Ravensbruck testimonies are a priceless gift for future generations

Testimonies by former inmates of the Ravensbruck Nazi-German concentration camp for women are a priceless gift for future generations, First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda said on Sunday at the camp's memorial site in Brandenburg, eastern Germany.

Kornhauser-Duda, in Ravensbruck for observances of the camp's 73rd liberation anniversary, recalled that Polish women were the biggest prisoner group in the camp, many of them former resistance fighters, nuns and girl guide leaders.

"They were brought here because their active involvement for a free Poland (...) was seen as a threat by the German occupation authorities," she stressed.

Addressing former Ravensbruck inmates gathered at the ceremony, Kornhauser-Duda expressed her thanks for their presence, observing that their testimonies will be valuable for future generations.

"Dear ladies, I bow my head before you. I thank you for your presence and for your testimony, which can not be overestimated," the First Lady said, adding that the testimonies of former Ravensbruck prisoners were "a priceless gift for future generations," and "a loud cry for no more war."

The Ravensbruck camp opened in 1939 as Germany's biggest female concentration camp. Until the end of the war over 130,000 women and girls from all over Europe passed through the camp, over 90,000 of them dying from malnutrition and diseases, as well as heinous medical experiments performed on them by the Nazis.

Around 30,000-40,000 Polish women were imprisoned in Ravensbruck, many sent there after the fall of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Also imprisoned in the camp's sub-sections were around 20,000 Polish men.