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If This is A Woman The Untold Story of Heroism and Survival Inside the Nazi's Women-Only Concentration Camp by Sarah Helm

If This is A Woman The Untold Story of Heroism and Survival Inside the Nazi's Women-Only Concentration Camp

Biography / Autobiography   History   

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Created by Heinrich Himmler, Ravensbruck was the only Concentration camp set up for women – and their children. It was up and running in 1939 and Sarah Helm details the history of Ravensbruck from its beginning to the liberation by the Red Army in 1945. The women suffered greatly, from their female guards, slave working in factories, unspeakable medical experimentation and forced sterilisation, many were sent on to Auschwitz never to be seen again. So many deaths – including four members of the British Special Operations Executive, so much tragedy and suffering but still there was hope, the women trying to create some normality in their lives and there were some extraordinary women held in the camp. Sarah Helm tells their stories of resistance and strength bringing light to a story of cruelty and the loss of many thousands of lives.

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If This is A Woman The Untold Story of Heroism and Survival Inside the Nazi's Women-Only Concentration Camp by Sarah Helm

Ravensbruck Concentration Camp is the worst atrocity ever committed solely against women, but today the name of the camp is barely known. From Ravensbruck's earliest days, when Himmler offered his own land for the camp, this book follows every stage of the story through to the camp's liberation by the Red Army. Based on meticulous research, If This Is A Woman lays bare the systematic brutalisation of mothers, pregnant women, children and babies. It details the extremes of cruelty enacted by SS guards and of suffering experienced by the prisoners, who were themselves reduced to inhuman acts. But at the heart of If This Is A Woman are stories of heroism and survival. The narrative centres on the experiences of women - from the farmer's wife to the aristocratic intellectual - who had the resilience, the mental and physcial strength to withstand their ordeal and to emerge from the camp alive.

About the Author

Sarah Helm was a reporter on the Sunday Times and Diplomatic Editor for the Independent before becoming Jerusalem and then Brussels correspondent for the same paper. A Life in Secrets was her first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2015


Sarah Helm

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Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group




Biography / Autobiography



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