In order to expand arms production, the Ministry of Armaments cooperated with big companies and the SS. Across Europe, approximately 1000 of these satellite camps were established close to production sites, construction areas or private enterprises.
From 1942, male and female prisoners were increasingly forced to labour in external camp detachments or satellite camps, particularly for the production of weapons. During WWII, 45 of these external camp detachments, all attached to the KZ Ravensbruck, were established across Germany, 31 exclusively for women and nine for men. In the 45 satellite camps the prisoners were retained permanently, while the ones in the 12 external camp detachments were taken there during work times and then taken back to the main camp at Ravensbruck. Satellite camps were located at numerous locations including Eberswalde, Genthin, Karlshagen, Magdeburg, Neubrandenburg, Neustadt-Glewe, Rostock-Schwarzenpfost, Uckermark, Velten and Zwodau. The SS military hospital at Hohenlychen was also under the jurisdiction of the KZ Ravensbruck.
In the external camp detachments, employees of the companies were often hired as guards and SS-guards were also used, and from 1942 prisoners were also used as replacements for employees who had been drafted into the armed forces. The Siemens production site at Ravensbruck became a model for the use of prisoners in the war industry.
On 1 September 1944, 19 Ravensbruck sites were put under the jurisdictions of the KZs at Buchenwald, Flossenburg, Dachau, Mauthausen, Neuengamme and Sachsenhausen. A total of 54,000 women and 17,000 men from Ravensbruck were made to work in numerous external camp detachments for the manufacturing industry, the military, the state and the SS.
The external camp detachments Neustand-Glewe and Neubrandenburg were the two biggest external camps of the KZ Ravensbruck.
From September 1944 to May 1945 this was the largest external camp of the KZ Ravensbruck. Initially, 300 female prisoners were housed in the fenced-in staff barracks of a military airport. By mid-February 1945 it was 4,500 to 5,000 women who were forced to work in the aircraft production of the company “Norddeutsche Dornier-Werke GmbH”. In 12-hours shifts they had to make and repair aircraft wings and assemble aircraft motors and undercarriages; they were also used for work in mining shafts and for groundwork operations. When production was halted in the spring of 1945 due to material shortages, several women were forced to work in fields near the camp. The main camp continued to be used as a reception camp, primarily for Jewish prisoners from the dissolved KZ at Auschwitz. On 2nd May the SS left the camp and it was liberated by the Red Army on the afternoon of the same day. Of the 300 women left there, 133 died after their liberation.
From the autumn of 1942 to April 1945, about 10,000 female, and from December 1944 also around 600 male prisoners, were forced to make aircraft parts and accessories of the long-distance flying bomb V1 for the company „Mechanische Werkstätten Neubrandenburg GmbH“. The largest satellite camp of the KZ Ravensbruck including two separate sites was established in Neubrandenburg. There were up to 7,000 women at the barracks at Ihlenfelder Strasse, and at the camp „Waldbau“ about 3,000 prisoners were imprisoned. It consisted of 11 underground production sites, 10 above-ground facilities and five barracks which were also partially underground. On 27 April 1945 the SS forced the prisoners onto a death march, the survivors were liberated by Soviet troops on 3 May 1945.ft parts and accessories of the long-distance missile V1 for the company „Mechanische Werkstätten Neubrandenburg GmbH“. The largest satellite camp of the KZ Ravensbruck including two separate sites was established in Neubrandenburg. There were up to 7,000 women at the barracks at Ihlenfelder Strasse, and the camp „Waldbau“ was occupied by about 3,000 prisoners. It consisted of 11 underground production sites, 10 above-ground facilities and five barracks which were also partially underground. On 27 April 1945 the SS forced the prisoners onto a death march, the survivors were liberated by Soviet troops on 3 May 1945.