University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

  • Memorialization

    Memorialization

    After Germany's reunification, the Ravensbrück camp memorial's exhibits changed from promoting Communist ideology to a Western approach.

    The way we remember any event is colored by who is doing the remembering and why, From the end of World War II until the dismantling of the Soviet Bloc, concentration camp sites in the East, such as Ravensbrück, were conceptualized as Communist shrines. In addition to highlighting the histories of the Communist heroines who had been imprisoned in the camp, the exhibits did not mention that Jewish women were among the prisoners.

    Today the texts and exhibits have been changed to reflect the camp's figurative "relocation" to the West, after the reunification of Germany. By the time that the camp memorial was revamped for the ceremonies marking the fiftieth anniversary of liberation in April, 1995, the Communist interpretation of what had happened during the Third Reich had been changed to conform to the new postSoviet Union reality, A new presentation about the Jewish victims of the camp is now among the exhibits in the prison cells of the punishment Bunker. The 1995 ceremony brought together Jewish and nonJewish survivors from all over Europe, Israel, the United States, and Canada.

    members fo the dutch committee

    Photo of members of the Dutch Committee of Women's Concentration Camp Ravensbrück at the camp during the 1995 ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of their liberation. Photo by Julia Terwilliger, 1995.

    the terwilligers

    Photo of artist Julia Terwilliger and her husband, Bert Alan Terwilliger, interviewing Dutch survivor Stennie PratomoGret at the 1995 ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Ravensbrück. Photo by Djojeng Protorno,  1995.

    members fo the dutch committee

    Photo of Dutch survivor Stennie PratomoGret showing artist Julia Terwilliger the Dutch exhibit at the 1995 ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Ravensbrück. Photo by Djajeng Protomo, 1995.

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