in was hit by a torpedo. She also spent time in an Italian POW camp, and watched as an angry mob hung Benito Mussolini’s mistress, Clara Petacci, up by her ankles. She was awarded 5 medals for bravery, including the Geroge IV Medal, and received a letter of commendation from the King for her War efforts.

WWII Documentary of Vivian Bullwinkel: An Australian Heroine
The death of Vivian Bullwinkel in 2000 brought to a new generation the story of the Australian nurse who survived a massacre by Japanese troops on a beach near Sumatra and internment in a POW camp. Her story has not been given a thorough documentary treatment to date, an astonishing oversight given the mini-industry around the Australian soldiers. This documentary begins in Singapore just before the bombing of Pearl Harbour and follows the Broken Hill-trained nurse as she alone survives the massacre that claimed 21 Australian nurses soon after the sinking of their ship.

American Flag raising honors local female Iwo Jima veteran   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The American flag flying in front of the Richland County Admin. building honors a woman who served on both Iwo Jima and Okinawa during World War II. The late Norma Harrison Crotty was a Navy flight nurse who helped treat and evacuate wounded men from both battlefields. One of her proudest possessions was an original copy of Joe Rosenthal's flag raising photo taken on Iwo Jima - signed by the photographer. She worked aboard stripped down DC-3s that were converted into airborne ambulances. She was one of the very few women to step foot on Iwo Jima during the battle. Her presence was noted in James Bradley's "Flags of Our Fathers."

Documentary featuring the Battle in Okinawa Himeyuri nurse corps
The Himeyuri corps consisted of 222 female students aged 15-19. They were pressed into service on March 23, 1945. On June 18 the corps was suddenly disbanded. Many set out in small groups from the caves they worked and hid in into the midst of the battle. Within days of the order, more than 100 girls were killed or took their own lives. A film featuring testimony from 22 recruits who cared for Japanese soldiers during the Battle in Okinawa is finally ready after 13 years. They expressed hope that the work helps young people realize how many lives were lost in the closing months of WWII. "We were educated to die bravely and we were prepared to do so."

World War II Bataan Angel Jean Kennedy Schmidt dies at 88
Jean Kennedy Schmidt, one of the WWII nurses dubbed the "Angels of Bataan" who were held prisoner in the Philippines, has died at 88. After Japan attacked in 1942, 99 Army and Navy nurses in the Philippines found themselves treating casualties in open-air field hospitals on the Bataan Peninsula. When the Philippines fell, they were sent to the rocky island fortress of Corregidor. Some nurses were able to leave before Corregidor fell in May 1942. The other 77 were held in Manila for 3 years. While in the camp, they continued to treat other military and civilian prisoners. They were liberated in 1945 when a U.S. tank crashed through the gates.

Nurse recounts service during World War II   (Article no longer available from the original source)
57,000 nurses served in the U.S. Army and 16,000 in the Navy. More than 8,000 were stationed just behind the front lines, 201 nurses were killed and 2,000 were wounded. Mary Boyles became a nurse and entered the Army as a second lieutenant in Jan 1941 and was within a few weeks of finishing her tour of duty when the Pearl Harbor attack took place. ...After Allied troops landed in Italy, her unit was moved to a staging area. She managed to get some GI boots, but she still had to stuff clothes in the toes of boots in order to wear them. The entire group of nurses ended up wearing men's fatigue uniforms, the WWII version of battle-dress uniforms.

Elaine Russell watched Allied paratroopers land
From the safety of a U.S. hospital ship, Army nurse Elaine Russell watched Allied paratroopers land in the Philippines and Japanese fighter planes tumble from the night sky as Japan began to lose its foothold in the Pacific Theater during World War II. "Our ship was always lit to show our red cross and identify us as a hospital ship. We were regularly followed by Japanese subs, which made life somewhat uncertain," she later wrote of her wartime experience. During her military service, Russell suffered a brutal attack from a liberated American POW who was mentally unstable.

Army Nurse Corps during the Battle of the Bulge
Evangeline R. Coeyman joined the Army Nurse Corps and became a second lieutenant assigned to the 59th Field Hospital. She followed General George S. Patton's 3rd Army. The toughest time was the Battle of the Bulge. We followed the 90th Division and also serviced the 82nd Airborne Division in the Bulge. We went into Bastogne in January. The Bulge was ice and bad rain, bad storms. It was very cold. They got the wounded to the clearing stations pretty rapidly, and we worked at a fast pace. We had a couple SS'ers [Waffen-SS, Adolf Hitler's elite troops], and we had to give them care. I said, "Oh my gosh, what if they have guns?" But they didn't.

Imperial Japanese Army Nurse reveals site of soldiers remains
Toyo Ishii, who worked as a nurse for the Imperial Japanese Army, wants to set the record straight about a period in the immediate aftermath of World War II that is almost forgotten. She told authorities about sites in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward that contain the remains of soldiers killed in the war. She said this was done so that Occupation authorities would not find out. The Toyama district housed many army medical facilities, including an arm of the notorious Unit 731, which conducted biological experiments using human subjects.

Heroine Rose Rinella Harmer kept quiet on war role - with Third Army from D-Day   (Article no longer available from the original source)
"I was in the 104th Evacuation Hospital, attached to the Third Army, throughout the European Campaign. We arrived in early July 1944 on Omaha beach. We set up our Hospital, and at the time we were getting casualties from the St. Lo Campaign. We usually were in one location from 10-14 days, it depended on the movement of the troops. We would cover 100-200 miles a day moving..." During the Battle of the Bulge her hospital was hit 3 times, and her work earned her the Bronze Star. "Everything you see about war is not true. It was not funny. There wasn't time to be funny. It was horrible, horrible, horrible."

WWII nurse won acclaim for book about her experiences   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Bedpan Commando: The Story of a Combat Nurse During World War II. A first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps, June Wandrey Mann cared for the wounded on battlefields in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany and saw firsthand the atrocities that had been committed by the Nazis when the concentration camps at Allach and Dachau were liberated. She corresponded with former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and chatted with President Clinton on the site of a famous World War II battlefield.

His authority was extraordinary. He was charming - Hitler's nurse
For 60 years, Erna Flegal said nothing about her role in the Third Reich. She never spoke of her part as nurse in the Führer's Berlin bunker. Now, Ms Flegel has spoken out for the first time - of Hitler's final hours, of her friendship with the superb Magda Goebbels, and her jealous loathing for Eva Braun. Her testimony casts fresh light on the last days of the Nazi era and has never appeared in the books about Hitler. Flegel described how she began working as a Red Cross nurse at the Reichschancellery in Berlin in January 1943. She had been moved there from the eastern front. "[Hitler] was always polite and charming. There was really nothing to object to."

The Army Nurse Corps in World War II
More than 59,000 American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during WWII. Nurses worked closer to the front lines than they ever had before. Within the "chain of evacuation" established by the Army Medical Department during the war, nurses served under fire in field hospitals and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and hospital ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. The skill of nurses contributed to the very low post-injury mortality rate. The Army Nurse Corps listed fewer than 1,000 nurses on its rolls on 7 Dec 1941, the day of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. 82 Army nurses were stationed in Hawaii that infamous morning.

V-E Day has special place in ex-Army nurse's heart
Young Army nurse Isabelle Cook worked in the operating room of a hospital in southern France, when the long-awaited word came. Nazi Germany had surrendered. The flow of casualties to the 3rd General Hospital would end. Her patients were going home – not back to the front. Whoops of joy erupted, and relief washed over soldiers, doctors and nurses. She put on her dress uniform and joined others to march through streets lined with cheering townspeople. Her elation quickly turned to horror. Hanging from a lamppost was a man. Then another. And another. Each wore a sign that read, "Collaborateur."

Hitler's nurse Erna Flegel breaks silence - Was in berlin bunker
Survivor of Adolf Hitler's wartime bunker in Berlin has been tracked down. Mrs Erna Flegel said she stayed in the bunker after Hitler killed himself and was there when Soviet troops arrived. She said Hitler was so paranoid that he even suspected spies had filled his cyanide capsule with false poison. From January 1943 until the end of the war her task was to give medical treatment to Hitler and his inner circle. She was interviewed by US secret service agents in 1945, but otherwise has kept silent about her World War II experiences.

Nurses in the Nazi Era
‘A nurse has moral authority everywhere,’ says one expert on Third Reich medical horrors. Sadly, most nurses managed to rationalize their complicity. How was that possible? During the Third Reich, home care nurses reported disabled Germans to the authorities for euthanasia because it was part of the work. Pediatric nurses earned bonuses for killing hospitalized children by slow starvation or poison. Others visited wine cellars to celebrate every 50th murder. Yet that was years before World War II and the mass exterminations.

The Ethics of Nursing in the Third Reich
Nurses have for many years been awarded the top ranking in polls about which occupations are most trusted. But there was one era in history when nurses did not care, or, to be more correct, they cared in ways that were detrimental to their patients. Much has been written about the role of doctors in the Nazi era, but scant attention has been paid to nurses. Several doctors were involved in T4 euthanasia program. However, few nurses were ever indicted for their roles. No-one was ever forced to be part of T4. Anyone who objected was usually moved to another institution.