“Remembering Ravensbrück: Women and the Holocaust” Exhibition On View at UNC Asheville Through March 27


The national traveling exhibition “Remembering Ravensbrück: Women and the Holocaust,” will be on view in UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall through March 27, staged by the university’s Center for Diversity Education. The exhibit, created by the Kennesaw State University Public History and German Studies Programs and the Ravensbrück Memorial Site, tells the story of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 150,000 women were interred. It is free and open to the public.

Between 1939 and 1945, over 150,000 female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrück camp system; around 40,000 were Polish and 26,000 were Jewish. Tens of thousands of women died from starvation, disease or by gas chambers; exact numbers are unknown due to the destruction of records.

The panel-based exhibition features historic photographs, maps, and artwork created by the prisoners, highlighting the stories of individual women imprisoned at the camp as well as female guards who willingly implemented the Nazi “Final Solution.”

UNC Asheville will host a number of free events on campus in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18: Video Interview with Holocaust Survivor Rena Gelissen –Gelissen, the author of Rena’s Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz (Beacon Press, 1996) survived Auschwitz and a death march that included a stop at Ravensbrück. She later settled in Hendersonville, N.C. and passed away in 2006. This video of her story, recorded by the USC Shoah Foundation, will be introduced by Deborah Miles, director of UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education, in Highsmith University Union, Alumni Hall.
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 18: Exhibit opening reception and lecture, The Making of Remembering Ravensbrück: Women and the Holocaust – Richard Harker is education and outreach coordinator for the Kennesaw State University Museum of History and Holocaust Education. His lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Karpen Hall room 038.
  • 7 p.m. Monday, March 24: Etty – a one-woman show by Susan Stein – Etty is Stein’s adaptation of the diaries of Esther Hillesum, a Jewish student who lived in Amsterdam in the early 1940s until being sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed. Etty will be performed in Highsmith University Union, The Grotto.

All events related to the exhibition are sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education. For more information, contact Deborah Miles at dmiles@unca.edu or 828.232.5024.