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Inventory of the Ethel Jorgensen Stafford Papers, 1943-1951, 2008

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: The collection consists of images, postcards, clippings, and photocopies of Ethel Jorgensen Stafford, a U.S. Army nurse who was stationed in Germany in 1945. Included are atrocity photographs of concentration camp victims and photographs of war damage to German cities where Jorgensen was based, including Aachen, Viersen, Gardelegen, and Berlin.
Title: Ethel Jorgensen Stafford papers
Creator: Stafford, Ethel Jorgensen, 1923-
Date(s): 1943-1951,   2008
Extent: 0.1 linear feet
(2 folders)
Repository: Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 1065-021
Language of Material: Materials in English and German

Biographical Note

Ethel Jorgensen was born in 1923. She served as a nurse with the U.S. Army during World War II, attached to the 113th Evacuation Hospital of the 9th Army. After a soldier returning from the front line gave her a camera, Jorgensen used it to document her travels through Aachen, Viersen, Gardelegen, and Berlin, Germany.

In April 1945, after American soldiers arrived in Gardelegen, they discovered a barn where more than a thousand concentration camp inmates had been burned alive one day earlier. The 113th Evacuation Hospital took over a German hospital to treat survivors and others. Jorgensen photographed some of the dead in the barn, as well as other locations in Gardelegen and Berlin.

In December 1945, Jorgensen traveled to Sandefjord, Norway, to see relatives, including her grandfather, aunt, and uncle. Jorgensen eventually settled in Mauldin, South Carolina.

Collection Overview

Images, postcards, clippings, and photocopies of Ethel Jorgensen Stafford, a U.S. Army nurse stationed in Germany with the 113th Evacuation Hospital in 1945. Images show war damage to German cities where Jorgensen was based, including Aachen, Viersen, Gardelegen, and Berlin. Images from Gardelegen show the bodies of concentration camp inmates killed by Germans ahead of the U.S. Army's arrival, as well as the cemetery in which they were buried. Also included are postcards of Berchtesgaden, Hitler's Eagle's Nest, and propaganda postcards used by the German Red Cross. Photocopies and clippings include Jorgensen's World War II identification cards, prayer books, and an article she wrote about her service in Germany.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Stafford, Ethel Jorgensen, 1923-
    • United States. Army


    • Gardelegen Massacre, Gardelegen, Germany, 1945
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    • World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities
    • World War, 1939-1945--Destruction and pillage--Germany
    • World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Female


    • United States--Armed Forces--Women
    • Gardelegen (Germany)
    • Berlin (Germany)

    Types of Material

    • Black-and-white negatives
    • Black-and-white photographs
    • Black-and-white slides
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Digital images
    • DVDs
    • Identity cards
    • Postcards
    • Prayer books


    Postcards, clippings, and photocopies, 1943-1951, 2008   folder 1

    Includes postcards of Berchtesgaden and Hitler's Eagle's Nest, as well as five propaganda postcards issued by the German Red Cross. Also includes facsimiles of Jorgensen's 113th Evacuation Hospital identity card, New York City War Emergency Identification Card, currency exchange control book, and cover of My Military Missal prayer book. Photocopies include part of The Nurses's Prayer of Faith prayer book, the May 1945 Cumberland nursing student newsletter which includes a report from Jorgensen, a photograph of Gardelegen that appeared in Memorable Life Photographs, and clippings about Jorgensen's camera.

    Photographs, negatives, and slides, 1945   folder 2

    Includes images taken by Jorgensen while stationed in Germany in 1945. Images include the 113th Evacuation Hospital in Aachen and Viersen, bodies of concentration camp inmates killed by Germans in Gardelegen and the cemetery in which they were buried, American troops meeting with Russian troops in Gardelegen, damage to the Reich Chancellery and other locations in Berlin, displaced persons traveling by train, and Jorgensen with relatives in Sandefjord, Norway. Also includes digital images on DVD.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ethel Jorgensen Stafford papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in 2004 by Ethel Jorgensen Stafford.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Rebecca McClure, October 2011.

    Encoded by Rebecca McClure, March 2012.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Martha McTear, March 2012.

    Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

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