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Ravensbrück - The Tent

Article about: In August 1944, due to overcrowding in the blocks, the SS erected a tent between Blocks 24 + 26. At times, over 4,000 people were confined within the primitive shelter. There were no side wa

  1. #1
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    Default Ravensbrück - The Tent

    In August 1944, due to overcrowding in the blocks, the SS erected a tent between Blocks 24 + 26. At times, over 4,000 people were confined within the primitive shelter. There were no side walls to the tent, only a large pitched roof and covering of straw on the floor. When it rained, pools of water formed over the whole area and afterwards, the scene resembled a quagmire. The straw was infested with fleas, further adding to the discomfort of the women and children held there, who also had to cope without toilet or washing facilities. During February 1945, the SS surrounded the tent area with searchlights and machine guns - it had always been fenced in, however. Shortly after this security measure was introduced, the gypsy children were forcibly removed, literally torn screaming from their mothers. The adults soon followed though, as they too were removed from the tent. Approximately 1,000 people every month died during the existence of the tent, which continued until it was dismantled over the course of two days in late February or early March. Former Kommandant Fritz Suhren, who took control of the camp in the summer of 1942, holding the position until the evacuation of the camp almost three years later, stated during his trial that he felt a certain degree of pride having managed to acquire two large tents during a period when acquisation of material was very near impossible. No documents ever recorded the prisoner lists or orders concerning the population of the tent at Ravensbrück. Pictured below is the scene today, the former tent was located just beyond the stone remnants in the foreground of the photograph. In the background, the store houses near the transport sector are visible, including the cattle car housing an exhibition addressing the transports that arrived at f.KL-Ravensbrück.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Ravensbrück - view over TENT toward Bekleidungswerke-SS.jpg  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

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    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

  2. #2

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    Hi Carl, as if over crowded barracks were not bad enough. To be crammed into a festering tent, whatever the time of year, must have been appalling. Quite breath taking that the Commandant was impressed with his requisitioning skills, almost as if he felt he was doing everyone a favour. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  3. #3
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    Hi Leon,

    Yes, the Ravensbrück "tent" was rather typical of the later, worsening conditions found within the KZ system. Mauthausen, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen all had a Zeltlager (Tent Camp) during the later period of the camps history, although Niederhagen-Wewelsburg, another of the major camps, housed its first inmates in a tent prior to the newly built camp located in the Niederhagen area.

    Regards,

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

  4. #4

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    Sounds like Fritz Suhren was all heart!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #5
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    To his defence it was better they were placed in a tent, than sitting outside in the mud
    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

  6. #6
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    Ravensbrück, site of tens of thousands of deaths due to the horrendous torment, torture and conditions within the infamous camp, today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the only major concentration camp established to hold women (although 20,000 men were also incarcerated there) by Soviet forces.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Ravensbrück Memorials (5).JPG   Ravensbrück Memorials (3).JPG  

    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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