The Devastation of Peace: Otilia Noeckel and the Army Nurse Corps after the Great War

From Nursing Clio by Evan P. Sullivan

“I just adore the work I am doing right now. I am on a dressing team with another nurse and a surgeon. We dress wounds almost all day long. Today we did sixty. The horrors of the war are certainly evident around here. Some of the wounds are frightful and some of the poor boys have five and six of them.”1

Otilia Noeckel was not writing in the throes of battle. Rather, she wrote letters home about her experiences following the armistice that ended World War I. Written between December 1918 and the spring of 1919, they reflect the reality that violence and death do not necessarily end with the formal diplomatic end of wars. In fact, historians have argued that the war’s violence and its immediate effects extended well beyond the November 11, 1918 Armistice.

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Categories: History of Medicine, Women's History

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