Ravensbruck

Frequently Asked Questions About Ravensbruck

When was Ravensbruck built?


Ravensbruck opened in May 1939. it was the only Nazi concentration camp built for women.




Where was Ravensbruck located?


Ravensbruck is located close to Furstenberg, 50 miles north of Berlin on Germany's Baltic coast. The camp was built on the edge of Lake Schwedt and was surrounded by forest.




How many women were held prisoners at Ravensbruck?


It is estimated that approximately 132,000 women were in the camp during its six year of existence. There is no way to determine the exact number of women who passed through the gates of Ravensbruck.




How many women and children perished at Ravensbruck?


Approximately 100,000 - 117,000 did not survive their incarceration at Ravensbruck.




Were all the women at Ravensbruck Jewish?


No. The majority of the women killed there were not Jewish. Only about 20% of the prisoners were Jewish. The population was made up of Poles, Gypsies, Russians, Ukrainians, Germans and other nationalities. The prisoners were organized into categories, each with a color coded triangle, as well as by nationality. Jehovah's Witnesses wore purple triangles. political prisoners wore red triangles, asocials (lesbians and prostitutes) wore black triangles, and criminals wore green triangles. Jews wore a yellow Star of David.




Who were the "rabbits" of Ravensbruck?


The "rabbits" of Ravensbruck were seventy-four Polish women and twelve women from other nationalities that were subjected to horrific medical experimentation. Battlefield wounds were simulated on the women to explore the effectiveness of certain drugs. The operations were intended to lead to infections so that the effects of sulfonamide drugs (antibiotics) could be studied. Other experimental operations inflicted simulated war wounds on the women's bones and nerves. Some were shot and the wound was left untreated. Others had pieces of bones removed and grafted to other parts of their bodies. Many of the "rabbits" were later killed and those who lived, suffered life-long disfigurement and debilitating pain.





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