Liberated inmates carrying a dead comrade out of one of the stone barracks, April 16, 1945. Photo: Rex L. Diveley, Rehabilitation Service. National Archives Washington

There were many sick inmates, and their death rate per day was approximately 145. We had a great deal of plasma with us and we would give the inmates who were terminatelly ill infusions of plasma. Some of the inmates couldn't wait and they opened the bottles of plasma and started to drink the plasma, although we told them that this had to be given intravenously. At autopsy many of the patients showed manifestations of marked, advanced pulmonary tuberculosis, with large cavitation in both lungs.
[...] Many of the inmates were shipped back to other centers for refugees and we took care of the non-transportable and terminally ill patients or inmates. The first thing we had to do was to pick out the most severely ill patients or inmates, those who were terminally ill, and to try heroic measures such as transfusions, intravenous feeding and therapy... and supportive therapy in order to try to help these people to survive. Those inmates who had malnutrition were given high calorie diets and were sent for psychiatric care in many cases. [...]
We tried to keep the people from going into shock. We tried to build up their resistance as much as possible. So it was supportive care primarily that we were concerned with. We had penicillin with us so we tried to use that and whatever therapy was available at that time, in 1945. We didn't have enough blood at that time but we had enough plasma. We had enough medication. Unfortunately, most of the people there had really far advanced disease and many of them could not be saved because of that.

Dr. Philip Lief, US Army captain, report of 1981 (excerpt)

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