Visitor centre opens at former concentration camp
12 November 2007, Fuerstenberg - A new visitors' centre was opened on Sunday at the former Ravensbrueck concentration camp north of Berlin.
12 November 2007
Fuerstenberg - A new visitors' centre was opened on Sunday at the former Ravensbrueck concentration camp north of Berlin.
The 400-square-metre glass-walled structure fits in well with the historic atmosphere of the complex, said Insa Eschebach, head of the Ravensbrueck Memorial Centre.
Tours of what was once the largest women's concentration camp on German soil begin at the new visitors' centre and also end there.
More than 133,000 women and children from Germany, Poland and other countries were held at the camp between 1939-1945. Some 20,000 male prisoners were kept in an adjacent camp.
Tens of thousands were murdered or died of malnutrition, sickness or from the effects of medical experiments. Only 3,500 malnourished women and 300 men were at the camp when it was liberated by the Red Army on April 30, 1945.
Several surviving inmates of the camp were among the more than 150 guests who attended the inauguration ceremony.
Johanna Wanka, culture minister of the state of Brandenburg, where Ravensbrueck is located, said the centre was a milestone in the restoration and refurbishment of the site.
The building for the centre was designed by the same firm of architects responsible for the design of two new synagogues in Munich and Dresden. Nearly half the 2.1 million euros spent on the new centre was provided by the European Union.
In addition to providing guided tours, the centre also has an exhibition room and literature about the camp and its inmates.
Subject: German news