Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women (Paperback)
In this extraordinary book, Sarah Helm offers a biography of Hitler's concentration camp for women, but Helm goes beyond what simply happened. Ravensbrück does not only recount events. Instead, Helm tells the history of this part of the Holocaust with stories about those who were sent to the camp and those who ran it. Helm brings to light the unimaginable abuse and suffering, but moves past the atrocities to chronicle the lives of the women, both the Nazi staff and the regime's victims—a horrifying history.— From Justus
Months before the outbreak of World War II, Heinrich Himmler--prime architect of the Holocaust--designed a special concentration camp for women, located fifty miles north of Berlin. Only a small number of the prisoners were Jewish. Ravensbr ck was primarily a place for the Nazis to hold other inferior beings: Jehovah's Witnesses, Resistance fighters, lesbians, prostitutes, and aristocrats--even the sister of New York's Mayor LaGuardia. Over six years the prisoners endured forced labor, torture, starvation, and random execution. In the final months of the war, Ravensbr ck became an extermination camp. Estimates of the final death toll have ranged from 30,000 to 90,000.
For decades the story of Ravensbr ck was hidden behind the Iron Curtain. Now, using testimony unearthed since the end of the Cold War and interviews with survivors who have never talked before, Sarah Helm takes us into the heart of the camp. The result is a landmark achievement that weaves together many accounts, following figures on both sides of the prisoner/guard divide. Chilling, compelling, and deeply necessary, Ravensbr ck is essential reading for anyone concerned with Nazi history.
About the Author
Sarah Helm is the author of A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII and the play Loyalty, about the 2003 Iraq War. She was a staff journalist on the Sunday Times (London) and a foreign correspondent on the Independent, and now writes for several publications. She lives in London with her husband and two daughters.