Ravensbrück concentration camp

Ravensbrück (pronounced [ʁaːvənsˈbʁʏk]) was a German concentration camp exclusively for women from 1939 to 1945, located in northern Germany, 90 km (56 mi) north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück (part of Fürstenberg/Havel). The largest single national group consisted of 40,000 Polish women. Others included 26,000 Jewish women from various countries: 18,800 Russian, 8,000 French, and 1,000 Dutch. More than 80 percent were political prisoners. Many slave labor prisoners were employed by Siemens & Halske. From 1942 to 1945, medical experiments to test the effectiveness of sulfonamides were undertaken.

In the spring of 1941, the SS established a small adjacent camp for male inmates, who built and managed the camp's gas chambers in 1944. Of some 130,000 female prisoners who passed through the Ravensbrück camp, about 50,000 of them perished, some 2,200 were killed in the gas chambers and 15,000 survived until liberation.

Ravensbrück
Concentration camp
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1985-0417-15, Ravensbrück, Konzentrationslager
Female prisoners at Ravensbrück, 1939
Ravensbrück concentration camp is located in Germany
Ravensbrück concentration camp
Location of Ravensbrück within Germany
LocationFürstenberg/Havel, Germany
Commandant
OperationalMay 1939 – April 1945
Number of gas chambers1
InmatesMostly female political prisoners, a plurality Polish; also 26,000 Jews
Number of inmates130,000[1] to 132,000[2]
Killed45,000–50,000[3] to 117,000[2]
Ravensbruck camp barracks
View of the barracks at Ravensbrück

Prisoners

Construction of the camp began in November 1938 by the order of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler and was unusual in that it was intended exclusively to hold female inmates.[4] Ravensbrück first housed prisoners in May 1939, when the SS moved 900 women from the Lichtenburg concentration camp in Saxony. Eight months after the start of World War II the camp's maximum capacity was already exceeded. It underwent major expansion following the invasion of Poland. By the summer of 1941 with the launch of Operation Barbarossa an estimated total of 5,000 women were imprisoned, who were fed gradually decreasing hunger rations.[5] By the end of 1942, the inmate population of Ravensbrück had grown to about 10,000.

Between 1939 and 1945, some 130,000[1] to 132,000[2] female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrück camp system; around 40,000 were Polish and 26,000 were Jewish from all countries including Germany,[6] 18,000 Russian, 8,000 French, and 1,000 Dutch.[7] According to Encyclopædia Britannica, about 50,000 of them perished from disease, starvation, overwork and despair; some 2,200 were killed in the gas chambers.[8] Only 15,000 of the total survived until liberation,[2] and on 29–30 April 1945 some 3,500 prisoners were still alive in the main camp.[8] During the first year of their stay in the camp, from August 1940 to August 1941, roughly 47 women died. During the last year of the camp's existence, about 80 inmates died each day from disease or famine-related causes.

Although the inmates came from every country in German-occupied Europe, the largest single national group in the camp were Polish. In the spring of 1941, the SS authorities established a small men's camp adjacent to the main camp. The male inmates built and managed the gas chambers for the camp in 1944.[6]

There were children in the camp as well. At first, they arrived with mothers who were Romani or Jews incarcerated in the camp or were born to imprisoned women. There were few children early on, including a few Czech children from Lidice in July 1942. Later the children in the camp represented almost all nations of Europe occupied by Germany. Between April and October 1944 their number increased considerably, consisting of two groups. One group was composed of Romani children with their mothers or sisters brought into the camp after the Romani camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau was closed. The other group included mostly children who were brought with Polish mothers sent to Ravensbrück after the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Most of these children died of starvation.

Ravensbrück had 70 sub-camps used for slave labour that were spread across an area from the Baltic Sea to Bavaria.[9]

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-66475-0009, Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück, Ofen
Ravensbrück crematorium

Among the thousands executed at Ravensbrück were four members of the British World War II organization Special Operations Executive: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, Lilian Rolfe and Violette Szabo. Other victims included the Roman Catholic nun Élise Rivet, Elisabeth de Rothschild (the only member of the Rothschild family to die in the Holocaust), Russian Orthodox nun St. Maria Skobtsova, the 25-year-old French Princess Anne de Bauffremont-Courtenay, Milena Jesenská, lover of Franz Kafka,[10] and Olga Benário, wife of the Brazilian Communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes. The largest single group of women executed at the camp were 200 young Polish members of the Home Army.

Among the survivors of Ravensbrück was author Corrie ten Boom, arrested with her family for harbouring Jews in their home in Haarlem, the Netherlands. She documented her ordeal alongside her sister Betsie ten Boom in her book The Hiding Place, which was eventually produced as a motion picture. Polish Countess Karolina Lanckoronska, an art historian and author of Michelangelo in Ravensbrück, was imprisoned there from 1943 until 1945. Eileen Nearne, a member of the Special Operations Executive, was a prisoner in 1944 before being transferred to another work camp and escaping. Ravensbrück survivors who wrote memoirs about their experiences include Gemma LaGuardia Gluck, sister of New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia,[11] as well as Germaine Tillion, a Ravensbrück survivor from France who published her own eyewitness account of the camp in 1975.[12] Approximately 500 women from Ravensbrück were transferred to Dachau, where they were assigned as labourers to the Agfa-Commando; the women assembled ignition timing devices for bombs, artillery ammunition and V-1 and V-2 rockets.

A male political prisoner, Gustav Noske, stayed in Ravensbrück concentration camp after his arrest by the Gestapo in 1944. Later Noske was freed by advancing Allied troops from a Gestapo prison in Berlin.[13]

Guards

Irma Grese
Aufseherin Irma Grese "the Hyena",[14][15] 1945

Camp commandants included SS-Standartenführer Günther Tamaschke from May 1939 to August 1939, SS-Hauptsturmführer Max Koegel from January 1940 till August 1942, and SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Suhren from August 1942 until the camp's liberation at the end of April 1945.

Besides the male Nazi administrators, the camp staff included over 150 female SS guards assigned to oversee the prisoners at some point during the camp's operational period. Ravensbrück also served as a training camp for over 4,000 female overseers. The technical term for a female guard in a Nazi camp was an Aufseherin. The women either stayed in the camp or eventually served in other camps.

Some of these women went on to serve as chief wardresses in other camps. Several dozen block overseers (Blockführerinnen), accompanied by dogs, SS men and whips oversaw the prisoners in their living quarters in Ravensbrück, at roll call and during food distribution. At any single time, a report overseer (Rapportführerin) handled the roll calls and general discipline of the internees. Rosel Laurenzen originally served as head of the labour pool at the camp (Arbeitdienstführerin) along with her assistant Gertrud Schoeber. In 1944 Greta Bösel took over this command. Other high ranking SS women included Christel Jankowsky, Ilse Goeritz, Margot Dreschel and Elisabeth Kammer. Head wardress at the Uckermark death complex of Ravensbrück was Ruth Neudeck (January 1945 – March 1945). Regular Aufseherinnen were not usually granted access to the internees' compound unless they supervised inside work details. Most of the 'SS' women met their prisoner work gangs at the gate each morning and returned them later in the day. The treatment by the SS women in Ravensbrück was normally brutal. Elfriede Muller, an SS Aufseherin in the camp was so harsh that the prisoners nicknamed her "The Beast of Ravensbrück". Other guards in the camp included Hermine Boettcher-Brueckner, Luise Danz, Irma Grese, and Margarethe de Hueber.

The female chief overseers (Lagerfuehrerinnen and Oberaufseherinnen) in Ravensbrück were:

  1. May 1939 – March 1942: Oberaufseherin Johanna Langefeld and her assistant Emma Zimmer
  2. March–October 1942: Oberaufseherin Maria Mandel and assistant Margarete Gallinat
  3. October 1942 – August 1943 Johanna Langefeld who returned from Auschwitz
  4. August 1943 – September 1944 Chef Oberaufseherin Anna Klein (née Plaubel), with deputy wardress Dorothea Binz
  5. September 1944 – April 1945 Chef Oberaufseherin Luise Brunner, Lagerfuehrerin Lotte Toberentz (January 1945 – April), with deputy wardress (Stellvertrende Oberaufseherin) Dorothea Binz; in 1945 nurse Vera Salvequart used to poison the sick to avoid having to carry them to the gas chambers

In 1973, the United States government extradited Hermine Braunsteiner for trial in Germany for war crimes. In 2006, the United States government expelled Elfriede Rinkel, an 84-year-old woman who had resided in San Francisco since 1959. It was discovered that she had been a guard at Ravensbrück from 1944 to 1945.[16]

Life in the camp

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1985-1105-310, Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück, Walze
Road roller

When a new prisoner arrived at Ravensbrück she was required to wear a colour-coded triangle (a winkel) that identified her by category, with a letter sewn within the triangle indicating the prisoner's nationality. For example, Polish women wore red triangles, denoting a political prisoner, with a letter "P" (by 1942, Polish women became the largest national component at the camp). Soviet prisoners of war, and German and Austrian Communists wore red triangles; common criminals wore green triangles; and Jehovah's Witnesses were labelled with lavender triangles. Prostitutes, Romani, homosexuals, and women who refused to marry were lumped together, with black triangles. Jewish women wore yellow triangles but sometimes, unlike the other prisoners, they wore a second triangle for the other categories. For example, quite often it was for rassenschande ("racial pollution").

Some detainees had their hair shaved, such as those from Czechoslovakia and Poland, but other transports did not. In 1943, for instance, a group of Norwegian women came to the camp (Norwegians/Scandinavians were ranked by the Nazis as the purest of all Aryans). None of them had their hair shaved.

Between 1942 and 1943, almost all Jewish women from the Ravensbrück camp were sent to Auschwitz in several transports, following Nazi policy to make Germany Judenrein (cleansed of Jews). Based on the Nazis' incomplete transport list Zugangsliste, documenting 25,028 names of women sent by Nazis to the camp, it is estimated that the Ravensbrück prisoner population's ethnic structure comprised: Poles 24.9%, Germans 19.9%, Jews 15.1%, Russians 15.0%, French 7.3%, Romani 5.4%, other 12.4%. The Gestapo further categorised the inmates as: political 83.54%, anti-social 12.35%, criminal 2.02%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.11%, rassenschande (racial defilement) 0.78%, other 0.20%. The list is one of the most important documents, preserved in the last moments of the camp operation by members of the Polish underground girl guides unit "Mury" (The Walls). The rest of the camp documents were burned by escaping SS overseers in pits or in the crematorium.

Ravensbrück Frauenlager2
Barracks on the grounds of the former women's camp
Ravensbrück Frauenlager1
Site of the former women's camp

One form of resistance was the secret education programmes organised by prisoners for their fellow inmates. All national groups had some sort of programme. The most extensive were among Polish women, wherein various high school-level classes were taught by experienced teachers.

In 1939 and 1940, camp living conditions were acceptable: laundry and bed linen were changed regularly and the food was adequate, although in the first winter of 1939/40, limitations began to be noticeable. The German Communist, Margarete Buber-Neumann, came to Ravensbrück as an inmate after nearly two years in a Russian Soviet Gulag. She described her first impressions of Ravensbrück in comparison to the Soviet camp in Karaganda:

I looked across the great square, and could not believe my eyes. It was surrounded by manicured lawns, covered by flower beds on which bloomed bright red flowers. A wide street, which led to a large open area, was flanked by two rows of wooden barracks, on both sides stood rows of young trees and along the roadside ran straight flower beds as far as the eye could see. The square and the streets seemed freshly raked. To the left towards the watchtower, I saw a white wooden barrack and beside it a large cage, the size of a birdhouse the like you see at a zoo. Within it paraded peacocks (stolzierten) and on a climbing tree dangled monkeys and a parrot which always screamed the same word, "Mama". I wondered, "this is a concentration camp"?[17][18]

Buber-Nuemann wrote how her first meal in Ravensbrück exceeded her expectations, when she was served sweet porridge with dried fruit (backobst), plus a generous portion of bread, margarine, and sausage.

Ravensbrück Tor2
Camp (external view), with guard house
Ravensbrück Tor1
Former telephone exchange and water plant

Nazi medical experiments

Starting in the summer of 1942, medical experiments were conducted without consent on 86 women; 74 of them were Polish inmates. Two types of experiments were conducted on the Polish political prisoners. The first type tested the efficacy of sulfonamide drugs. These experiments involved deliberate cutting into and infecting of leg bones and muscles with virulent bacteria, cutting nerves, introducing substances like pieces of wood or glass into tissues, and fracturing bones.

The second set of experiments studied bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration, and the possibility of transplanting bones from one person to another. Out of the 74 Polish victims, called Kaninchen, Króliki, Lapins, or Rabbits by the experimenters, five died as a result of the experiments, six with unhealed wounds were executed, and (with assistance from other inmates) the rest survived with permanent physical damage. Four such survivors—Jadwiga Dzido, Maria Broel-Plater, Władysława Karolewska, and Maria Kuśmierczuk—testified against Nazi doctors at the Doctors' Trial in 1946.

Between 120 and 140 Romani women were sterilised in the camp in January 1945. All had been deceived into signing the consent form, having been told by the camp overseers that the German authorities would release them if they complied.

Forced labor

All inmates were required to do heavy labor ranging from strenuous outdoor jobs to building the V-2 rocket parts for Siemens. The SS also built several factories near Ravensbrück for the production of textiles and electrical components.

The women forced to work at Ravensbrück concentration camp's industries used their skills in sewing and their access to the factory to make soldiers' socks. They purposely adjusted the machines to make the fabric thin at the heel and the toes, causing the socks to wear prematurely at those places when the German soldiers marched. This gave the soldiers sore feet.

For the women in the camp, it was important to retain some of their dignity and sense of humanity. Therefore, they made necklaces, bracelets, and other personal items, like small dolls and books, as keepsakes. These personal effects were of great importance to the women and many of them risked their lives to keep these possessions. Some of these types of effects can be seen at the exhibition "Voices from Ravensbrück" (hosted by Lund University Library, Sweden).[19]

The bodies of those killed in the camp were cremated in the nearby Fürstenberg crematorium until 1943, when SS authorities constructed a crematorium at a site near the camp prison.

In January 1945 the SS also transformed a hut near the crematorium into a gas chamber where the Germans gassed several thousand prisoners before the camp's liberation in April 1945; in particular they killed some 3600 prisoners from the Uckermark police camp for "deviant" girls and women, which was taken under the control of the Ravensbrück SS at the start of 1945.[20]

Female prisoners in Ravensbrück chalk marks show selection for transport
Surviving female prisoners gathered when the Red Cross arrived at Ravensbrück in April 1945. The white paint camp crosses show they were prisoners, not civilians.[21]

Death march and liberation

In January 1945, prior to the liberation of the remaining camp survivors, an estimated 45,000 female prisoners and over 5,000 male prisoners remained at Ravensbrück,[22] including children and those transported from satellite camps only for gassing, which was being performed in haste.[23]

With the Soviet Red Army's rapid approach in the spring of 1945, the SS leadership decided to remove as many prisoners as they could, in order to avoid leaving live witnesses behind who could testify as to what had occurred in the camp. At the end of March, the SS ordered all physically capable women to form a column and exit the camp in the direction of northern Mecklenburg, forcing over 24,500 prisoners on a death march.[23] Some 2,500 ethnic German prisoners remaining were released, and 500 women were handed over to officials of the Swedish and Danish Red Cross shortly after the evacuation. On 30 April 1945, fewer than 3,500 malnourished and sickly prisoners were discovered alive at the camp when it was liberated by the Red Army.[23] The survivors of the death march were liberated in the following hours by a Russian scout unit.[24]

Ravensbrück trials

Ravensbrück 1 4.tiff
The first Ravensbrück trial, 1947: sentencing

The SS guards, female Aufseherinnen guards and former prisoner-functionaries with administrative positions at the camp were arrested at the end of the war by the Allies and tried at the Hamburg Ravensbrück trials from 1946 to 1948. 16 of the accused were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.[25]

Memorial site

On the site of the former concentration camp there is a memorial today. In 1954, the sculptor Will Lammert was commissioned to design the memorial site between the crematorium, the camp wall, and Schwedtsee Lake. Up to his death in 1957, the artist created a large number of sculpted models of women.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-D0415-0016-006, Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück, Plastik
Will Lammert, memorial statue Tragende (Woman with Burden), 1959

For the inaugural opening of the National Memorial site a scaled-up version of Tragende (Woman with Burden) was created (under the supervision of Fritz Cremer) and exhibited. This central symbolic figure, also known as the "Pietà of Ravensbrück", stands atop a stele on the peninsula in Lake Schwedtsee. The Zwei Stehende (Two Women Standing) monument also has its origins in Lammert's models. Other statues, which were also originally created for Ravensbrück, have been on display at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Berlin Mitte since 1985, in commemoration of the Jewish victims of fascism.

Ravensbrück Tragende
Statue, 2005

Since 1984, the former SS headquarters have housed the Museum des antifaschistischen Widerstandskampfes (Museum of Anti-fascist Resistance). After the withdrawal from Germany of the Soviet Army, which up to 1993 had been using parts of the former camp for military purposes, it became possible to incorporate more areas of the camp into the memorial site.

Today, the former accommodation blocks for the female guards are a youth hostel and youth meeting centre. In the course of reorganisation, which took place in the early 1990s, the Museum des antifaschistischen Widerstandskampfes was replaced by two new permanent exhibitions: "Women of Ravensbrück", which displays the biographies of 27 former prisoners, and "Ravensbrück. Topography and History of the Women's Concentration Camp", which provides information about the origins of the camp, describes daily life in the camp, and explains the principle of Vernichtung durch Arbeit (extermination through work). Since 2004 there has also been an exhibition about the female guards at the Ravensbrück Women's Concentration Camp, housed in another of their former accommodation blocks. Additionally, temporary exhibitions of special interest are held regularly at the memorial.

On 16 and 17 April 2005, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the camp's liberation. Among those invited were approximately 600 survivors from all over the world, mostly eastern Europe. At the same time a new, permanent outdoor exhibition was opened, on the theme of the train transports to Ravensbrück. Its central exhibit is a refurbished goods wagon. The exhibition's information boards describe the origins of the transports and how they developed over time, and explain the different types of trains, where they arrived, and the part played by the local residents. It is probably the only exhibition so far at a German memorial which is dedicated solely to the subject of the transports to the camp.

Gallery

Ravensbrück Müttergruppe

The monument Zwei Stehende (Two Women Standing) erected in front of the Wall

Ravensbrück Krematorium aussen

Crematorium and road roller

Ravensbrück Krematorium innen

Crematorium – incinerators

Ravensbrück Mauer der Nationen

Wall of Nations with a mass grave of 300 prisoners

Ravensbrück SS Kommandantur

Former SS Commandants' house. Today a museum

Ravensbrück Wohnhaus Unterführer

Residential house for the SS Unterführer and guards

Ravensbrück Wohnhaus Wachmannschaft

Residential house for the SS guards

Ravensbrück Wohnsiedlung

Residential area of the SS Aufseherinnen and guards

Stamps of Germany (DDR) 1957, MiNr 0567

East German postage stamp, 1959, memorial of the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Helm 2015, p. xii.
  2. ^ a b c d Saidel 2006, p. 24 "Between the camp's initiation of 18 May 1939 and the day of liberation, an estimated 117,000 of the 132,000 women who passed through the camp had been murdered".
  3. ^ Helm 2015, p. 651.
  4. ^ Saidel 2006, p. 12 "Construction began in November 1938 using the slave labor of about five hundred male inmates from nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp. According to SS records, it was originally planned to hold three thousand female inmates."
  5. ^ Saidel 2006, p. 15.
  6. ^ a b Saidel 2006, pp. 3, 20.
  7. ^ Helm 2015, pp. xiii–xiv.
  8. ^ a b Michael Berenbaum (2015), Ravensbrück, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  9. ^ CHGS Exhibitions (2009). "Satellite Camps". Memories From My Home. Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies : University of Minnesota. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  10. ^ Ozick, Cynthia (April 11, 2014). "How Kafka Actually Lived". The New Republic.
  11. ^ La Guardia Gluck, Gemma (2007). Fiorello's Sister: La Guardia's Gluck's Story (New Expanded, originally published as My Story (1961) ed.). Syracuse University Press.
  12. ^ Germaine Tillion, Ravensbrück: An eyewitness account of a women's concentration camp. Transl. by Gerald Satterwhite. Anchor Press, 1975. 256 pages. OCLC 694486
  13. ^ Biografie Gustav Noske (German)". Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  14. ^ Magda Hollander-Lafon (2013). Vier Stückchen Brot: Ein Hymne an das Leben. Verlag. pp. 95–. ISBN 3641127092. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  15. ^ Barbara Möller (30 August 2014). "Die Hyäne von Auschwitz". Sie waren Mörderinnen aus Gelegenheit. DIE WELT. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  16. ^ Richard A. Serrano (September 21, 2006). "Sweet lady surprise: Nazi prison-guard past". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ Buber-Neumann, Margarete (January 2008). Under Two Dictators. Random House UK. p. 162.
  18. ^ "KZ RAVENSBRÜCK-WOMEN INCARCERATED-PART 2". dachaukz.blogspot.se.
  19. ^ "Voices from Ravensbrück". Lund University Library. Sweden.
  20. ^ Wachsmann, Nikolaus (2015). Kl: a history of the Nazi concentration camps (Kindle ed. by Farrar, Straus and Giroux ed.). New York City: Macmillan. p. 568. ISBN 978-142994372-7.
  21. ^ Margarete Buber-Neumann, Under Two Dictators. Prisoner of Stalin and Hitler, Pimlico, 2008. ISBN 9781845951023. "SS had no fabric for the production of new prison clothing. Instead they drove truckloads of coats, dresses, underwear and shoes that had once belonged to those gassed in the east, to Ravensbrück. / ... / The clothes of the people were sorted, and at first crosses were cut out, and fabric of another colour sewn underneath. The prisoners walked around like sheep marked for slaughter. The crosses would impede escape. Later they spared themselves this cumbersome procedure and painted with oil paint broad, white crosses on the coats." (translated from the Swedish edition: Margarete Buber-Neumann Fånge hos Hitler och Stalin, Stockholm, Natur & Kultur, 1948. p. 176.)
  22. ^ Holocaust Encyclopedia (2014). "Liberation of Ravensbrück". Ravensbrück: Liberation and Postwar Trials. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. a. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Jewish Virtual Library (2014). "Ravensbrück Concentration Camp: History & Overview". Cyber encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture. Retrieved 6 January 2015. Sources: Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Holocaust. Kogon, Eugen. The Theory And Practice Of Hell. NY: Berkley Publishing Group, 1998; Encyclopædia Britannica; Encyclopedia of the Holocaust; Simon Wiesenthal Center Online.
  24. ^ "1945: Liberation and Rebuilding". The Holocaust Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  25. ^ Jewish Virtual Library (2014). "Ravensbrück Trial (1946–1947)". Cyber encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture. Retrieved 6 January 2015.

References

  • Brown, Daniel Patrick. The Camp Women: The Female Auxiliaries Who Assisted the SS in Running the Concentration Camp System, ISBN 0-7643-1444-0. This is where the information on female guards with the exceptions of Suze Arts and Elisabeth Lupka was obtained from.
  • Helm, Sarah (2015). If This Is A Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-1-4087-0107-2.
  • Marlies Lammert: Will Lammert – Ravensbrück, Akademie der Künste, Berlin 1968. In German
  • Saidel, Rochelle G. (2006). The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-19864-0.
  • Karolin Steinke: Trains to Ravensbrück. Transports by the Reichsbahn 1939–1945, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940938-27-5.
  • Delia Müller, Madlen Lepschies: Tage der Angst und der Hoffnung. Erinnerungen an die Todesmärsche aus dem Frauen-Konzentrationslager Ravensbrück Ende April 1945. Dr. Hildegard Hansche Stiftung Berlin.. ISBN 3-910159-49-4.
  • Snyder, Timothy D. (2015). Black Earth. The Holocaust As History and Warning. ISBN 978-1-101-90346-9.
  • See Carola Sachse: Jewish forced labor and non-Jewish women and men at Siemens from 1940 to 1945, in: International Scientific Correspondence, No. 1/1991, pp. 12–24; Karl-Heinz Roth: forced labor in the Siemens Group (1938–1945). Facts, controversies, problems, in: Hermann Kaienburg (ed.): concentration camps and the German Economy 1939–1945 (Social studies, H. 34), Opladen 1996, pp. 149–168; Wilfried Feldenkirchen: 1918–1945 Siemens, Munich 1995, Ulrike fire, Claus Füllberg-Stolberg, Sylvia Kempe: work at Ravensbrück concentration camp, in: Women in concentration camps. Bergen-Belsen. Ravensbrück, Bremen, 1994, pp. 55–69; Ursula Krause-Schmitt: The path to the Siemens stock led past the crematorium, in: Information. German Resistance Study Group, Frankfurt / Main, 18 Jg, No. 37/38, Nov. 1993, pp. 38–46; Sigrid Jacobeit: working at Siemens in Ravensbrück, in: Dietrich Eichholz (eds) War and economy. Studies on German economic history 1939–1945, Berlin 1999.
  • Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 19, No. 968, Communication on the creation of the barracks for the Siemens & Halske, the planned production and the planned expansion for 2,500 prisoners "after direct discussions with this company": Economic and Administrative Main Office of the SS ( WVHA), Oswald Pohl, secretly, to Reichsführer SS (RFSS), Heinrich Himmler, dated 20.10.1942.
  • Karl-Heinz Roth: forced labor in the Siemens Group, with a summary table, page 157 See also Ursula Krause-Schmitt: "The road to Siemens stock led past the crematorium," pp. 36f, where, according to the catalogs of the International Tracing Service Arolsen and Martin Weinmann (eds.). The Nazi camp system, Frankfurt / Main 1990 and Feldkirchen: Siemens 1918–1945, pp. 198–214, and in particular the associated annotations 91–187.
  • Wanda Kiedrzy'nska, in: National Library of Poland, Warsaw, Manuscript Division, Sygn. akc 12013/1 and archive of the memorial I/6-7-139 RA: see also: Woman Ravensbruck concentration camp. An overall presentation, State Justice Administration in Ludwigsburg, IV ART 409-Z 39/59, April 1972, pp. 129ff.
  • Megargee, Geoffrey P., ed. (2012). Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. in association with United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-35599-7.

External links

Coordinates: 53°11′20.4″N 13°10′12″E / 53.189000°N 13.17000°E

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Anna de Waal

Anna de Waal (25 November 1906, Culemborg – 22 March 1981, Arnhem), was a Dutch politician (Catholic party). She was state secretary of education in 1953–1957. De Waal was the first female government secretary or minister in the Netherlands.

Branka Jurca

Branka Jurca (24 May 1914 – 6 March 1999) was a Slovene writer, best known for her work for children and young adults.Jurca was born in Kopriva in the Karst region of what is now Slovenia in 1914. After the First World War the family moved to Maribor where she grew up. She worked as a teacher until the outbreak of the Second World War when she moved to Ljubljana. She participated in the Slovene Liberation Front but was arrested and sent to Gonars concentration camp and then Ravensbrück concentration camp. After the end of the war she worked as teacher for a while and then as an editor of the children's journal Ciciban. She wrote 35 stories for children, novels and collections of short stories. She died in Ljubljana in 1999.She won the Levstik Award twice, in 1960 for Okoli in okoli (Round and Round) and in 1966 for Vohljači in prepovedane skrivnosti (The Snoopers and Forbidden Secrets).She was married to the writer and playwright Ivan Potrč and their daughter Marjetica Potrč is an award-winning architect.

Corrie ten Boom

Cornelia Arnolda Johanna "Corrie" ten Boom (15 April 1892 – 15 April 1983) was a Dutch watchmaker and later a writer who worked with her father, Casper ten Boom, her sister Betsie ten Boom, and other family members to help many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her home. They were caught and she was arrested and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, is a biography that recounts the story of her family's efforts and how ten Boom found hope while imprisoned at the concentration camp.

Elfriede Rinkel

Elfriede Lina Rinkel (née Huth, 14 July 1922 – July 2018) was a Nazi guard at the Ravensbrück concentration camp from June 1944 until April 1945 handling an SS-trained guard dog.

Elisabeth Volkenrath

Elisabeth Volkenrath (née Mühlau; 5 September 1919 – 13 December 1945) was a German supervisor at several Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Volkenrath, née Mühlau, was an ungelernte Hilfskraft (unskilled worker) when she volunteered for service in a concentration camp. She started in October 1941 at Ravensbrück concentration camp as a simple Aufseherin. In March 1942, she went to Auschwitz Birkenau where she worked in the same function as at Ravensbrück. At Auschwitz, she met SS-Rottenführer Heinz Volkenrath, who had worked there since 1941 as SS-Blockführer. They married in 1943. Elisabeth Volkenrath participated in the selection of prisoners for the gas chambers and in November 1944 was promoted to Oberaufseherin for all camp sections for female prisoners at Auschwitz.Elisabeth Volkenrath was transferred to Bergen-Belsen when Auschwitz was closed. From February 1945, she was Oberaufseherin (supervising wardress) at Bergen-Belsen.

Halina Krahelska

Halina Krahelska (12 June 1892, Odessa - 1945, Ravensbrück) was a Polish activist, publicist and writer.

Juana Bormann

Juana Bormann (or Johanna Borman; 10 September 1893 – 13 December 1945) was an East Prussian-born prison guard at several Nazi concentration camps, from 1938 and was executed as a war criminal at Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany, after a court trial in 1945.

Karl Gebhardt

Karl Franz Gebhardt (23 November 1897 – 2 June 1948) was a German medical doctor and a war criminal during World War II. He served as Medical Superintendent of the Hohenlychen Sanatorium, Consulting Surgeon of the Waffen-SS, Chief Surgeon in the Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police, and personal physician to Heinrich Himmler.Gebhardt was the main coordinator of a series of surgical experiments performed on inmates of the concentration camps at Ravensbrück and Auschwitz. These experiments were an attempt to defend his approach to the surgical management of grossly contaminated traumatic wounds, against the then-new innovations of antibiotic treatment of injuries acquired on the battlefield.During the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, Gebhardt stood trial in the Doctors' trial (American Military Tribunal No. I). He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death on 20 August 1947. He was hanged on 2 June 1948, in Landsberg Prison in Bavaria.

List of subcamps of Ravensbrück

The following, is the list of subcamps of the Ravensbrück concentration camp complex built and run by Nazi Germany during World War II. By 1944 Ravensbrück consisted of a system of between 31, and 40, and up to 70 subcamps, spread out from Austria to the Baltic Sea, with over 70,000 predominantly female prisoners. It was the only major Nazi camp for women.

Margarete Gallinat

Oberaufseherin Margarete Gallinat (born 1894, date of death unknown) was the chief supervisor at Kamp Vught, Netherlands. She later became a supervisor at Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Margot Dreschel

Margot Elisabeth Dreschel, also spelled Drechsler, or Drexler (17 May 1908, Neugersdorf – May/June 1945, Bautzen), was a prison guard at Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Before her enlistment as an SS auxiliary, she worked at an office in Berlin. On 31 January 1941, Dreschel arrived at Ravensbrück concentration camp to receive guard training. At first she was an Aufseherin, a lower-ranking female guard at Ravensbrück camp in charge of interned women. She trained under Oberaufseherin (Senior Overseer) Johanna Langefeld in 1941, and quickly became an SS-Rapportführerin (Report Overseer), a higher-ranked guard.

Maria Mandl

Maria Mandl (also spelled Mandel; 10 January 1912 – 24 January 1948) was an Austrian SS-Helferin infamous for her key role in the Holocaust as a top-ranking official at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where she is believed to have been directly complicit in the deaths of over 500,000 female prisoners. She was executed for war crimes.

Mary Helen Young

Mary Helen Young (5 June 1883 – 14 March 1945) was a Scottish nurse and resistance fighter who helped British servicemen escape from Nazi-occupied France during World War II. She was imprisoned by the Gestapo and put to death at Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1945.

Sylvia Salvesen

Sylvia Salvesen (25 January 1890 – 1973) was a member of the high society in Norway, and a resistance pioneer during World War II. She was arrested and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. She witnessed at the Hamburg Ravensbrück Trials in 1946, and wrote a memoir book documenting her wartime experiences.

Uckermark concentration camp

The Uckermark concentration camp was a small German concentration camp for girls near the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Fürstenberg/Havel, Germany and then an "emergency" extermination camp.

Zofia Romanowiczowa

Zofia Romanowiczowa (born Zofia Górska; 18 October 1922 – 28 March 2010) was a Polish writer and translator.

When World War II broke out, she first stayed in Radom, where she participated in the Polish resistance (Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej) as a liaison officer. Arrested together with her father by the Gestapo in January 1941, she was imprisoned and spent the rest of the war in concentration camps at Ravensbrück and Neu-Rohlau, near Karlsbad, where she worked in a porcelain factory. After the liberation of the camp by the US Army, she resumed her secondary studies in Italy, where she graduated in 1946 from the high school established in Porto San Giorgio by the Polish Army's IInd Corpus.

She then studied romance philology in Paris, where she met her husband, Kazimierz Romanowicz, director of the bookstore and publishing company Libella, on the Ile Saint Louis, from 1946 to 1993. Together they founded Galerie Lambert in 1959, one of the most important centers of Polish culture abroad after World War II. She received the Kościelski Award in 1964. In 1976 she signed the Letter of 59.

In addition to poems written while in concentration camp, her literary contributions include twelve novels, a collection of translations of Troubadour poems into Polish, and numerous short stories and articles which she published over the years in the journals Wiadomosci (London), Kultura (Paris), and in Poland in "Tygodnik Powszechny", "Nowa Kultura", and "Odra". She wrote in Polish. Three of her novels were translated into French: Przejscie przez Morze Czerwone" (1960, in French: "Le Passage de la Mer Rouge"), was also translated into English ("Passage through the Red Sea"), German and Hebrew; "Lagodne oko blekitu" (1968 in French: "Le Chandail Bleu") and "Na Wyspie (1984, in french: "Ile Saint Louis").

She belonged to the Union of Polish Writers in Exile, and, since 1989, to the Union of Polish Writers. The archives of her work can be found in the Emigration Archive of the University of Torun Library.

She died in Lailly en Val, near Orleans (France) in 2010, aged 87.

Élisabeth de Rothschild

Élisabeth, Baroness de Rothschild (née Pelletier de Chambure; a.k.a. Lili; March 9, 1902 - March 23, 1945) was a member by marriage of the wine-making branch of the Rothschild family.

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