“MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A VERY BRAVE AND COURAGEOUS WOMAN.”
My grandmother, Anna Burger, had five children, and they lived in very poor conditions. She was often forced to make a living by stealing and begging, but even that small amount was hardly enough. On one dark night she stole some blankets for her children. She was seen and betrayed, as a result of which she was arrested in 1940 with the comment “return not desirable” and was sentenced to one year in prison. After serving her sentence she was deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp.
My grandmother was imprisoned in Ravensbrück from 6 May 1941 to 2 December 1943, and she died there at the age of just thirty as a result of a lethal injection. All I have to remind me of her are some photographs and stories from my mother and what I have found out through years of research.
For my grandmother, Ravensbrück concentration camp only represented many kinds of suffering, and knowing that her five children had been left behind and had to rely on themselves, and it was there that she lost her life. For my mother, Ravensbrück concentration camp was the place that deprived her of her mother and her childhood. In 2016 my mother said, “when I am in that place where my mother was, I feel myself walking in her footsteps...”
For me, Ravensbrück concentration camp means different things: Here you can feel sorrow, pain, but also joy, all at the same time. It’s the place that took my grandmother from me. I missed her when I was a child and a young woman, even though I had never known her. However, in Ravensbrück, I have also made loving friendships. When I enter Ravensbrück concentration camp, I imagine I am visiting my grandmother.
Anna Burger’s granddaughter