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"If This Is A Woman" by Sarah Helm

This is a book about Ravensbruck Concentration Camp near Berlin. Created to house women, it has received little publicity because so many of the women there didn't belong to the major persecuted groups. They were Jehovah Witnesses, Polish slave laborers, Gypsy, Prostitutes, Communists, Socialists, and a fair share of Jewish women that were often also Communists. No groups ever came forward after the war and sued for restitution for them, they had to do this individually. Some of their court cases lasted for 10 years or more, finally ending with a minuscule pension, for women who were completely broken in health and who had lost everything. I found myself getting angrier and angrier at the German government that exists today

The book is well written, often very descriptive especially when talking about their abortions, the impossible work days, being put into solitary confinement (just a box) and the experiments performed on these women to test gangrene medicines and the best way to heal broken bones.

Added to this is the complicity of Siemens who used these women unmercifully.

Another very interesting aspect is the women who became guards here, many of whom were from the small town just across the lake. How they quickly turned abusive and cruel.

Posted by
206 posts

Thanks Jo. I read all I can find on these topics and will have this on my Nook right away.

Posted by
2927 posts

Thanks Ms Jo. I pick this up this week.

Posted by
2051 posts

Ms. Jo. I just checked for this book at my local library and it either isn't in their inventory or it's under the title "Ravensbruck". Could it be the same book? It is authored by Sarah Helm and the content sounds the same.

Posted by
8172 posts

It may very well be sold under the name "Ravensbruck". I got my book in Germany, so it might be sold under a different name since it is probably sold by a UK publisher over here.