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Phyllis Law oral history interview

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Material Information

Title:
Phyllis Law oral history interview
Series Title:
Concentration camp liberators oral history project
Uniform Title:
Holocaust & genocide studies oral history projects
Physical Description:
1 sound file (30 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Law, Phyllis Lamont, 1922-
Hirsh, Michael, 1943-
University of South Florida Libraries -- Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
University of South Florida -- Library. -- Special & Digital Collections. -- Oral History Program
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Concentration camps -- History -- Austria   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Austria   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Liberation   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Hospitals -- Austria   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Medical care   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Veterans -- United States   ( lcsh )
Nurses -- Interviews -- United States   ( lcsh )
Veterans -- Interviews -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genocide   ( lcsh )
Crimes against humanity   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Phyllis Law. Law was a nurse with the 131st Evacuation Hospital, which was one of the units sent to Mauthausen-Gusen after its liberation on May 5, 1945. The nurses did not go into the camp for several days after they arrived there and, once they had, stayed in the officers' quarters at some distance from the camp. Law's main job at first was to distribute medication, but a series of accidents limited her interaction with the prisoners. The 131st Evac Hospital was at the camp for two months before returning to the United States.
Venue:
Interview conducted June 30, 2008.
Preferred Citation:
The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust (New York: Bantam Books, 2010) and Concentration Camp Liberators Oral History Project, University of South Florida Libraries, ©2010 Michael Hirsh.
Language:
Transcripts, excerpts, or any component of this interview may be used without the author's express written permission only for educational or research purposes. No portion of the interview audio or text may be broadcast, cablecast, webcast, or distributed without the author's express written permission.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Michael Hirsh.
General Note:
This interview was conducted as research for The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust / Michael Hirsch (New York: Bantam Books, 2010).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 024890972
oclc - 656362327
usfldc doi - C65-00075
usfldc handle - c65.75
System ID:
SFS0022125:00001


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Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 transcript segment idx 0 time 00:00:0.0 text Phyllis Law: Okay, Mike. 1 00:00:1.3 2 00:00:9.4 PL: P-h-y-l-l-i-s. 3 00:00:12.1 MH: Okay. And youre at. 4 00:00:14.7 PL: Thats right. 5 00:00:15.6 MH: And your phone number is. And your name at the time of World War II was Phyllis Lamont, L-a-m-o-n-t. 6 00:00:21.4 PL: Right. 7 00:00:22.0 MH: Can you give me your birth date? 8 00:00:24.3 PL: 7-5-22 [July 5, 1922]. 9 00:00:26.8 MH: How did it happen that you went into the Army? 10 00:00:30.5 PL: Well, I was just out of nurses training, and I wanted to get some experience, excitement, you know. 11 00:00:40.9 MH: How old were you at the time? 12 00:00:42.9 PL: Oh, about twenty. 13 00:00:44.0 MH: And you figured going to war was about the most excitement you could have? 14 00:00:49.0 PL: Yeah, I just had to get away from where Id been for the last two years, you know, working hard. And now I wanted out of it. 15 00:00:57.2 MH: Where did you grow up? 16 00:00:58.7 PL: Oh, I grew up down here in Leroy. 17 00:01:4.1 MH: Leroy, Pennsylvania? 18 00:01:6.2 PL: Pennsylvania, ten miles from here. 19 00:01:9.0 MH: And whered you go to nursing school? 20 00:01:10.9 PL: I went to nurses school in Newburgh, New York, on the Hudson. 21 00:01:14.6 MH: What school was that? 22 00:01:17.5 PL: St. Lukes. 23 00:01:19.4 MH: So, you come out of St. Lukes, and youre a registered nurse. 24 00:01:25.4 PL: Yes, and I went into the service under the Red Cross. 25 00:01:29.0 MH: What does that mean? 26 00:01:31.5 PL: Oh, it means that you dont enlist like, you know, like the men do. I had to get permission from the hospital where I was to enter the service with the Red Cross, and thats how I got my okay to get in the service. 27 00:01:57.7 MH: And when you go in, are you in there as a lieutenant? 28 00:02:0.6 PL: Yes, second lieutenant. 29 00:02:2.7 MH: Second lieutenant. So, they send you through basic training. 30 00:02:7.0 PL: Yes. Well, from therelets see, I had my exam in New York City, and from there I was sent to Atlantic City to get my basic and all my shots [at Basic Training Center No. 7], and then from there I was assigned to Tilton General Hospital [at Fort Dix]. 31 00:02:26.4 MH: Which is where? 32 00:02:28.8 PL: In Trenton, New Jersey. And I worked there underwith regular nursing care. 33 00:02:37.7 MH: At what point do they tell you youre going overseas? 34 00:02:43.0 PL: Well, while we were working on the ward, a lot of them are talking about going overseas, and that meant more excitement for a twenty-year-old. So, I signed up. The next thing I know, theyd sent me to South Carolina. 35 00:03:7.8 MH: And youre attached to 36 00:03:13.0 PL: I went down there to Fort Jackson, and then I was attached to the 131st [Evacuation Hospital] from there. 37 00:03:21.8 MH: What was it like when you finally got orders that youre going to get on a ship and go over there? 38 00:03:28.7 PL: Well, that was all right, until I got on the ship. (laughs) 39 00:03:32.0 MH: Tell me about that. 40 00:03:33.8 PL: We were assigned down in Fort Jackson, and we came back to Trenton, and then we were sent to New York City to get on this ship. And it was midnight or so when we got onit was Christmastime, that wasnt so goodand we just had to climb up to this big ship in the dark, with all our packs and stuff. And then we were just assigned to the staterooms and picked our bunk, and there we sat for three days and nights. 41 00:04:10.6 MH: With the ship not moving? 42 00:04:11.5 PL: Oh, no, the ship moved. It was on its way, zigzagging its way across the Atlantic. 43 00:04:16.9 MH: But that took you longer than three days. 44 00:04:20.2 PL: No. 45 00:04:21.4 MH: You guys made it across the Atlantic in three days? 46 00:04:24.3 PL: The Queen Elizabeth, thirty knots, and zigzagged all the way over; and keep our clothes on, because they said we were being followed by a wolf pack of submarines. So, we got to England, or Greenock, Scotland, and it was just before Christmas. It was cold and snowing, and we were assigned to big old houses that had nothing in them but a fireplace and straw mattresses and bunks. And, I dont know, we just complained all while we were there, but we got along. 47 00:05:12.0 MH: But thats what people in the Army do. 48 00:05:13.3 PL: Yeah. And we got along. Anyway, it was cold. We kept throwing straw and mothballs into the fire to get warm. And then, lets see. Oh, it came Christmas night or Christmas Eve, and it was Christmas, and all the Catholic girls could go to mass. The Protestant girls had nothing, we couldnt go anywhere: we were still under quarantine. So, we all went to mass; we were all Catholic. It was snowing, it was cold and snowing. Yeah. 49 00:05:52.7 MH: How did the English people react to you guys? 50 00:05:54.7 PL: Oh, they reacted all right when they saw us. We got invited out to different homes after wed been there for a while. And three of us were non-drinkers, of course, and we were invited to a home and we expected tea in rations, but they liked gin and tonic. 51 00:06:20.1 MH: You were non-drinkers because of your age? 52 00:06:22.8 PL: Just werentwe werent drinkers. 53 00:06:25.6 MH: You didnt drink? 54 00:06:26.7 PL: Just not drinkers. I was known as an orange juice girl all the way through the service. And the other girls, I dont know; after I left them, I dont know. 55 00:06:36.9 MH: Okay. So, howyeah, go ahead. 56 00:06:40.9 PL: Well, like I say. We tried the gin and tonic, and all three of us conked out. Finally wethat was before we had anything to eat. And after wed eaten, we kinda napped in our chairs. And I dont remember what we did at leaving, but anyway, we went back to our quarters. From there, we were put on detached service. 57 00:07:15.0 MH: How soon after that did they send you across the Channel? 58 00:07:21.7 PL: Oh, dear. We got there at Christmas and we went across the Channel in March, I think it was March. In the meantime, we had been on detached service. 59 00:07:41.4 MH: So, that meant you were doing what? 60 00:07:44.5 PL: We were working with other outfits in different areas; some of us were down toward Chester, and I dont know where the others went. 61 00:07:54.0 MH: Tell me about going across the Channelwhat was that trip like? 62 00:07:59.9 PL: I dont remember going across the Channel; we went across on the [MS] Sobieski, thats all I know. 63 00:08:5.3 MH: The Sobieski? 64 00:08:6.2 PL: Yeah. 65 00:08:7.0 MH: Big ship? 66 00:08:7.9 PL: No, no, a small one. 67 00:08:9.5 MH: And you went to where? 68 00:08:11.0 PL: Lets see, where did we land? 69 00:08:17.0 MH: Was it Le Havre? 70 00:08:22.2 PL: No, I dont think we landed in Le Havre; I think we landed in Caen or something like that? Or Rouen, R-o-u-e-n, does that sound like anything? 71 00:08:34.9 MH: I can look it up. 72 00:08:36.7 PL: Something like that. I think it was Rouen. 73 00:08:39.7 MH: So, at this point, theres forty nurses more or less. 74 00:08:43.1 PL: Yeah. 75 00:08:43.9 MH: And youre part of the 131st Evac. Did they attach you to an infantry unit? 76 00:08:52.2 PL: Oh no, no. We werent attached to anybody. We went from Rouen to Paris by train. 77 00:09:4.1 MH: Were you in passenger cars or boxcars, 40-by-8s? 78 00:09:9.2 PL: (laughs) Well, lets see if I can remember. Thats a long time ago. 79 00:09:16.5 MH: Yes, it is. 80 00:09:17.1 PL: We were in several different things. I think we went in a truck. Took care of us. And we stopped there long enough to eat and they put us on aI dont know, I think we just went by truck to Reims, as I recall. We were stationed in chateaux there in Reims and set up our outfit in an old boys school, a big fort-like. That was an experience, too. 81 00:10:1.1 MH: Because? 82 00:10:2.1 PL: The facilities werent so good. 83 00:10:5.8 MH: Were you taking care of wounded by then? 84 00:10:10.9 PL: No, there was nobody there. This was just a trial. We set up a trial of the outfit, and if I recall, it took us a while to get our supplies, so we were just there for a short time. 85 00:10:29.3 MH: Whens the first time you came into contact with the troops who needed your care? 86 00:10:35.8 PL: First time we came in contact with them was, lets see, in Germany, Bierbach or something like that, in Germany. 87 00:10:54.0 MH: What was the experience like, if you recall? 88 00:10:56.4 PL: We were just with them there, and thenthat was later. Let me think now. One place we were set upthe only place we were ever in contact with them and took care of wounded was in Germany, but I cant remember where it was. I worked in a recovery ward; we just set up in tents and lived out in the country. 89 00:11:33.1 MH: So, its pretty much like being in a M.A.S.H. unit. 90 00:11:35.7 PL: Yeah. 91 00:11:36.6 MH: How did youwhat was the first time you knew about concentration camps? 92 00:11:43.3 PL: Oh, we went from taking care of these wounded, we were taken tothats when we landed in Bierbach, by truck; all of our travel was by truck, covered truck. We never saw the countryside at all. We were inside covered trucks because of snipers or whatnot, they told us. And outside of Mauthausen, in the Linz area, we were left in a field for a few days until the boys went into the concentration camp. Our colonel wouldnt let us go, too, until the boys had gone in to see what it was all about.  And from there, they took us into the camp. 93 00:12:34.2 MH: What were youwhat was it like waiting for those few days? 94 00:12:38.1 PL: Basking in the sunshine and just waitin around. We lived in little tents. 95 00:12:44.6 MH: But there was no sense of imminent dread as to what you were going to be exposed to? 96 00:12:50.3 PL: No, no, no. Of course, we really had no idea, you know. 97 00:12:54.6 MH: Nobody had told you what these camps were? 98 00:12:57.5 PL: No. Well, they told us they were there, but you know, you dont really know until you get into it and see it, really. 99 00:13:7.9 MH: So, tell me about the first time you went there. 100 00:13:9.0 PL: Hmm. Well, the first time we went there, we drove into camp in covered trucks, as usual, and we jumped off trucks. 101 00:13:21.5 MH: This was into Gusen? 102 00:13:22.8 PL: Into Gusen, Gusen I. And of course, me, I broke a toe or something, so I couldnt hobble around too well, and I didnt work for a while. But I did get into camp, and we were all dosed down with DDT and taken into the wards. 103 00:13:48.8 MH: How do they put the DDT on you? 104 00:13:50.9 PL: (laughs) Squirt guns. 105 00:13:54.5 MH: Oh, the big flip guns with the pump handle? 106 00:13:58.2 PL: I dont remember about the handle. Just like you spray insect stuff. Opened up all the things in yourwhat do you call them, fatigues?and we were dosed really good before we went in. Because they said there was typhus and all kinds of things there. 107 00:14:21.0 MH: So, you were livingyou were living in a tent in 108 00:14:25.2 PL: No, we didnt live in a tent there. We lived in officers quartersthey were little houses away from the campwhen they took us up there. Like three or four of us in a room, real close quarters, but at least it was clean. We had a place to take a shower and whatnot. 109 00:14:46.3 MH: How far away from the actual camp where the inmates were, were those officers quarters? 110 00:14:51.6 PL: Oh, boy. I dont know, maybe five miles. 111 00:14:54.9 MH: Oh, so it was quite a ways away. 112 00:14:56.3 PL: Possibly. Yeah. 113 00:14:57.9 MH: So what do you remember about the first time they actually took you into the camps? 114 00:15:2.9 PL: Well, they dosed us down and let us in, and we had to make up a lot of supplies first. And what we saw were all these horrible, horrible people in bunks that were five and ten across, and every one of them emaciated and no clothes or few clothes or dirty clothes and whatnot. And they all had diarrhea and all kinds of sickness, so what we had to do was just pass pills at first. Some of the boys had set up intravenous and blood and so forth, which they put them in, everybody as they went along. Before they got through, some of them were dead before they were completed. 115 00:16:4.0 MH: How do you deal with that? 116 00:16:5.2 PL: Oh, I dont know how you deal with it. You feel bad. Thats about all you can do, its kind of a shock. 117 00:16:12.9 MH: I mean, you were what, a twenty-year-old girl who had never been exposed to anything like this. 118 00:16:20.1 PL: Well, except at the hospital; you know, you have people die on you at the hospital. But you had all kinds of things to take care of, and there it was just a matter of taking the people out and all the otheryou didnt know when the next one was going to die. And all we did was pass pills, go along and ask everythingand of course everybodyd had diarrhea. 119 00:16:48.5 MH: What was the treatment for diarrhea back then? 120 00:16:51.0 PL: I think it was sulfa. Yeah. And theyd just give us a pack of pills and wed just pass them out as we were told to. With a guard with us; we always had a guard with us. 121 00:17:3.1 MH: Were you able to talk to these people? 122 00:17:4.9 PL: No, I wasnt there really long enough to talk to any of them. Some of the other girls were there all the time. But like I say, I broke a toe, and so I was laid up for a while and couldnt get around. 123 00:17:18.6 MH: When you were passing pills, were you in the barracks where they had these 124 00:17:21.7 PL: Yes, yes, right in the barracks. We just had a little area in the front of the ward where we had our supplies. And we justfrom there, the guard would go with us and wed just take our pills out and pass them out, as everybody said they had diarrhea, in German or whatever it was. 125 00:17:41.5 MH: These were the barracks where they were laying on these plank beds? 126 00:17:43.9 PL: Right, right. 127 00:17:45.3 MH: I mean, the smell had to be overpowering, I assume. 128 00:17:49.2 PL: Yeah. You wear masks, but it still isnt the best. 129 00:17:55.4 MH: What do you think about the situation when youre in it? 130 00:18:0.2 PL: Kinda hopeless. You just hope you can save a few. 131 00:18:6.8 MH: Do you wonder about how this could happen or how people could do this to other people? 132 00:18:16.8 PL: Well, you know, youre so busy and everythingyou know how it happened because they talk about it all the while youre there. And to see all the piles and piles of people that are outside, stacks of them, bones and thats about all. Watch them being thrown into a big hole in the ground. Its been quite a while, and I forget a lot of it. 133 00:18:51.9 MH: I understand. Are those images that stay with you all your life? 134 00:18:55.7 PL: Oh, yeah. If anybody mentions this to me, I know what they look like. Yeah, I hope it never happens to anybody again. But it has, of course. But I havent beenit was kind of a shock, you know, when youre young. 135 00:19:13.3 MH: Did you write home about it? 136 00:19:16.6 PL: We werent allowed to write home about it. We were allowed to write home, yes, but everything was censored. 137 00:19:24.2 MH: So, you couldnt tell your family what youd seen. 138 00:19:26.9 PL: No, not until you get home. And then nobody wants to hear about it, anyway. 139 00:19:31.1 MH: Really? 140 00:19:31.8 PL: Yeah. 141 00:19:32.5 MH: Did you try talking about it? 142 00:19:34.8 PL: No, because my folks just werent interested, you know; all they were interested in me, I got home. And they were farmers and went about their work and didnt have radios or anything like that to keep up with anything like that. That was my experience. My sister was a nurse, but she was also busy in a hospital; people hadntthey dont think about it. They think about the war, sure, but they were more concerned with the war than what wed been through. 143 00:20:11.8 MH: How long did you stay at Gusen? 144 00:20:16.3 PL: From May to July. 145 00:20:21.7 MH: So, you were there for quite some time. 146 00:20:23.2 PL: Well, yeah. 147 00:20:24.4 MH: Was there ever a point at which you actually felt you were doing some good here, were saving lives? 148 00:20:32.2 PL: Yeah, because you saved a few. You know, you do the best you can. I know some of the girls got acquainted with some of the people. But I didnt, because I was back and forth. Everything seemed to happen: first it was the broken toe, and then I had tooth problems and I had to have my wisdom teeth out. And that took me out for a while. And then, before we left Gusen, we were invited to a party by the general or whoever it was. I never did meet him. And my threetwo roommates that I had, we were all invited to this party. We didnt want to go, but we did. The jeep we went in had a drunken driver, and it was a rainy night, and we had to go from Gusen to Linz. I dont know how far it was, but it was on a real dark, miserable night with a drunken driver. And he said he had to keep up with two or three that was ahead of him, so we drove like crazy. And the next thing we knew, we were flying over an apple tree, over a bank, and we were smashed up. Out in the dark with nobody all the way from nowhere, you know. 149 00:22:3.5 MH: Howd they find you? 150 00:22:4.1 PL: Well, luckily, I was able to climb a bank and get up to the road, and luckily, one of the girls missed us and they sent a car back that found us. And that was the end of that. No more work, and we went home soon. I was on crutches and the others were, too, you know, for a while. So I really didnt do really much; I cant say I did very much, except in the beginning. 151 00:22:40.2 MH: Are you in touch with any of the nurses? 152 00:22:42.8 PL: All of them. We have about six now, on a round-robin, that are left. 153 00:22:48.8 MH: I interviewed Dorothy Maroon. The DOI for Dorothy Maroons interview is C65-00086. 154 00:22:51.2 PL: Dorothys in Florida. 155 00:22:53.5 MH: She lives about forty-five minutes from where I live, so I went up to her place. Do you happen to have phone numbers for any of the others? Let me tell you the names that I have. Jeanette Hogland? 156 00:23:9.0 PL: Shes in 157 00:23:10.1 MH: Palm Harbor, Florida, is what I have. 158 00:23:11.7 PL: Shes in a nursing home. Just a minute, let me see if Id got it. 159 00:23:20.1 MH: Okay, thank you. 160 00:23:23.6 PL: I dont know what I did with it, Mike. 161 00:23:40.5 MH: Let me tell you the other names I have, and you can tell me if Im likely to find them. Ellen Marchese? Marcase? 162 00:23:48.8 PL: Marcase. Bonnie, yeah. Shes in South Carolina. 163 00:23:56.3 MH: Okay, I have an address in Rutherford 164 00:24:0.5 PL: Grey Court. Yeah, Rutherford. I dont have a phone for her. 165 00:24:4.6 MH: I just left a message for Jessie McIntyre. 166 00:24:6.9 PL: Jessie, shes in Chapel Hill. 167 00:24:10.9 MH: Thelma Brubaker? 168 00:24:12.7 PL: Shes in Indiana, Pennsylvania, in some kind of a retirement home. 169 00:24:19.6 MH: And Mary Traub? 170 00:24:25.5 PL: Say that again. 171 00:24:28.1 MH: And Mary Traub? I guess her name was Mary Wood. 172 00:24:30.2 PL: Oh, Woodie. 173 00:24:31.4 MH: Woodie. 174 00:24:31.9 PL: I dont hear the girls sometimes with their names. Yeah, shes over in Webster. 175 00:24:37.8 MH: In New York. 176 00:24:39.4 PL: Yeah. 177 00:24:40.0 MH: But you dont have phone numbers on the Web. 178 00:24:41.2 PL: No, I dont, I dont. We write by round-robin, and I dont pay much attention to the phone. Jessie keeps up with all the phones, cause she likes the phones, and Dorothy does too, Dorothy Maroon. Shes close by. She would have em all. 179 00:25:1.8 MH: She would have the phone numbers? 180 00:25:2.8 PL: I think so, you know, if they had any. 181 00:25:5.5 MH: All right. Just out of curiosity, tell me a little about your life when you came home, to the states. 182 00:25:14.7 PL: Well, we came back to the States to go to CBI, but the war was over, so we didnt have to go. 183 00:25:22.4 MH: CBI was? 184 00:25:23.5 PL: China-Burma-India. Thats what we came home for. But that was in August, and we didnt have to go. 185 00:25:36.4 MH: So, you got out of the service then? 186 00:25:38.1 PL: No, we all got assigned. A couple of us went to Texas, and some to Louisiana, and 187 00:25:44.9 MH: Whered you go? 188 00:25:46.4 PL: I went to McKinney, Texas. 189 00:25:49.0 MH: For how long? 190 00:25:51.5 PL: Oh, I left there in January of forty-six [1946]. 191 00:26:1.0 MH: And got out of the service? 192 00:26:3.6 PL: And then I got out of the service, and Dorothy and I went to work in New York City at the Babies Hospital. 193 00:26:9.2 MH: You ultimately married? 194 00:26:13.5 PL: Well, I married a few years later, not right away. Dorothy and I went to Syracuse University and got our public health degree, and then we went our separate ways. I ended up in California after ten years of doing pediatric work in Syracuse, and I did public health in California. 195 00:26:42.9 MH: Where in California? 196 00:26:44.2 PL: San Jose. Lets see, I was there for a year, and I came back and did public health work in Green County, which is the Catskills, and then on up to (inaudible), where I met my husband and we got married. 197 00:27:3.5 MH: Do you have children? 198 00:27:8.7 PL: No, I havent, no. Step-children, yeah. 199 00:27:13.3 MH: All right. Well, I thank you very, very much for your time. 200 00:27:17.9 PL: Well, youre welcome Mike. I wish I could tell you more, but Ive forgotten a lot of it. 201 00:27:23.0 MH: You dont happen to have any pictures of yourself with the girls in the Army, do you? 202 00:27:28.1 PL: Oh, well, hit and miss. Ive got a few left at our last reunion. 203 00:27:36.5 MH: Pictures that were taken in Europe? 204 00:27:40.6 PL: In Europe? No, no, I dont have any. Well, I have a few that the girls gave me that they took pictures of at Gusen. Theres like a couple of us here and there that had our pictures taken. 205 00:27:55.1 MH: Do you have any of the pictures from Gusen? 206 00:27:56.9 PL: Yeah, all of us have pictures from Gusen. Just a few; we didnt have many. 207 00:28:3.5 MH: Pictures with you in them? 208 00:28:4.7 PL: No, no, no. We had a couple, like a couple of us had our pictures taken in front of the gate, something like that. And some of the girls may have other kinds. We did have pictures taken when we were in different areas waiting to go somewhere. 209 00:28:22.8 MH: Do you have the picture of yourself in front of the gate at Gusen? 210 00:28:27.4 PL: I and another girl, yes. 211 00:28:29.6 MH: Is it possible for me to get a copy of that? 212 00:28:32.1 PL: How would I get a copy? Let me think. 213 00:28:36.4 MH: I mean, I couldif you could sent it to me, what I would do is digitally scan it and send it back to you. Would you want me to send you an envelope? Would that work? 214 00:28:55.0 PL: You better, with your address on it. Thatd help. 215 00:28:57.7 MH: All right. Well, why dont I send you an envelope and you can send it to me, and Ill take care of it and send it back to you. 216 00:29:5.2 PL: Okay. 217 00:29:5.5 MH: Okay? 218 00:29:6.9 PL: Yeah. Dorothy might have one, too, but I dont know. 219 00:29:10.1 MH: She didnt have any. She had a picture of four of you that was in a newspaper, but she didnt have a print. 220 00:29:18.6 PL: Oh, yeah. 221 00:29:20.0 MH: Ill send you an envelope, and if you could send it to me, Id appreciate it. 222 00:29:24.1 PL: Okay. If I find any others that you might be interested in, Ill see if I can get them. 223 00:29:28.1 MH: Okay. Do you have a picture of yourself today? 224 00:29:30.3 225 00:29:36.8 MH: Four, five years ago is good. Ill send you an envelope and you can send it back to me. 226 00:29:42.4 PL: Okay. 227 00:29:42.4 MH: Thank you very, very much for your time. 228 00:29:45.2 PL: Youre welcome, Mike. 229 00:29:44.5 MH: I sure appreciate it. Bye. 230 00:29:44.9 PL: Bye.


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Phyllis Law oral history interview
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Concentration camp liberators oral history project
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This interview was conducted as research for The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust / Michael Hirsch (New York: Bantam Books, 2010).
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Interview conducted June 30, 2008.
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The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust (New York: Bantam Books, 2010) and Concentration Camp Liberators Oral History Project, University of South Florida Libraries, 2010 Michael Hirsh.
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This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Phyllis Law. Law was a nurse with the 131st Evacuation Hospital, which was one of the units sent to Mauthausen-Gusen after its liberation on May 5, 1945. The nurses did not go into the camp for several days after they arrived there and, once they had, stayed in the officers' quarters at some distance from the camp. Law's main job at first was to distribute medication, but a series of accidents limited her interaction with the prisoners. The 131st Evac Hospital was at the camp for two months before returning to the United States.
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