Topography of Terror
The following information is from Page 19 of the sixty-five page edition of Memorial Museums to the Victims of the Nazi Regime: A Comprehensive Guide, published by The Topography of Terror Foundation in Berlin, Germany. One goal of the guide is to "present descriptions of the memorial sites, museums, monuments, plaques and stones of each federal state." An End to Intolerance would like to thank the editor, Thomas Lutz, for his permission to reprint this page, and Genya Markon in the photograph archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, USA, for the accompanying picture.
Ravensbrück Memorial Museum
1938-1939: Construction of the concentration camp for women; the camp is used for the first time in May 1939 and houses approximately 1,000 women.
1939-1945: Women from forty-seven countries are imprisoned there.
1941: A camp for men is established within the concentration camp.
From 1942: Young women are incarcerated in the Uckermark youth concentration camp.
April 30, 1945: Red Army troops liberate the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. The grounds are used as a military base for the Soviet army.
September 12, 1959: The National Memorial Museum ("Mationale Mahn-und Gedendatte") is inaugurated on part of the concentration camp grounds.
1993-94: The remaining CIS forces withdraw.
Since January 1993: The memorial museum belongs to the Bradenburg Memorial Museums Foundation.
The Ravensbrück concentration camp, constructed between November 1938 and April 1939, was the largest concentration camp in Germany established especially for women. It is estimated that from 1939 to 1945, 132,000 female prisoners, many of whom were accompanied by children and newborn infants, spent time in the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp and satellite camps. In addition 20,000 male prisoners, as well as over 1,000 female adolescents, were incarcerated in the nearby Uckermark youth concentration camp ("Jugendschutzlager Uckermark") from 1942. Between 50,000 and 92,000 -- practically half of all prisoners -- died from hunger, medical experiments, executions, gassing or from the massive death marches at the end of the war. Ashes from the camp crematorium were dispersed into the Schwedt Lake.
Forced Labor at Ravensbrück
(Mahn und Gedenkstatte Ravensbrück,
The women, children and men in the Ravensbrück concentration camp came from all parts of Europe. Among the prisoners were numerous Jews, Gypsies, and Jehovah's Witnesses. According to the transportation lists, the majority of prisoners came from Poland, the Soviet Union, Germany, and Austria. In the years following liberation, the barracks camp and similar barrack structures were dismantled. The Red Army used the property for military functions and the last CIS troops withdrew in 1993.
The first memorial events in Furstenberg and Ravensbrück took place as the early as the end of the 1940's. The well known Ravensbrück National Memorial Museum ("Nationale Mahn-unk Gedenkstatte") was erected on 8.65 acres of land directly overlooking the Schwedt Lake and was bordered by the camp wall. The inauguration celebration took place on September 12, 1959.
The memorial contains parts of the camp wall where a bed of roses marks a mass grave; "Tragende" (Burdened Women), a monument created by Will Lammert; the crematorium and the former prison cell, known to prisoners as the "bunker". The first camp museum was installed in the former prison cell. In 1977, the Soviet army turned over the concentration camp headquarters building to the GDR and in 1984 the "Antifascist Resistance Fighters Museum" was established there. In 1992, in accordance with the recommendation by the Expert Commission for the New Conception of Brandenburg Memorial Museums, the politically one-sided documentation exhibit was disassembled and replaced in May with a new, smaller exposition. In 1993, preparation began for the exhibit "Ravensbrück: Topography and History of the Concentration Camp for Women." In 1994, the exhibition "Ravensbrück Women" was opened, displaying short biographies of twenty-seven former female prisoners. Since 1993, the Ravensbrück Memorial Museum is part of the Brandenburg Memorial Museums Foundation. The memorial museum staff has also begun to develop new, more open forms of public relations, communication and educational work.
Straße der Nationen
Telephone: 03 30 93/392 41
Fax: 03 30 93/383 97
Director: Dr. habil. Sigrid Jacobeit
Information: Eberhard Dentzer
Train Connections: Berlin-Orainenburt-Furstenberg in the direction of Neustrelitz (Rostock, Stralsund).
Approximately 80km north of Berlin on B96/E251; east of Furstenberg on the Schwedt Lake. Signs indicate the way to the memorial museum.
From May to September: 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. From October to April: 9:00 A.M. to 5 P.M. Closed on Mondays year round.
Copyright © 1997-2005 by iEARN. All rights reserved.
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