Ravensbruck was the only major Nazi concentration camp for women. Between 1939 and 1945, it was the site of murder by slave labor, torture, starvation, shooting, lethal injection, medical experimentation, and gassing. In its six-year history, 132,000 women from twenty-seven countries were imprisoned in Ravensbruck. Only about 15,000 in all survived.
Jewish Women Prisoners of Ravensbruck reclaims the lost identities of these victims. Together with a team of researchers, Judith Buber Agassi interviewed 138 survivors of Ravensbruck on four continents. Using the survivor testimonies to corroborate her research from major archives in Germany, Israel, and the United States, as well as from transport and death registration lists and from records that were smuggled out of the camp before liberation, Buber Agassi constructs an image of the women of Ravensbruck: their countries of origin, age distribution, professional roles prior to the war, religious backgrounds, and the types of social interactions and emotional support that existed among and between the various groups of women. To date, Buber Agassi has recovered the identity of over 16,000 Ravensbruck prisoners.
Now in paperback, this study of Ravenbruck, largely overlooked in favor of more notorious killing campus, continues the female approach to understanding the Holocaust.