Tuesday marks 80 years since a group of 74 Polish female prisoners--70 from Lublin and four from Warsaw--were transported to Ravensbrück, where they were subjected to pseudo-medical experiments, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
“This is a first-ever exhibition about these women, some of whom were girl guides, and who had experiments conducted on their legs, sometimes by people with professorial titles,” said Barbara Oratowska, who prepared the showcase at Lublin’s National Museum.
The bilingual, Polish-English exhibition, funded by the Polish culture ministry, combines echoes of prewar Lublin and the profiles of the inmates, with glimpses of life inside Ravensbrück, IAR reported.
Items on display include secretly taken photos, showing the impact of the experiments on the bodies of the female prisoners, as well as letters they wrote while in the camp.
Tuesday’s opening will feature a special guest of honour, Prof. Wanda Półtawska, the last surviving member of the Polish group, who turns 100 this year.
Wanda Półtawska. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski
A book about the exhibition will also be launched, Oratowska told IAR.
Located 80 kilometres from Berlin, the Ravensbrück concentration camp held more than 130,000 women and children between 1933 and 1945. Some 92,000 of those inmates eventually died.
Polish women were the largest group in the camp, totalling 40,000, of which only 8,000 survived, according to estimates cited by IAR.