Diary page about 'Krankenhaus Maria Hilf'
To the hospital.
Was known as Krankenhaus "Maria Hilf" Bensberg
Please note: text as recorded in my diary.
translation is from Dutch to English.
Still to be edited!
8 Sunday. I am not quite well. There is artillery fire at night. We have to
sleep in bunker.
Till 11 Wednesday. Got high fever and am very sick. We have to sleep in
bunker at night because of artillery fire. Some people did not go and a hit in
one of the barracks killed some of them.
During the day a grenade exploded a metre or so behind me whilst we were
talking in a group of 4.
One of them got killed instantly, one lost 3 fingers on one hand, the other
person I do not know and I myself was unscathed.
12 Thursday. We were allowed to be taken to a hospital (if we could find
one). The person with the missing fingers and another wounded and the sick ones, myself and A.v Noorduik who did suffer the same illness as I.
We, the sick ones were transported on a handcart pushed by the 2 wounded
ones. We were directed to some places but no one would accept us. At one of
these place a German soldier with a truck, who for whatever reason felt
compassion for us, offered to take us to some further outlaying hospitals.
He also tried a Prisoner of War camp full of British soldiers where there was
some sort of a hospital but they declined to take us. They took however the
wounded ones. By the way, these British soldiers were not quite locked up, the
gates were open and they were fooling around with their German guards (playing soccer outside the perimeter of the camp)!
At a certain stage the German soldier decided that he could no longer look
after us. He notified the concierge and had to leave us at the gates of a hospital and left. A couple of nuns
came outside to have a look at us and did not know what to do with us. I there
and then started crying for help and after that the nuns took us in. They
evacuated an outside pavilion of the hospital were they accommodated us after
first given us a thorough bath and a complete shave to get rid of the lice that
were crawling over us. They diagnosed the epidemic typhus fever. One of the nuns
who was going to look after us did get immunised for the typhus and, so we were
told later, nearly died herself.