At the end of World War Two the concentration camps of the Nazi regime were liberated by the allied armies. Seventy years after the Women’s Concentration Camp of Ravensbrück was freed by the Soviet army we have gathered once again at the site of our suffering – Schwedt Lake near Fürstenberg/Havel. Women from all the countries subjugated by Germany and the German women who were imprisoned here have decided to make the following statement:
Our community was formed at a time when one hundred and thirty thousand women, many mothers and children, as well as twenty thousand men, were forced into slave labour in more than 150 work units under the command of the SS. We were subjected to hunger and abuse and tens of thousands were murdered. The SS attempted to set one group against the other, based on our differing national, political or religious backgrounds. We were able to counteract such attempts by means of our mutual solidarity. Thanks to this solidarity we were able to defy their terror and preserve our own human dignity. Many of our surviving comrades were able to stand witness at court trials conducted by the allied forces on crimes committed in the camp and were thus able to assist in obtaining a true picture of the Nazi regime.
After our liberation, those of us who had survived sought to maintain contact with one another and to document the history of Ravensbrück in order to preserve for the future the story of our experience there.
We, the survivors and family of the Ravensbrücker, have the fullest justification to voice such warnings; indeed, our story makes this, for us, a solemn duty. We call on people all over the world to listen to our call: Never again fascism, never again war!
Never again Ravensbrück!
Our vigilance and your vigilance must always be kept alive!
(This text was prepared by the International Ravensbrück Committee of Former Inmates.)