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Publisher's Summary

On a sunny morning in May 1939, a phalanx of 867 women - housewives, doctors, opera singers, politicians, prostitutes - was marched through the woods 50 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 20 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.

©2015 Sarah Helm (P)2017 Tantor

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Average Customer Ratings

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My thoughts

The narrator did a great job. This book was very intense and I learned so much about a part of history I did not know much about before. I chose this book after reading The Lilac Girls, which was about the Rabbits, another good book. I would definitely recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A tale of NAZI horror.

Told in a way that puts you in the death camp and in the heads of the women who suffered and died there. NAZI evil laid bare. Even after 75 years, the whole story of NAZI atrocities has yet to be told. This book fills in another little part of the story and is another warning that we must never fail to oppose those who would recreate a NAZI type vicious and deadly regime no matter where it's ugly head rises from the sewers.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A good read, but tough to get through.

I listen to audio books at work and I really enjoy books on this topic. The information and the delivery of the book were great. It was just so heavy with facts and names that sometimes it was hard to keep straight.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely captivating

Would you consider the audio edition of Ravensbruck to be better than the print version?

I did not read the book, but I visualize the events much better when I listen.

What did you like best about this story?

I felt it started out slow and I didn't know if I cared much for the narration, but as I listened I liked her more and more. By the end I felt her accents added to the reading. As far as the story, what's to like about a horrible time in history. I am fascinated by the events of the holocaust and I feel it makes me a better person. To be more open and caring to all types of people, no matter their background (meaning the prisoners). It amazes me how humans can be SO terrible to other humans.

Which scene was your favorite?

No favorite scene.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some of the torture was just terrible. The camp started out sort of OK with the bunks, checkered blankets, clothing and food...but by the end it was just horrible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gripping

A well documented and researched account off the first person perspective of multiple women's perspectives in the camp. Hearing the stories of the "rabbit's" made tears well up in my eyes. I loved the different accents of the women telling their stories, Russian, French and English and German. Taking me three days, I couldn't put it down

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Haunting, Chilling, Must Read

Would you consider the audio edition of Ravensbruck to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

Numerous people's stories

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't choose one

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. I will never look at life the same. The horror and torments the women of Ravensbruck had to endure in hopes of surviving, until liberated, is deplorable. I will never have a bad day again where I don't think of these poor souls. My worst days are better than their best days by far. I will be grateful for each and every day of my wonderful life. It is unfathomable the horrors committed by the Nazis. I can't even find the words. This book should be required reading for all.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Amazing forgotten history

So well narrated, I felt the pain of the people involved. Unforgettable performance. Unforgettable story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Ravensbruck

Heartbreaking, much left to be told! Well written and narrated! I want to read more!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ravensbruck.

Would you listen to Ravensbruck again? Why?

Absolutely. I do not think one can absorb the horror in the first read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sarah Helm’s masterpiece with perfect narration

Ravensbrück is one of the forgotten concentration camps, the women’s only camp. But no more can that be said. Sarah Helm does a masterful job of recounting the horrors of Ravensbrück and the unfathomable stories, long forgotten or deliberately omitted. Christa Lewis’s narration is perfection. She strikes the right tone at every turn. The impact of this book will last for ages.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful