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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing

Letters from Belsen 1945

Muriel Knox Doherty

Letters from Belsen 1945

Anna Semmens, Joint Library and Archive Services Manager

Reason you chose this book

Letters from Belsen focuses on an interesting part of nursing history, nursing concentration camp survivors. Doherty discusses the malnutrition and disease you’d expect, alongside the psychological issues survivors had, such as the constant hoarding and the displacement in a way that is both accessible and interesting.

Review

An absolutely fascinating account of the nursing in a former concentration camp following the Second World War. The book is formed of letters sent by the director of nursing to her Australian friends and family. Both heart-breaking and uplifting it’s a brilliant account of nursing refugees, holocaust survivors and displaced persons following the fall of Germany. The author was not planning to write for a public audience which makes her very honest, with a very accessible writing style. Her focus is always on how things could be improved, and the challenges she faces around resources will be familiar to current nursing practitioners.

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