Support AACPL's collections, services, programs and more by setting up a recurring gift. Help make your library better.

Ravensbrück: life and death in Hitler's concentration camp for women

Book Cover
Average Rating
New York : Random House Inc, 2014., Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, [2014].
First American edition.
Physical Desc:
xxiv, 743 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Edgewater Library - Nonfiction
940.5318 H
Severn Library - Nonfiction
940.5318 H
A masterly and moving account of the most horrific hidden atrocity of World War II: Ravensbrück, the only Nazi concentration camp built for women
On a sunny morning in May 1939 a phalanx of 867 women—housewives, doctors, opera singers, politicians, prostitutes—was marched through the woods fifty miles north of Berlin, driven on past a shining lake, then herded in through giant gates. Whipping and kicking them were scores of German women guards.
     Their destination was Ravensbrück, a concentration camp designed specifically for women by Heinrich Himmler, prime architect of the Holocaust. By the end of the war 130,000 women from more than twenty different European countries had been imprisoned there; among the prominent names were Geneviève de Gaulle, General de Gaulle’s niece, and Gemma La Guardia Gluck, sister of the wartime mayor of New York. 
     Only a small number of these women were Jewish; Ravensbrück was largely a place for the Nazis to eliminate other inferior beings—social outcasts, Gypsies, political enemies, foreign resisters, the sick, the disabled, and the “mad.” Over six years the prisoners endured beatings, torture, slave labor, starvation, and random execution. In the final months of the war, Ravensbrück became an extermination camp. Estimates of the final death toll by April 1945 have ranged from 30,000 to 90,000.
     For decades the story of Ravensbrück was hidden behind the Iron Curtain, and today it is still little known. Using testimony unearthed since the end of the Cold War and interviews with survivors who have never talked before, Sarah Helm has ventured into the heart of the camp, demonstrating for the reader in riveting detail how easily and quickly the unthinkable horror evolved. 
     Far more than a catalog of atrocities, however, Ravensbrück is also a compelling account of what one survivor called “the heroism, superhuman tenacity, and exceptional willpower to survive.” For every prisoner whose strength failed, another found the will to resist through acts of self-sacrifice and friendship, as well as sabotage, protest, and escape. 
     While the core of this book is told from inside the camp, the story also sheds new light on the evolution of the wider genocide, the impotence of the world to respond, and Himmler’s final attempt to seek a separate peace with the Allies using the women of Ravensbrück as a bargaining chip. Chilling, inspiring, and deeply unsettling, Ravensbrück is a groundbreaking work of historical investigation. With rare clarity, it reminds us of the capacity of humankind both for bestial cruelty and for courage against all odds.
Also in This Series
Call Number
Edgewater Library - Nonfiction
940.5318 H
On Shelf
Severn Library - Nonfiction
940.5318 H
On Shelf
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Details
Street Date:
9780385520591, 038552059X


General Note
Includes index.
APA Citation (style guide)

Helm, S. (2014). Ravensbrück: life and death in Hitler's concentration camp for women. First American edition. New York, Random House Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Helm, Sarah. 2014. Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women. New York, Random House Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Helm, Sarah, Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women. New York, Random House Inc, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Helm, Sarah. Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women. First American edition. New York, Random House Inc, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
Go To GroupedWork

Record Information

Last File Modification TimeAug 20, 2022 04:20:28 AM
Last Grouped Work Modification TimeDec 07, 2022 04:07:49 AM

MARC Record

LEADER02003cam a22004938i 4500
008140421s2014    nyu           001 0 eng  
010 |a 2014014974
020 |a 9780385520591|c 35.00
020 |a 038552059X|c 35.00
035 |a (Sirsi) i9780385520591
037 |b Random House Inc, Attn Order Entry 400 Hahn rd, Westminster, MD, USA, 21157|n SAN 201-3975
040 |a DLC|b eng|e rda|c DLC
05000|a D805.5.R38|b H45 2014
08200|a 940.53/1853154|2 23
092 |a 940.5318 H
1001 |a Helm, Sarah.
24510|a Ravensbrück :|b life and death in Hitler's concentration camp for women /|c Sarah Helm.
250 |a First American edition.
260 |b Random House Inc|c 2014
263 |a 1411
264 1|a New York :|b Nan A. Talese/Doubleday,|c [2014]
300 |a xxiv, 743 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :|b illustrations, maps ;|c 25 cm
336 |a text|2 rdacontent
337 |a unmediated|2 rdamedia
338 |a volume|2 rdacarrier
500 |a Includes index.
61020|a Ravensbrück (Concentration camp)
650 0|a Women concentration camp inmates|z Germany|z Ravensbrück.
650 0|a Women prisoners|z Germany|z Ravensbrück.
650 0|a World War, 1939-1945|x Prisoners and prisons, German.
85642|3 Cover image|u 9780385520591.jpg
973 |a June 23 Adult Non Fiction
947 |b 9780385520591|f ADBKNF|h ANNADNF|p 20.96|q 1
947 |b 9780385520591|f ADBKNF|h CROADNF|p 20.96|q 1
947 |b 9780385520591|f ADBKNF|h NCOADNF|p 20.96|q 1
947 |b 9780385520591|f ADBKNF|h SPKADNF|p 20.96|q 1
947 |b 9780385520591|f ADBKNF|h WCOADNF|p 20.96|q 1
596 |a 6 12 16
930 |a ads/00099
999 |a 940.5318 H|w AUTO|c 1|i 31997088754239|d 4/18/2022|e 4/12/2022|l A-NONFIC|m EDG|n 42|p $37.50|r Y|s Y|t A-NONFIC|u 4/7/2015|z ADULT
999 |a 940.5318 H|w AUTO|c 1|i 31997088754213|d 8/19/2022|e 8/18/2022|f 7/16/2022|g 3|l A-NONFIC|m PRO|n 47|p $37.50|r Y|s Y|t A-NONFIC|u 4/7/2015|z ADULT