Blood and Soil ~ Blut Und Boden September 27, 2015 The day was cold as we drove north from Berlin about 90 km towards the Baltic Sea. Near our destination we passed a picturesque village turning into a wide lane marked on either side with what looked like poplar trees. Along the way Linden trees also appeared. As we approached my heart was pounding with thoughts of the atrocities that had taken place in the site we were about to tour. I had read Sara Helm’s book, Ravensbruck published in 2015 which was taken from survivors accounts, coupled with her methodical research that documented the existence of the only womens’ concentration/extermination camp in Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Bene our driver slowed the car as we approached the camp. Visually the approach felt like we would suddenly come upon an old estate or a hunting lodge surrounded by forest. Heinrich Himmler had personally chosen this area as he had friends in the vicinity and his mistress Hedwig (Bunny) Potthast had set up housing nearby where she lived and bore two of his children. Himmler visited the area where he could stay with her and visit the camp at the same time. It has been said that he purposefully chose spots of beauty for the concentration camp sites. Instead of a picturesque lodge befitting the area our eyes abruptly were drawn to the left of the road as we came upon an old Soviet Tank standing in front of a brick wall designating Ravensbruck, the woman’s camp. We parked inside of the area and Greta our well informed guide walked us past the large sign and into the compound or large square where the daily apelplatz was held for endless hours in bitter cold sometimes for no reason, while the barefooted prisoners stood in cotton dresses. The most excruciating scene for me was the room that held the ovens where the bodies were cremated upon death or barely alive. I had forgotten my camera and waited for Bene to collect it for me. My friend and our guide had moved on and so had a group of young students. Bene handed me my camera and left the room, I returned to the scene with the two ovens along side one another. Originally there had been a third oven, now removed. I stood in front of two two used brick ovens which unfortunately reminded me of modern pizza ovens (I have seen used in America) where the bodies were burned at Ravensbruck. Wreaths of flowers had been placed on the devices that held the bodies and from the museum pictures I could imagine how high the emaciated bodies could be stacked into the fire. I...

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