1. List: Muriel Knox Doherty
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    To what extent did the letters written by Muriel Knox Doherty describe the conditions of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp?

    The question chosen is specifically based on the letters written by Muriel Knox Doherty, who was a distinguished Australian nurse and matron during the recovery period of the second World War, more specifically in relation to the holocaust victims. The question asks whether the information provided in the letters she wrote during her time in Bergen Belsen provided accurate description of the conditions that people (or “inmates”) were living and working in. The source 1 is a primary source newspaper article that provides evidence of Muriel Knox Doherty's significance to the Bergen Belsen Camp. She is portrayed to be keen to assist in the recovery of the inmates who were trapped in the camp during the holocaust.

    Another example of newspaper evidence was source 9 in the list. This source highlights the significance of Doherty’s letters in the recording of the conditions of the inmates in the concentration camps. The newspaper published some of Muriel Knox Doherty’s own words and knowledge to describe to the public, the conditions in which the prisoners were faced with.

    Source 4, Folder 1 contained many letters from Doherty containing valuable information gathered from prisoners who experienced the conditions first hand. For example, I found a story about a Czechoslovak girl who told Muriel that a German Commander intended to evacuate them before the British arrived. The girl gave some information about the conditions of the concentration camps that she experienced first-hand, it included “Arrived at Bergen – Belsen we were surprised by another fearful aspect. Hundreds of trucks with dead and dying men were standing in the railway station – Their bodies were blue & bloody skeletons, the faces wounded, the dirty clothes torn & full of lice. This type of information is highly valuable when understanding the poor quality of life people were put through.

    Source 6, Folder 2 was another collection of Doherty’s letters. She described having to feed the malnourished prisoners as heartbreaking. Other aspects of the conditions such as the environment that they were placed in were described immensely such as the horrific sights and the vulgar odor that she was consistently faced with.

    Source 3, Folder 3 In her letters she also updates her mother on the state of Europe and the constant tension felt by most people, in particular her letter on the 3rd of November 1945 in this source where she discusses how there are many Nazis surrounding them, and how she does not know whether they can be trusted. She states also the dull and dying state of the environment around her “beauty gone & trees baring.” These letters that were written could not be more accurate when describing the experiences of nurses and inmates during the closing of the second world war. Because of her professional status, Doherty’s letters could also be seen as more accurate and less bias.

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    created by: kaytesharp on 2018-09-03 14:44:36.0
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  1. R.A.A.F. MATRON AT BELSEN Miss M. Doherty's Appointment
    The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Saturday 7 July 1945 p 11 Article
    Abstract: MELBOURNE, Friday.—An Australian nurse, Miss Muriel Knox Doherty, of Wollstonecraft, New South Wales, has been 258 words
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    2018-09-10 15:02:13.0

    This newspaper article provides evidence of Muriel Knox Doherty's significance to the Bergen Belsen camp recovery. Her significance in the matter was highlighted as she appears to be a keen helper, wishing food and soap to be provided to the "inmates" who were living in the conditions of the concentration camp.

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  2. Web page: Muriel Knox Doherty - Her Story
    https://search-informit-com-au.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=200001694;res=IELAPA
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    2018-09-10 16:37:29.0

    Russell, R. Lynnette. Muriel Knox Doherty: her story [online]. Collegian, Vol. 6, No. 3, July 1999: 35-38

    This source provides a general overview of the life of Muriel Knox Doherty. It shows her education background and her medical achievements as a nurse, teacher and matron. She had a career in nursing with the Army and the Air Force, and wished to become more actively involved overseas, as she did in Bergen Belsen. This provides significant information about Doherty and her expertise. Because she was a matron and had a large array of skills, it makes her writings a highly valuable sources.

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  3. The resource described by this item has been deleted from Trove
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    2018-09-10 14:44:17.0

    Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
    Letters by Muriel Knox Doherty, November 1945 – March 1946.
    MLMSS 442/Box 11/Folder 3
    These letters written by Muriel Knox Doherty provides extensive information about the state of the concentration camps that were utilised during World War II. It also gives evidence of the post-war conditions and the injuries and repercussions from the war in Belsen-Bensen.
    In her letters she also updates her mother on the state of Europe and the constant tension felt by most people, in particular her letter on the 3rd of November 1945 in this source where she discusses how there are many Nazis surrounding them, and how she does not know whether they can be trusted. She states also the dull and dying state of the environment around her “beauty gone & trees baring.”
    In the letter written on the 11th November 1945, Muriel also informs her mother that there were children who were malnourished and fainting which further emphasises the poor and horrific conditions of the concentration camps.

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  4. The resource described by this item has been deleted from Trove
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    2018-09-10 15:07:51.0

    The letter written on the 27th of July 1945, held some valuable information that was adopted by Doherty. She spoke to a Czechoslovak girl who told her that a German Commander intended to evacuate them before the British arrived. The girl gave some information about the conditions of the concentration camps that she experienced first hand, it included “Arrived at Bergen – Belsen we were surprised by another fearful aspect. Hundreds of trucks with dead and dying men were standing in the railway station – Their bodies were blue & bloody skeletons, the faces wounded, the dirty clothes torn & full of lice. That was so called transports of men to Bergen – Belsen. This transport never reached its destination".

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  5. Web page: Letters from Belsen 1945 / An Australian nurse’s experiences with the survivors of war
    https://bit.ly/2CCgb33
    Web page
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    2018-09-10 16:38:11.0

    Doherty, Muriel Knox; College of Nursing. Letters from Belsen 1945: An Australian Nurse's Experiences with the Survivors of War [online]. Nursing.aust, Vol. 1, No. 3, Aug 2000: 8-10

    This source is secondary and abbreviates the educational background of nurse Muriel Knox Doherty. It also highlights some key points from her letters that would describe the severe extent of the conditions of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. She describes the severe health and hygiene issues that people would have to live with on a daily basis. She also recorded the amount of people who were taken to hospitals, how many sick and how many were in urgent need of medical attention. This article gives a good overview of Muriel’s letters and highlights the extreme conditions that the holocaust brought.

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  6. The resource described by this item has been deleted from Trove
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    2018-09-10 15:28:27.0

    This folder starts with a letter written on the 8th of August 1945 where Doherty describes how the nurses and medical personnel had to feed the malnourished prisoners which she described as “colossal & heartbreaking”. The people were oblivious to their physical states, and nakedness when they saw food for them. She describes the wards that she was placed in were overcrowded, there was a significant odour. She also went into detail about the significant number of deaths and how 13,000 victims died from starvation alone. This, like the other letters gave even more first-hand information about the conditions that the prisoners had to live amongst.

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  7. Web page: Surviving survival: nursing care at Bergen‑Belsen 1945
    https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/bitstream/10453/9756/1/2008007883OK.pdf
    Web page
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    2018-09-10 16:38:39.0

    The purpose of this paper was to explore the previously little known contribution of nursing care at the liberation of Bergen‑Belsen concentration camp. During this paper, the writer mentioned facts relating to the conditions of the Bergen Belsen camp. They stated that Belsen was known for being one of the most poorly conditioned camps that existed. The nurses found it difficult to identify the "inmates" as humans based on their malnourished appearance. The article goes on to highlight some statistics of how many people were killed during the camp processes.
    The author also highlighted the immense contribution of the nurses and doctors who travelled to the aid of the men, women and children who were effected. Muriel Knox Doherty was one of these and was mentioned in the article as a valuable source for reliable evidence.

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  8. FREED JEWS. BELSEN AND BERGEN. Leaders' Bitter Complaint.
    The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) Thursday 22 November 1945 p 8 Article
    Abstract: LONDON, Nov 21.—Living conditions at the Belsen and Bergen camps for displaced persons in the British zone were the same as when 84 words
    • Text last corrected on 8 December 2014 by lyndyc
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  9. BELSEN LETT[?]
    Crookwell Gazette (NSW : 1885 - 1954) Wednesday 3 April 1946 p 6 Article
    Abstract: The following are excerpts from letters written by Miss M. K. Doherty, late Principal Matron of the R.A.A.F., from Belsen. 1906 words
    • Text last corrected on 23 September 2018 by Rhonda.M
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    2018-09-10 16:06:47.0

    This newspaper article was published in 1945 when the horrors (as described in the article) of Bergen Belsen were discussed in much more detail being informed by Muriel Knox Doherty.
    This source shows the significance of Miss Doherty’s voice in the situation. She expressed concern for the female inmates who had to march on foot from Bremen to Belsen before the camp entered into its final phase of “horror”. Again, she described the lack of food for the people, who were working long hours.
    The rest of the article appeared to be informing the public about the gross conditions of the camp and the lack of food and water the people received, and also gave graphic and disturbing details about the hygiene of the huts that they had to dwell in.

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