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January 6, 2020 – May 1, 2020 | Opening Reception: February 4th • 5:30pm – 7:30pm
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi-era concentration camps, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Wilson G. Bradshaw Library has partnered with FGCU’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, Sarasota-based non-profit Better Futures, and Sweden’s Lund University and Malmö Museum. The Library’s Spring 2020 exhibition To Life: The Liberation of Ravensbrück brings to Southwest Florida, for the first time, the story of the White Buses, a rescue operation undertaken by the Swedish Red Cross which brought thousands of women and children from Germany’s Ravensbrück concentration camp to freedom at Malmö Harbor.
To Life: The Liberation of Ravensbrück celebrates liberation from the perspective of the women and children rescued by the White Buses. Lund University and Malmö Museum have generously loaned photographs, journals, drawings, clothing, and other personal effects of the survivors and rescuers to FGCU from their Ravensbrück archives. Through their stories, To Life shares a message of hope, heroism, compassion, and the perseverance of the human spirit.
In October 2019, the Wilson G. Bradshaw Library’s Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives team traveled to the Ravensbrück Memorial Site in Germany on a research and fact-finding mission aimed at faithfully recounting the stories of the women and children who survived Ravensbrück concentration camp. From there, the team traced the steps of the survivors all the way to Malmö Harbor in Sweden, the place where they found freedom. The team’s journey culminated in the inclusion of many of the survivors’ personal effects in our Spring 2020 exhibition, To Life: The Liberation of Ravensbrück.
The research trip was made possible due to the generosity of the Seidler Fund and the FGCU College of Arts & Sciences. To view the materials traveling to FGCU from Sweden, take a look at some of the photographs from the trip.