Found in northern Germany, close to the village of Ravensbrück, this Nazi concentration camp was created by SS leader Heinrich Himmler in November of 1938. The camp opened in May 1939 and saw over 130, 000 female prisoners of whom only 40, 000 survived. Hana and George’s mother was sent here in 1941 and eventually deported to Auschwitz in October 1942 where she was killed. While in Ravenbrück, Marketa was rarely allowed to send letters home. In one of these letters, she included in the envelope a gift for her two children and their cousin Vera. Marketa had made charms out of the only possession she had; her rationed bread.
This notorious camp was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps and was located in occupied Poland, next to the village of Oświęcim.
While the camp commander, Rudolf Höss, stated that up to 3 million people died at Auschwitz-Birkenau at his trial during the Nuremberg trials, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum believes this figure to be closer to 1.1 million victims. The majority were killed in gas chambers, using Zyklon B but many others were murdered by slave labour, disease, starvation, supposed ‘medical’ experimentation and execution.
Hana and George’s father arrived in Auschwitz on June 11th, 1942 and was killed on July 14th, 1942.