Young Sara Paige Young JS211 Professor Gillerman November 2018 Review: “ Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields” According to The Nazi Party ideology, German women were supposed to maintain a domesticated role. They were supposed to stay at home and take care of the children and the house while the men upheld positions in the office world and frontier. This notion often makes it easy to overlook the significant contribution of women in the East during the Holocaust. In her book, “ Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields” history professor Wendy Lower discusses how, during the years 1941-1944, the role of about 500,000 women in the mass murders and atrocities against Jews is often ignored, calling it a “historical blind spot.” Lower outlines the actual role of women in Nazi Germany and then continues to focus her evidence around 13 specific German women who all had roles in the Nazi party as either murders or accomplices to their husbands. Lower asks how these 13 women, representative of half a million ordinary German women civilians in the Nazi East “got away with murder” (Lower, 197) or acted as some of the worst perpetrators in the Nazi genocidal violence during the Holocaust. Lower discusses what brought these women to the East and how women's new role in the workforce led them to act as accomplices and perpetrators to genocide. Lower continues to question why women's role in the genocide and anti semitic acts of the Holocaust is often overlooked. She draws upon gender biases and the masculin concept to help answer this question. 1
Young Lower begins her book by talking about how, in the years leading up to and during the Holocaust, women's roles changed from traditional domestic daily activities to joining the workforce and even frontlines. German women, especially those who went to work on the frontier, had to refashion their identities to look and act like men. Additionally, under this new regime, German women and young girls were required to start training at a young age and only taught German nationalistic ideas. Lower introduces 13 ordinary German women whom she deems as representative examples of the German women population as a whole. Among these women are a nurse who partook in the Nazi euthanasia program, a teacher sent to Poland to spread nationalistic views of the Nazi party to youth, a secretary who killed Jewish children in the ghetto, a women aiming to practice law before she was drafted by the Nazi
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