The Incredible Handcrafted Items that Arrived with the Ravensbruck Prisoners Rescued by the Swedish White Buses

When researching my novel Lilac Girls, I happened on an incredible collection of handmade crafts, made with found materials at the camp, and carried by the liberated women to Sweden. Carefully preserved and archived by Lund University, they include keepsakes, children’s toys and gifts (pictured at bottom) Crafted with precious “organized” materials like bits of fabric, metal and paper, they give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the prisoners, their deep faith and the friendships that helped them survive.


Ravensbruck prisoners from many countries represented at the camp arrive in Malmo, Sweden.
Several women arrived in Sweden with infants born at the camp
Sweden welcomed the Ravensbruck survivors with open arms, helping them to showers, clean clothes and food.
Hundreds of the women were housed in a makeshift rehabilitation center at the Malmöhus Museum
Liberated Ravensbruck survivors catch up on their reading

Find the whole story here: http://ravensbruck.kulturen.com/English/r1b.htm


8 thoughts on “The Incredible Handcrafted Items that Arrived with the Ravensbruck Prisoners Rescued by the Swedish White Buses”

    1. Lilac Girls has been published in 29 countries, but so far Germany isn’t one of them.
      Actually, need to update this…Lilac Girls was published this March in Germany. So excited!

  1. Hi Martha! I just finished reading Lilac girls! I couldn’t put the book down! I even took it in the bathroom to read when I was taking a bath. I accidentally dropped the book in the tub, pulled it out, and kept on reading it. Thank you for sharing this important event.
    Warmest Regards,

  2. Dear Martha,
    I have just finished reading your incredible book. It was extremely well written, I am so impressed that it is your first novel. You have done Caroline and the Ladies of Ravensbruck justice in the telling of their story. Bless you for that.
    I look forward to your second novel with anticipation.
    Rosemary Mikitka
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  3. Thank you so much for your beautiful book. Thank you for shedding light on these brave women and the people who helped them bloom. I enjoyed the book and shed many tears over the reality of these situations. We hear so much about the heartbreaking camps holding Jewish prisoners that others are not known. I will be looking up more about the Rabbits and encourage others to read your book so we can know about these atrocities and not repeat them. I have both Polish heritage and German heritage, although none of my relatives that I know about were part of either side (all in the US before and during the war), but it helped me connect and realize things could have been very different for my family. My great-grandmother was from Poland and her maiden name was Czboter. Also, my grandmother’s maiden name was Fenstermacher, so it warmed my heart to see that name associated with a kind man amidst the horror. So, thank you again and I look forward to your next book.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Lacey. So interesting that your grandmother was a Fenstermacher!

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