Forced Labour for Siemens in the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

On 8 June 1942, Siemens began building twenty work barracks in close proximity to the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp. Siemens was thus able to use forced labour to build a factory that was less vulnerable to air raids. Some 150 German skilled workers from Siemens and between 2,000 to 2,300 female forced labourers worked there. After taking an aptitude test, the women had to work twelve-hour shifts winding coils and building toggle switches, microphones and measuring instruments in piecework.

Spule, 1944/1945 (c) © Archiv der Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück
This drawing shows a forced labourer working for Siemens in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. She is sitting at a machine that produces spools used in the production of electronic devices. The drawing was made by the painter Astrid Blumensaadt-Petersen, who was also a camp inmate in Ravensbrück.