First Proposals by the International Ravensbrück Committee on Designing the Camp Area after the Withdrawal of the Soviet Army


After the delegates on the International Committee visited Ravensbrück on September 19th 1991 the following proposals were made: 1. Everything which was not present in the camp when it was liberated in 1945, including all buildings, walls and sport fields constructed by the Soviet Army, should be removed. All trees which have grown up in the meantime should also be removed. This is painful, but the visitor who enters the camp area should get an impression of its great size and dismal atmosphere, similar to that in the case of Auschwitz-Birkenau. 2. The area where the huts once stood should be covered by a lawn and every place where a hut once stood should be marked by a numbered plaque. We propose using the same method as at Dachau - marking the outlines of the huts with a small brick wall and covering the interior with coarse gravel to prevent the growth of weeds. Important structures like the central headquarters, the infirmary, the baby block and the punishment block should be marked with special signs. This should also be done at the site of the large tent where women transported from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Ravensbrück were packed tightly together under horrifying conditions. 3. The former sites of the kitchen and bath should also be marked. At the bath, clothing and all possessions of newly arrived prisoners were taken away and the hair of many of them was shorn. On one side of the Bunker was a long barracks building with the camp office where the head warden (like Thea Binz) and the camp commandeer worked. This should also be marked with a sign. 4. The remaining buildings in the "Industrial Yard" should be maintained and text and pictures should show the horrifying conditions of the women’s slave labor (including work on the night shift, the SS man Binder, etc.) 5. The camp gate should be restored to its original condition and, if possible, one hut reconstructed to show its "interior design". 6. We must check the possibility of restoring Uckermark, Siemens, the men’s camp, and the railroad yard where transports of prisoners arrived and loot of the SS was brought in from all the countries occupied by the Nazis. It was here unloaded and sorted by women prisoners under the strictest controls. A sign could describe the solidarity of these women, who risked their lives to secretly take away clothing for their freezing comrades. 7. A decision must be made regarding the former SS homes. These proposals were worked out by a group of the International Ravensbrück Committee led by the president, Rose Guerin, and including former camp inmates from France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, the Soviet Union, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary.