Over the years, the scientific community has conducted intensive research on medical treatment (and maltreatment) in Nazi Germany – particularly with regard to the euthanasia programmes and the so-called human experiments in the concentration camps. Yet researchers have never investigated nor described how the Nazis used prisoners in patient care.
This project conducts a case study on the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Brandenburg, where the SS assigned prisoners of diverse backgrounds to work as doctors and nurses between 1939 and 1945. It examines the work these “functionary prisoners” were obliged to carry out – activities which had them walking a fine line between following the orders of the SS, preserving their own survival and meeting the needs of the sick. Consequently, such work was controversially viewed by fellow prisoners in their care.
A touring exhibition will present the results of this research project based on historic material. The work will be documented and a database will serve as the basis for future research projects.
Project director: Karin Bergdoll
Artistic director: Christl Wickert
Author: Ramona Saavedra Santis
National Council of German Women’s Organisations, Berlin / Federal Ministry ofFamily Affairs,Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Berlin / Intercultural Women’s Centre, Berlin: temporary exhibitions between October 2016 and April 2017; Meeting centre / Management school of the German Medical Association, Alt Rehse: 1 May – 31 Aug. 2017; Memorial Site / Death Camp, Hadamer: 15 Oct. – 16 Dec. 2017; Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Hamburg: 15 Jan. – 4 Mar. 2018