Ravensbrück: Research Summary

My research this summer on Ravensbrück Concentration Camp will be used to inform my dissertation at the University of St Andrews. All of texts that I was able read throughout these seven weeks puts me in a very good place to continue my research in the fall and begin the writing process. The ability to travel to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the site of the camp provided me with an invaluable amount of information that I would not have be able to rely upon otherwise. And I believe that walking around the former camp site allowed me to better comprehend the experiences of these women and hopefully to do justice to their stories in my final work.

When I first began to think about my dissertation and while applying for this grant, I envisioned my work examining and comparing various different groups of women in the camp. Throughout this summer I realized that such a concept is too large of an undertaking for an undergraduate dissertation and would require more work than I could fit into a year. Thus, I chose to focus on one group: the Rabbits. Once I came to this decision, I eventually formed a clearer research question. Although I knew from the start that I was intrigued by the Rabbits and the medical experiments, I came to see that the relationships between the Rabbits and others in the camp, both prisoners and Nazi personnel, could be an interesting angle to examine. I believe that the interactions between these groups could have significantly impacted the chances of survival for the 74 Polish women involved in the experiments.