Vintage Photos Reveal Life Inside Ravensbrück, A Women’s Concentration Camp

Women's concentration camp victims, rescued.

Rescued women

In 1938, Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction of Ravensbrück, a concentration camp exclusively for women. Around an hour north of Berlin, Ravensbrück also served as a training camp for female Nazi overseers, many of whom would go on to be chief wardresses at other concentration camps. From 1939 to 1945, over 100,000 women from 20 European countries had died at Ravensbrück, with the largest portion of inmates hailing from Poland. By the time of their liberation, only 15,000 prisoners were still alive.

Conditions at Ravensbrück were initially acceptable, with some expressing wonder at the manicured lawns, peacock-filled birdhouses and flower beds that adorned the great square. Soon enough, disease and famine struck, and SS guards began to conduct medical experiments on inmates, where they would cut into and infect bones, muscles and nerves and introduce wood or glass into them. Others were sterilized.

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These Oktoberfest Pictures Will Make You Thirsty

It’s that time of year again. Along with changing leaves and the clean scent of new school notebooks, late September also welcomes the return of Oktoberfest, a 16-day festival that’s held each year in Munich, Bavaria i Germany. More than six million people trek to the city for Oktoberfest, celebrating Bavarian culture with tasty sausages and soft pretzels and a healthy dose of good German beer.

Along with traditional Bavarian food and drink, the city also celebrates by hosting a number of parades and performances. Check out this gallery featuring the many facets of the Oktoberfest celebration. Hint: you might want to keep a beer stein handy—these pictures are guaranteed to make you thirsty.
 

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Waitress Carries Beer Steins

Source: Hotel Nights

Toast at Oktoberfest

Source: Mashable

Rifleman's Parade 2014

Young men participate in the Rifleman's Parade at Oktoberfest. Source: Lollitop

Rifleman's Parade

Source: Flickr

Munich Parade

Source: Boston

Crowds Gather in Munich

Source: Boston

Gingerbread Hearts Munich

Gingerbread hearts are sold during Oktoberfest. Source: NBC

Parade of Costumes Germany

Source: News Cafe

Oktoberfest Parades

Source: RT

Oktoberfest Carnival at Night

Source: Wikipedia

Excited Festival Attendees in Germany

Source: Daily Mail

Hangover Hill Munich

Festival attendees sleep on the aptly named Hangover Hill. Source: The Global Experience Blog

Ceremonial Bavarian Costume

Woman dressed in a traditional ceremonial Bavarian costume. Source: The Atlantic

Olympia Looping

Olympia Looping, the well-known carnival ride, makes an appearance at Oktoberfest. Source: Wikipedia

Beer Stein Waitress

Source: WSJ

Crowds in Munich for Oktoberfest

Source: The Atlantic

Oktoberfest Carnival at Night

Source: The Atlantic

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Berlin At The End Of World War Two

Berlin After WW2

At the tail end of World War Two, Germany was in financial, political and physical ruins. The war wiped out around 11% of its population, took from it 25% of its territory, and reduced its agricultural productivity levels to a fraction of what they were before the war. To the dismay of some of its beneficiaries, Marshall Plan funds were disbursed to West Germany from 1949 to 1952, where it received $1.45 billion in economic and technical aid. Proving that the definition of an enemy is inherently situational, when the Cold War began to heat up in the 50s, NATO allowed West Germany to join its ranks. Total recovery soon followed suit.

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