Wednesday, February 10, 2016

You've Come a Long Way: Hitler's Furies

 Hitler's Furies #isyourmomanazi fascism crime war violence books feminism
Lower, a consultant for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., sheds some much-needed light on an aspect of WWII history that has remained in the shadows for decades. “The consensus in Holocaust and genocide studies,” the author writes, “is that the systems that make mass murder possible would not function without the broad participation of society, and yet nearly all histories of the Holocaust leave out half of those who populated that society, as if women’s history happens somewhere else.” Based on two decades of research and interviews, the book looks at the role of women in Nazi Germany, in particular women who participated in the Nazi extermination of the Jews. Not merely subservient observers, some women—the author dubs them Hitler's Furies, a reference to the mythological “goddesses of vengeance”—actively took part in the murders of Jews and in looting and stealing from Jewish homes. Lower writes about horribly violent female concentration-camp guards; of young girls trained in the use of firearms; of brutality that would rival anything perpetrated by their male counterparts. Surprising and deeply unsettling, the book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Holocaust.  (more...)

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