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bfrederi
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202nd Gen Hosp, Paris, 1945

Sun Oct 25, 2009 19:09

A small but significant (to me, at least) development regarding the 202nd General Hospital in Paris, January - May, 1945.

Using Lynne Bell's map and Google Earth, and a reference in Lois's materials to a "school", I was reasonably sure that the 202nd General Hospital had been located on the grounds of the Centre Hospitalier Théophile Roussel. However, I didn't have actual evidence.

Today, I was exploring the Roussel web site at http://www.th-roussel.fr, and was able to match a building in one of my mother's uncaptioned photos with a photo of a building on the Roussel site.

Photo from my mother's papers:

202nd_gh_.jpg
202nd General Hospital, 1945


And a photo from http://www.th-roussel.fr/photos/Cuisine.jpg:

Image

ADDENDUM:

And, if my high school French is correct, the building is still in use today, still as a dining hall:

Image

Now, to contact the facility and perhaps Michel Blondel-Pasquier, who has written a history of the facility titled De l'éducation pénitentiaire à la thérapeutique 1895 - 1995. However, I don't hold out much hope that the book will even mention the tenure of the 202nd. The description indicates that the book focuses on the medical evolution of the French facility and their techniques.
Last edited by bfrederi on Mon Oct 26, 2009 00:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp and Camp Cooke

Sun Oct 25, 2009 20:34

Nice find! Sure looks like you have the correct building. Let us know what you find out about the hospital history.
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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp and Camp Cooke

Mon Oct 26, 2009 01:57

Great to put all that together and find the location, and good luck with the French "history"!

The 203rd administered their General Hospital in what was then--and since is--the Raymond Poincare Hospital. It's part of the French public hospital system in Paris, and there's a museum and archive dedicated to them all. If you look at the Raymond Poincare "page" on their internet hospital archive site, there's nary a mention of either the German administration of the hospital in the early 1940's, or the US Army "replacement" administration of it, from 9/44 through 7/45, after the Liberation of Paris in 8/44. The French, usually meticulously complete in recounting history, just sort of skipped over that, in writing the story of that hospital complex.

I did request wartime information from the public hospital archivist, who didn't seem particularly eager to discuss the matter. One of these days I hope to go to Paris, and pay a little visit to the archives.

Here's the list of Parisian public hospitals which have "archive" pages:
http://www.aphp.fr/index.php?module=hop ... x_alpha_fo

Here's the general Paris hospital archive site:
http://www.aphp.fr/site/histoire/histoi ... imoine.htm

And here's the archive story of the hopital Raymond Poincare, which housed the US Army 203rd General Hospital:
http://www.aphp.fr/index.php?module=his ... submit.y=8

Lois

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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp, Paris, 1945

Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:47

sgtpeter wrote:Nice find! Sure looks like you have the correct building. Let us know what you find out about the hospital history.


Thanks, Sarge. I'll post info here as soon as I have something to report.

LOSMP wrote:If you look at the Raymond Poincare "page" on their internet hospital archive site, there's nary a mention of either the German administration of the hospital in the early 1940's, or the US Army "replacement" administration of it, from 9/44 through 7/45, after the Liberation of Paris in 8/44. The French, usually meticulously complete in recounting history, just sort of skipped over that, in writing the story of that hospital complex.


Thanks for the links and the background, Lois. This sounds very similar to the thumbnail history they have at http://www.th-roussel.fr/index.php?page=histoire:

Code: Select all

Après bien des vicissitudes, en pleine guerre (1941), l’Etablissement se transformera une nouvelle fois en adoptant de nouvelles méthodes d’éducation et en créant une des premières écoles d’éducateurs en France (1943). Progressivement, l’école devient le modèle de ce qui allait être les instituts médico-pédagogiques, sous l’impulsion d’éminents pédopsychiatres, dont le futur professeur Roger Mises.
En 1967,...


1941 to 1967? Enh. We had some wartime distractions in 1941, but then we concentrated on transforming our teaching techniques.

Sounds like some interesting cultural forces at play here.

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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp, Paris, 1945

Mon Oct 26, 2009 13:14

bfrederi wrote:

Code: Select all

Après bien des vicissitudes, en pleine guerre (1941), l’Etablissement se transformera une nouvelle fois en adoptant de nouvelles méthodes d’éducation et en créant une des premières écoles d’éducateurs en France (1943). Progressivement, l’école devient le modèle de ce qui allait être les instituts médico-pédagogiques, sous l’impulsion d’éminents pédopsychiatres, dont le futur professeur Roger Mises.
En 1967,...


After several ups and downs (tribulations), in the midst of WW2 (1941), the Institute was transformed by adopting new teaching methods and by creating one of the first French schools for teachers (1943).
Step by step, the school became the basis for what would later become the Medical-Educational Institutes, driven by prominent pedo-psychiatrists, amongst whom the later Professor Roger Mises....
'29th, Let's Go!'

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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp and Camp Cooke

Mon Oct 26, 2009 16:11

Tell me about it!

Here's the equivalent period for the Raymond Poincare Hospital, in Garches, Paris region, where the US Army was the administrator for over a year. Following administration by German forces.

As described by the French:

"L’année 1941 voit la mise en place d’un service de chirurgie osseuse avec bloc opératoire. Progressivement, l’activité de l’établissement s’oriente vers la prise en charge des séquelles de la poliomyélite (de 1950 à 1960-70) puis se spécialise dans la rééducation de patients atteints de troubles moteurs neurologiques. Les premiers kinésithérapeutes de l’Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris y reçoivent leur formation et l’hôpital reste, encore aujourd’hui, le premier « pool » de rééducation de l’institution."

Very roughly translated: In 1941, an orthopedic surgical service was established. Their medical work focused on Polio follow-up orthopedic care from 1950 to 1960-1970, and subsequently, on rehabilitation of patients with neurological motor deficits. The first physical therapists of the public hospital system were trained there. The institution remains today, the primary source of hospital physical rehabilitation.

So.......between 1941 and 1950? We were working on establishing our predominance in physical therapy training and rehabilitation?

Lois

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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp and Camp Cooke

Mon May 31, 2010 19:19

I've been using the Memorial Day weekend here to get caught up on some backlogged work related to my father's unit (6th Armored Division) but have also touched upon my mother's 202nd General Hospital. Specifically, I searched the wonderful ABMC database
(http://www.abmc.gov/search/wwii_unit.php) for 202nd personnel, and was surprised to find two names, interred at Epinal, France:

Name Rank Ser No State Date of Death Plot Row Grave Cem
BLEECKER STEPHEN B PFC 33692636 PA 7-Jul-45 B 4 21 EP
WOLFSHOHL LOUIS R SSGT 20801326 TX 15-Mar-45 B 41 15 EP

That led me to search for 203rd Gen Hosp personnel on behalf of Lois, and found that they also had two personnel buried at Epinal:

FRITSCHE WILLIAM G PFC 37187231 MO 14-Nov-44 B 26 60 EP
GOETZ STANLEY T PFC 35455754 OH 3-Sep-44 A 37 50 EP

Since these were from the relatively safe General Hospitals, it made me wonder how many names would turn up from the Field Hospitals and Evacuation Hospitals that were closer to the front lines. Entering "Field Hosp" returns 35 units with personnel buried in Europe, "Evac Hosp" returns 32. "Med Bn" returns 93 units.

If you have a connection with a specific medical unit, it might be interesting to search the ABMC database to find those who died while serving and who never came home.

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Re: [REF] 202nd Gen Hosp and Camp Cooke

Mon May 31, 2010 21:22

Hi, and thanks for the information about the 203rd. There was this Visitor Book entry on the 203rd site in 2007, not long after Ben and Alain were kind enough to put the unit online:
"I am researching the family history and William G. Fritsche, an uncle was assigned to the 203d. He was killed in an accident outside Paris in Nov 1944. Your history of the 203d will fill in many gaps in understanding this family member. Thanks for our effort and dedication." So I was aware that PFC Fritsche had died in France, not in combat.

Didn't know about PFC Stanley Goetz, though. I will add your information to the FAQ part of the site, thank you. Very fitting on this day of memorializing our war dead.

While the General Hospitals were "relatively safe", as you say, there was still fighting going on in Normandy when the 203rd landed on Utah Beach on July 22, 1944, and there was bombing and gunshot nearby. Also doctors and nurses were detached from the main unit, and sent to join field and evacuation units then operating in Normandy at the time, so they were exposed to combat conditions--in fact, they were nearby when Lt General Lesley McNair was killed in a bombing raid in Normandy, July 25, 1944, and testimonies of some unit members mention that. Don't know of any dead or wounded members of the 203rd besides the two you mention, though.

Thanks for checking out the 203rd and letting us know, Lois

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