This exhibition is no longer lent out as it has been updated, please see "Exhibition 2" below. The following text is a historical document about the exhibition and does not represent the current situation.

"We were not allowed to speak. As soon as you tried to talk to anyone, the blows came raining down upon you."

Exhibition on the Former Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp for Girls and Young Women and Later Extermination Site (1998)

We would like to dedicate our exhibition to the women murdered in the extermination camp and the "forgotten victims" of the Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp – and also to the girls and young women you have continued to face discrimination by being labeled as "asocial" even after 1945.

The goal of our exhibition is to spread awareness about the Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp. Moreover, we would like to take up and publicize the demand made by the Association of Ravensbrück Camp Survivors, Family and Friends (LGRF) for the Uckermark and Siemens sites to be included as a part of the Ravensbrück Memorial Site (MGR).

The Exhibition's Background Story

In Berlin in 1998, an event series called "Not a word was spoken to us, nor were we asked anything. We were nothing" was held on the Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp. We took that opportunity to create our own exhibition. Two of us had taken part in the "volunteer work stay for women and lesbians" in 1997 on the Uckermark site. We thought that it was important to make the excavation results accessible to as many people as possible. The discovery of foundation remains and medical finds (syringes and pharmaceutical vials, for example) made it possible to draw conclusions about the dimensions and locations of the Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp barracks and also of the site of the extermination camp (January–April 1945). It quickly became clear that just providing a presentation of the new excavation findings would not suffice so long as the concentration camp remained so unknown. We decided to collect all available information about the camp and to supplement that with our new knowledge about the site.

Unfortunately, there are basically no remaining written documents and no photographs of the Former Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp for Girls and Young Women and Later Extermination Site.

The reasons for arrest that were specific to girls as a group have received little attention. Some of the motivations for imprisonment were: engaging in resistance, sabotage, refusing to work, having the wrong family (antifascist or so-called asocial) or being Sinti or Roma. However, girls (and adult women) were also stigmatized and incarcerated for so-called "sexual depravity." This was a reason for imprisonment that was specific to women as a group – and the stigma continued to follow them even after the Liberation, as did the social condemnation that accompanied the label "asocial." They were indirectly blamed for their own incarceration, it was only the precise method of National Socialist persecution that was criticized. Afraid of renewed discrimination, these victims often felt like they had to remain silent about their time in the concentration camp. We would like to use this exhibition to belatedly recognize and express our appreciation for these "forgotten victims."

This exhibition is not only about spreading information, it is also a place to share our political views. Keywords are: continuity, reparations, recognition as victims of fascism.

The final panel entitled "...and commemoration?" asks: shouldn't there be some special way to commemorate this particular victim group when the site is designed in the future? We also think that the future of the Uckermark site is for it to be linked to the Ravensbrück Memorial Site and the city of Fürstenberg (keywords: B 96 routing, landscape planning competition). The exhibition concludes with the demands made by the Association of Ravensbrück Camp Survivors, Family and Friends (LGRF) for the incorporation of the Siemens and Uckermark sites into the Ravensbrück Memorial Site.

The exhibition has been shown in the following locations since its completion in April 1998: Berlin, Eberswalde, Oldenburg, Kiel, Hamburg, Wittenberg, Cologne, Bielefeld, Ravensbrück Memorial Site, Giessen, Munich, Augsburg, Kempten (in chronological order).

Topics Covered by the Exhibition

The exhibition provides information about the Former Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp for Girls and Young Women and Later Extermination Site. The specific reasons for the incarceration of girls and young women in the Uckermark camp are discussed, alongside a description of the daily harassment suffered by the young girls and women, the parties responsible, and the construction of the camp. The findings from the first excavation at the site in the summer of 1997 are also presented.

The 11 exhibition panels:

  1. Introduction
  2. Chronological overview and overview map
  3. Short summary of the development of social and welfare policy, and the laws and ordinances of the National Socialists regarding "the asocial question"
  4. Construction and organization of the Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp
  5. Known prisoner groups in the Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp
  6. Admissions process (including witness reports)
    • Block classification
    • Daily routine/Daily harassment, part one (including statements by former camp commander)
  7. Daily harassment, part two (statements by former prisoners)
    • Forced labor (including witness reports)
  8. Dissolution of the camp
    • Connection to the Ravensbrück Women's Concentration Camp
    • Some directly or indirectly responsible individuals
    • After 1945
  9. The Uckermark Extermination Site (January–April 1945) (including the trial testimony by former prisoners of the extermination camp and reports from two girls from the concentration camp for girls who witnessed the abuse and killing of women from the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp)
  10. Search for historical traces/Volunteer work stays – summer 1997 (photographic documents of the first excavations at the site)
  11. ... and commemoration? (summary of the site's development so far and future plans)

About the Exhibition

The exhibition was created as a touring exhibition. It can be loaned out for a minimum fee of 50 EUR per week. 25 EUR are budgeted for expenses and the remainder is donated to the Association of Ravensbrück Camp Survivors, Family and Friends (LGRF).

One of our main incentives in the presentation of this exhibition is to provide support to the work conducted by the camp survivors and friends. We therefore ask you to donate more if possible.

Lesbians, women, and young girls are a particularly important target group for us. A good way to present the exhibition is as a part of a series of events. We would love to hear if you are interested in showing our exhibition, please contact us with any questions you may have.

Catalog

The print version of the exhibition catalog is sold out and no new issues will be printed.

But the catalog is online!!!

We began to offer a free download of the catalog in pdf format in May 2005. (About 700MB, 48 pages that include the entire exhibition as well as some more background information)

2010 - Another Exhibition: Exhibition 2

In 2010, the Hamburg Uckermark Group* created a new exhibition on the Former Uckermark Youth Concentration Camp for Girls and Young Women and Later Extermination Site.