Thursday, August 10, 2017

Doctors and Nurses at the Marine-Feldlazarett in Okahandja, 1904


Here is an image from 1904 of German medical personnel at the Marine-Feldlazarett in Okahandja, Southwest Africa.  The identities of all six individuals are known.

Seated in the center is Dr. Gappel, Marine-Stabsartz and Chefartz of the Marine-Expeditionskorps. He was based at Helgoland before shipping out for Africa  in late January, 1904 on board the S.S. Darmstadt.  Initially based with the 2nd Marine-Kompagnie at Okahandja, he established the Marine base hospital here, which is also where this photograph was taken.  He returned to Germany at the end of September, 1904.

Seated in the front row are "Sister" Lili Hartoy (at left) and "Sister" Helene Doll (at right).  I wish I knew more about these nurses.  In the end of march and beginning of April, reinforcements started to embark for Southwest Africa that included "62 hospital nurses and bakers".  Perhaps these two women were among this group.  It could also be that they were members of the German "Womens' League*" which sent an initial seven "sisters" to nurse the sick in the Colony in January and February, followed by another twenty.  It is unclear whether there were any female nurses with the Marine- Expeditionskorps or whether some of these Women's League nurses may have been assigned to it. The main feldlazarett at Okahandja would have been  a logical place for some of them to be posted.

Standing at left is Marine-Assistenzartz Dr. Brüggmann, who was assigned to the Schutztruppe on January 27, 1904.  Next to him is Oberassistenzartz Dr. Janßen, who sailed on Darmstadt with Dr. Gappel and was assigned from the Ostsee station. He served with the Ostabteilung in March and April, 1904, returning to Germany in the Spring of 1905.   Standing at right is Lazarett-Inspektor Brück, about whom I have learned nothing further.

* Possibly the German-National Women's League


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