Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten Mahn‑ und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück

Ravensbrück 1939-45: Christian women in the concentration camp

To mark German Protestant Church Day 2017 in Berlin (24–28 May 2017), the Ravensbrück Memorial developed an exhibition to commemorate Christian prisoners in the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp. The exhibition highlights the variety and diversity of denominational cultures in Europe. The second section of the exhibition is dedicated to religious practices in the camp, most of which had to be kept secret. The third section looks at the question of religious practice in the environment surrounding the concentration camp. Christian women were arrested by the Nazis for criticizing or opposing the regime on account of their faith.These prisoners came from Roman Catholic, Greek and Russian Orthodox, and various Reformed Protestant communities. The exhibition presents profiles of thirteen of them who were deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. One challenge for these prisoners was the lack of liturgical objects and canonical literature in the camp, which they compensated for in different and sometimes imaginative ways. Church services in the city of Fürstenberg had a German Christian character. There are documented cases of people leaving the church on account of their SS membership. Short profiles of the acting pastor and the clergymen who replaced him supplement the few facts known to date.