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women's studies
Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
 
 
Author
Wendy Lower.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9780547863382
Pages/Publication Date 270/2013
Daedalus Item Code 38900
List Price: $26.00
Sale Price: $15.95
You Save: $10.05
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(2013 National Book Award Finalist, National Jewish Book Award Finalist) For too long we have ignored the reality of women's participation in the Holocaust, not as loyal wives and cheerleaders for the Führer but as sadistic wardens and cold-blooded killers, argues Holocaust historian Wendy Lower in this powerful account. A historical consultant for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and a resident of both the United States and Germany, Lower has conducted archival research and fieldwork on the Holocaust for 20 years. In her incisive case for their massive complicity, Lower is able to place 500,000 young German women directly in the killing fields, and follows a number of "SS wives" whose careers have implications for women's studies as well as Holocaust history.

"Lower ... 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."—Booklist

 
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