Ravensbrück served as a Nazi concentration camp exclusively for women. An estimated 130,000 women were interned there during the Nazi era, and between 30,000 and 50,000 women died there. It was one of the smaller camps. That did not make it any less horrific.
There, women were used like horses, pulling heavy equipment. With sheer muscle power, they moved the heavy rollers to level the roads. Others were rented to factories where they worked long days before returning to camp to do work there. The monsters provided no sanitary napkins or rags; the bloody fluid just ran down their legs, further dehumanizing them. They were beaten and controlled with snarling dogs.
Among the hardships was the use of the women as experimental animals. These experiments included wounds that simulated war injuries. The “doctors” would infect some of these wounds with bacteria or insert bits of glass, wood, and metal to simulate shrapnel. Bones would be removed. Many died. Others were crippled, causing them to hop around the camp, hence the nickname, “the rabbits.” On February 4, 1945, the Nazis decided to hide their war crimes by killing all the rabbits. Sixty-three of them were saved by other inmates that aided them by hiding them within the camp for the remaining days until liberation on April 30 of that year.
Saving the Rabbits of Ravensbrück I
Saving the Rabbits of Ravensbrück II
Caroline Ferriday And The Ravensbrück ‘Rabbits’: A WWII Tale Of Heroism And Persistence
The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp
Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women
Fiction based on the rabbits: The Lilac Girls
And lest you think human experimentation began or ended with the Nazi’s the United States also has used African Americans as experimental animals through slavery and through the twentieth century. Sometimes on prisoners, but at other times, on the general public. Neither is acceptable.
Sentenced to Science: One Black Man’s Story of Imprisonment in America
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present