Tags: Ravensbrück

Cooking with the Mouth

Jill, an American Jewish journalist, finds herself on assignment in Berlin to cover a technology festival. Having learned about the Holocaust at too young an age, Jill has developed a phobia of the subject. While in Berlin, Jill accidentally meets a survivor of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, who explains to her how the women in the camp would discuss recipes as a way to cope with their circumstances. As a result of her encounter with the survivor, Jill is not only able to deal with her own fear, but also has an opportunity to help realize the woman’s lifelong dream.

Freja: The Cold Goddess of Love

Dr. Hassbach, a German physician, interviews Agnes Sielska, a survivor of Nazi atrocities. The doctor is to protect Germany from unsubstantiated war claims. Agnes recounts her experiences at the Ravensbrück concentration camp and then at the Freja villa, where women with Aryan features were used to breed perfect Aryan children. The horrified doctor wants to offer an apology for Germany but Agnes instead argues she hopes her recounting of her experiences will prevent future atrocities.

From Silence

A rigid but loving grandmother named Esther Gold has preserved her mental balance by keeping her wartime experiences secret. She finds her safe world turned upside down when local authorities place her synagogue on lock down in response to a terrorist threat and her granddaughter is being held inside. During the endless waiting, Esther travels back in her mind seeing the results of her decision to remain silent about the Holocaust and its effect on her family. She re-experiences her years in Ravensbrück, Hitler's concentration camp for women. She relives the many times her daughter and granddaughter begged her to speak about her wartime experiences. Ultimately, she will be shaken out of her fear of sharing her past. She realizes it is her duty to speak out, but will it be too late for her granddaughter to hear?

In the Underworld

An English language production of the operetta Germaine Tillion secretly wrote of her experiences while in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. A dark comedy that focuses on life in the camp for its female prisoners.

Ravensbrücker Ballade

An East German socialist realist melodrama that chronicles the suffering of women imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, which was established in 1938 and became the largest concentration camp for females in the Reich.

Schum Schum

Leichter, a Social Democrat politician, labor organizer, and author living in Austria before the outbreak of WWII, was arrested by the Gestapo in 1938 for socialist activities. She was never released from imprisonment. Her anti-Nazi play is about two Jewish prisoners who escape to a deserted island and are shipwrecked. Leichter wrote the play while interned in Ravensbrück to offer the women there a form of emotional escape. A second version of the play, which praised the SS, was written as way to avoid punishment if found by the guards at Ravensbrück. The original version was destroyed. Leichter was gassed in 1942, two years after arriving at the camp.

There Is No Sun in Ravensbrück [Não há Sol em Ravensbrück]

Three prisoners discuss their experiences in the Ravensbrück camp: a Jewish-French prostitute, a Russian lesbian Red Army sniper, and a German nurse imprisoned for collaborating with the Jews. Their stories provide an insight into life in the largest concentration camp for women during the Holocaust.

Time with Corrie ten Boom

The story of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian woman who, along with her family, helped hundreds of Jews to escape Nazi concentration camps by hiding them in their house. The entire family was eventually arrested, and Corrie and her sister were sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. In this one-woman dramatization, Sandager dresses as an 80-year-old Corrie and recounts the ten Boom’s story.

Une opérette à Ravensbrück: Le Verfügbar aux Enfers

During World War II, Germaine Tillion became one of the leading commanders in the French Resistance. She was arrested in 1942 and sent to the German concentration camp of Ravensbrück. While there, she secretly wrote this dark comedy as a way to entertain her fellow prisoners. Choosing to laugh at the experience was not only an act of defiance, but a way to feel human and alive in the face of degradation. Tillion was reluctant to have the work published for fear that people would not understand her humor during such tragic circumstances.

Women at work—Käthe Leichter and Marie Jahoda

This two-woman play, which includes quotations from the historical protagonists, has been performed in German and English. In April 2019 the play was on tour in the United States, with a performance at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City. Käthe Leichter (1895–1942) became known as the first director of the women’s department in the Vienna Chamber of Labor. In 1938 she was arrested by the Gestapo, then imprisoned in Ravensbrück concentration camp, and murdered in 1942. Marie Jahoda (1907–2001) achieved worldwide recognition mainly as the author of the study, “The Unemployed of Marienthal.” She was imprisoned by the Austrian Fascists in 1937, but after some foreign appeals she was released on the condition that she leave the country immediately. She continued her work in Great Britain and the United States. These two pioneering Jewish academics were arrested for their political activities as Social Democrats, but Jewish political prisoners were treated more harshly than non-Jews.