Published 30 March 2006
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conditions in ravensbruck

Ravensbruck is at the north of Berlin near the Polish border, near there is a big port, we were there in Mecklenbourg which we called, in a place which is so welcoming that it is called "little Siberia." So the camp was in the middle of marshland and was a very big camp because, when we arrived, in the camp there were 50 000 women, 50 000, of all nationalities, of all ages, and there were children and we were stuffed into barracks. We were put into quarantine, that’s to say we were isolated there, we didn’t have to work but we still had to get up at half past three in the morning to attend the roll call. But before that, we had to go through all sorts of, through two barracks and we had to remove all our clothes, jewellery, money, belongings, they shaved the heads of those who had beautiful hair and then, they asked us our names, our civil status, who to let know in case we died and our religion. Regarding religion, we had to tell it to a young Polish girl, who spoke french well, as she filled in the registers. She was a detainee, as all those who worked in offices in the camp were those who had been deported. So she said to us: I only know of two religions: catholicism and protestantism, you choose. This was as there were Jews with us who would surely have been deported straight away , and people who presented themselves as atheists, or having no religion and at that time they were classed as associates of Jews, or maybe worse.