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Unknown: Rabbit (Excerpt), 1942-43

Info / context to the poem

The poem, whose author is unknown, was transmitted by Lucyna Solka and translated from Polish by Iwka Kahlauch.

Between August of 1942 and August of 1943, a series of medical experiments were done on altogether 74 young Polish girls and women in Ravenbrück. These investigated the use of sulphonamide for burns as well as transplanations. Prof. Dr. Karl Gebhardt was responsible for the operations, assisted by the woman doctor Herta Oberheuser.

Broken glass and other foreign objects were planted in the legs of the Polish women, pieces of muscle and bone were removed and dissected or crushed. Thirteen women did not survive the procedure, six others were shot by the SS afterwards. Efforts were made by the fellow prisoners to protect the other "Króliki" (rabbits,) as they were called, by procuring a false identity for them, by attempting to have them accomodated in transports to satellite camps and, shortly before liberation, by hiding them. In this way, the evidence of these crimes would be saved. The women who survived were often severely handicapped and fought for decades for at least financial compensation. (C. Jaiser)

In 1975, between Burg Stargard and Neubrandenburg, a glass jar was unearthed containing documents from the Ravensbrück concentration camp, which Polish girls and women had smuggled out at the risk of their lives. It also contained a tabular list of the medical experiments performed on 74 Polish women.
Further information to the Smuggling Find

Text in original language

Archiv Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück

Images and documents

Surgery room in Ravensbrück

From the SS propaganda album, around 1941
Photo: Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück


Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück
Signatur: V636D3

Scars from forced surgery

Photograph of the legs of a woman from Ravensbrück
Photo: Institute of National Remembrance (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej), Warschau

Maja Berezowska

Greeting card for Stefania Sieklucka
Ravensbrück, 1943
18,5 x 12,3 cm
Warsaw Independence Museum

Biographical data