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Ravensbrück Hell for Women - a diary written in the camp itself. Buenos Aires, 1946 - First edition

Opening price: $200

Commission: 23%

Sold: $260
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04.08.2024 07:00pm

Ravensbrück, infierno de las mujeres - "Ravensbrück, Hell for Women" - A daily journal written over the course of about a year in the camp by Simone Saint-Clair, published by Corinto. Buenos Aires 1946 - first edition. Spanish.

Poignant introduction by Thomas Mann, as well as "Notes" written at the end of the book by French Resistance fighter Claude Vaillant-Couturier in which she recounts the horrors she experienced in Auschwitz as she reported them on October 15, 1944 (Claude testified about the atrocities at the Nuremberg Trials, see Dynasty auction 20 item 103).

The horrors of the Ravensbrück women's camp, written in the camp itself at the time of the events, by French underground activist Simone de Claire. She began writing her diary in the camp on September 14, 1944, and this is what appears in the first lines:
"On my knees, sitting on a small wooden bench in barrack 32, hiding myself as much as possible...During my life I have often been reckless, I am again today in breaking discipline which could mean twenty-five hits with a stick, and a few days in bunker 1, for daring above all to use a pencil and paper, objects strictly forbidden for use...". The diary documents a period of about a year from September 1944 to July 1945 and was written almost daily with short breaks. The Diary describes the daily life in the camp, the cold, hunger, forced labor, the suffering of the women, the harsh fate of the Jewish women in the camp, the daily struggle with the challenges of the camp, the poor condition of the sick women and diseases in the camp, women who lost their sanity as a result of the harsh tortures, escape attempts from the camp, the harsh fate of the young girls who arrived at the camp, and more. In the second part of the book, the author added testimonies from fellow prisoners to corroborate the facts: "Since some readers may believe that the horrors reported in this diary are the product of an unbalanced mind, I thought it necessary to ask other prisoners to contribute their testimonies...". This section contains several harrowing testimonies about the morgue in the camp, the autopsies performed by the Nazis, the "nights of terror", and more.

A poignant introduction by Thomas Mann in which, as a German, he confesses to the crimes of Germany (originally broadcast on Radio Luxembourg on May 12, 1945): "For us Germans...the underground torture chamber that Germany, in its Nazi metamorphosis, is revealed, and all its infamy exposed to the eyes of the world. Our infamy, German readers and listeners...Nazi Germany, abhorred by the civilized world, the Mafia of the civilized world! Mankind shudders with horror. Mankind shudders with horror at Germany, yes, at Germany, for she set the most abominable example. Even the German who while there was still time, disowned the National Socialism, who did not live, like you, in the vicinity of those camps where the atrocities were committed, even that German feels profound shame within himself. That this could happen in the land of his fathers and teachers... In the eyes of humanity, Germany today resembles horror and incarnates brutality, for having strangled law and truth - only lies were paramount, for having violated freedom and expelled decency. Corruption became established
at every social level, from top to bottom; men had been indoctrinated from childhood with such absurd and ludicrous fallacies as their racial superiority and their right to indulge envy, rape, and plunder...Germany, freed from the Nazi burden, will know how to regain the respect and admiration of other peoples...The liberators had to come from outside. These liberators have conquered our usurped land, and it will be necessary to supervise its administration for many years. Do not regard them, as some would have you do, as enemies. And above all, do not think of yourselves as Germans: see yourselves as human beings, as individuals restored to humanity, who after twelve years of Hitlerism, want to be human beings again...Germany knew at other times, and we must hope that it will know again, to inspire the admiration and respect of other peoples by her contribution to the advance of free thought".

Rare. Only three copies listed in the world cat library catalogue.

224 [3] p. Good - very good condition .

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188. Ravensbrück Hell for Women - a diary written in the camp itself. Buenos Aires, 1946 - First edition