With Scott Anderson, Roberta S. Kremer curated Ravensbruck: The Forgotten Women of the Holocaust (February - May, 2002), the first VHEC exhibition to focus on the unique victimization of women during the Holocaust. Built exclusively to house female prisoners, this concentration camp in northern Germany, 90 km. north of Berlin, reputedly had the highest percentage of murdered prisoners of any concentration camp in Germany according to the VHEC exhibit.

Designed by Heinrich Himmler, Ravensburg was not primarily for Jewish prisoners. Instead, it included all manner of female indesirables--Jehovah's Witnesses, Resistance fighters, lesbians, prostitutes and aristocrats (including the sister of New York's Mayor LaGuardia). Named after the village of Ravensbruck, it opened in May of 1939 and was liberated by Soviet troops in April of 1945. More recently Sarah Helm has published Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women. Ravensbruck was constructed in 1939 on the banks of Lake Schwedt, near the town of Furstenberg an der Havel, where there is now a memorial site.

Jews dominated the profitable fashion industries in Berlin and Vienna, so those Jews who thrived within that business were quickly targeted by anti-Semitism and greed as outlined by the essays that Roberta S. Kremer edited for Broken Threads: The Destruction of the Jewish Fashion Industry in Germany and Austria (Berg Publishing, 2007). Her book arose as a Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre exhibition in partnership with the Original Costume Museum Society of Vancouver in 1999 for which Claus Jahnke assembled period clothing made or designed by Jewish designers. Jahnke and Ivan Sayers served as the co-curator and the curatorial assistant for this exhibition and publication was produced through the Morris & Yosef Wosk Family Publishing Fund with additional sponsorship from Dick Haft, Max Fugman, Sandy Hayden and Karen Simkin. Essays by Chris Friedrichs, Charlotte Schallie and Gloria Sutano trace how and why the Jewish fashion industry was systematically "targeted with a campaign of propaganda, boycotts, humiliation and Aryanization" by the Nazis in the 1930s. Broken Threads is one of eight books thus far directly supported with funds from The Morris J. & Yosef Wosk Publishing Endowment established in 2000.

Born on November 26, 1946 in Superior, Wisconsin, Roberta S. Kremer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of Minnesota. She arrived in Canada in 1987 and earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Art Education and Museum Studies from the University of British Columbia. She served as the Executive Director of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre from 1996-2006, then as the Acting Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC from 2007-2008. She curated VHEC exhibitions including "Faces of Loss" and has edited Memory and Mastery: Primo Levi as Writer and Witness (State University of New York Press, 2001).


Broken Threads: The Destruction of the Jewish Fashion Industry in Germany and Austria (2007), editor

Memory and Mastery: Primo Levi as Writer and Witness (Albany, State University of New York Press, 2001), editor

[BCBW 2020] Alan Twigg / HolocaustLit