Different Horrors / Same Hell
Gender and the Holocaust
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Washington Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Different Horrors / Same Hell: Gender and the Holocaust is a book that matters. Speaking responsibly to scholars and movingly also to a wider audience, it is informative in ways that turn out also to be transforma-tive. It is a work of retrieval, of recognition, of reinterpretation, of memory individual and collective. It goes into the small as well as large arenas to ...
In Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto, Emmanuel Ringelblum singled out the women in the Warsaw ghetto for praise: “The story of the Jewish woman will be a glorious page in the history of Jewry during the present war. And the Chajkes and Frumkes will be the leading figures in this story.”1 Despite this call for recognition of Jewish women, Holocaust historians ...
Part I. History of Feminist Theory and Gender Analysis of the Holocaust
Holocaust research has generated a vast body of work that honors the loss and destruction of two-thirds of European Jewry. To compose a master narrative of the catastrophe that excludes any group or individual would be to amplify the loss and destruction of the victims, as well as to do a disservice to the field. Doris Bergen’s historical assessment of the contributions of feminist theory to Holocaust Studies, “What Do Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Contribute to Under-...
1. What Do Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Contribute to Understanding the Holocaust?
What do studies of women, gender, and sexuality contribute to an understanding of the Holocaust? The short answer is “a lot.” A focus on women, gender, and sexuality shifts the terms of analysis from individual motivations to social relations. It complicates familiar and outworn categories and humanizes the past in powerful ways. It can also help to answer some ...
2. Philosophy in the Feminine and the Holocaust Witness: Hannah Arendt and Sarah Kofman
At the time of the rise of National Socialism, during the Final Solution, and immediately after the war, attempts to come to terms with the Holocaust on philosophical grounds were rare. The philosophers who did respond to the menace of Hitlerism during these years were all Jewish (Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Buber, and Theodor...
3. Simone Weil: A French-Jewish Intellectual Journey in the 1930s and 1940s
The year I took a graduate seminar with the noted Canadian professor George Grant, his subject was the writings of a Frenchwoman whose name was then new to me: Simone Weil (1909–1943). Weil’s writings offered new perspectives on religion and spirituality and on social and political issues Aspects of Weil’s thinking also shocked me. For the essays and jottings ...
4. Patriarchy, Objectification, and Violence against Women in Schindler’s List and Angry Harvest
It is not uncommon for Americans to look to film as a way to understand and imagine historical events. Witness such films as The Deer Hunter; Born on the Fourth of July; Good Morning, Vietnam; Saving Private Ryan; and Gone with the Wind. Not only is film a common medium for historical reenactment and the representation of moral conflict, it is often used to help students at the secondary and college levels to engage issues and...
5. Sex-Based Violence and the Politics and Ethics of Survival
Jewish women were victimized as Jews. Simply because they were Jews, they were subject to the Final Solution. Because they were women, they were also subject to the physical abuses and sex-based violence that all women face, particularly in wartime.1 However, during the Holocaust, the consequences of an act of rape by a German man differed from what ...
Part II . Practice of Feminist Theory and Gender Analysis of the Holocaust
Each of the essays in Part II directs us to consider gender not so much as a focal point but rather as a context through which we can examine specific issues; such examinations expand and enrich our understanding of the specifics of the Holocaust. Thus, while Part I emphasizes history and theory, the chapters in Part II focus on the impact of the Holocaust on personal and intellectual identities, female relationships, One way to consider the chapters in this section is to see them as a ...
6. From Pulp to Palimpsest: Witnessing and Re-Imagining through the Arts
Since the summer of 2002, Karen Baldner and I have been engaged in a collaborative project creating objects about our German and Jewish family histories. We are transforming the cultural messages we have received from our familial and social networks into material representations. As descendants of a persecuted Jewish-German family and a non-persecuted ...
7. The Nazi Assault on the Jewish Soul through the Murder of the Jewish Mother
What did the Nazis set out to exterminate in their extermination of the Jews? The Nazis themselves provide us with a clue. Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, for example, writes, “This heroic attitude [of National Social-ism], to begin with, departs from the single but completely decisive avowal, namely from the avowal that blood and character, race and soul are merely ...
8. Wiedervereiningung Ersehend: Gender and the Holocaust Fate of the Müller and Gittler Families
On April 21, 1943, Harry and Theresia Müller of Leobschütz and Ziegen-hals (Upper Silesia) were among forty-six persons deported on Gestapo transport XVIII/5 from the town of Oppeln (Opole, Oppein) to Theresien-stadt.1 Gestapo authorities deported a total of 294 victims from Oppeln to Theresienstadt between November 13, 1942, and March 21, 1944.2 On ...
9. The Kindertransport: Gender and the Rescue of Jewish Children 1938–39
The close family ties fostered in Judaism continued to provide a haven for its members despite the antisemitism that inflamed the social and political climate in Germany between 1919 and 1929. However, from 1933 onward, the Jewish experience of persecution in Germany was unrelenting, straining the practical basis of everyday life for families. From the beginning ...
10. Survivor Mothers and Their Daughters: The Hidden Legacy of the Holocaust
My prime focus on women in this chapter enables us to look at the generational line grandmother-mother/daughter-granddaughter, which the Holocaust ruptured in so many cases. Second, I draw on some of the findings from attachment theory studies to aid our understanding of why some people seemed to cope when others did not. The focus of these stud-...
11. Talking to Ruth Klüger
A scene on a train somewhere in Germany. An elderly lady enters the compartment and takes the seat opposite me. While I am reading, she is Well, it’s a long train ride, and it’s so awkward to read a newspaper Actually, a friend of mine recommended it to me. Have you read it?This scene never took place. I have never met Ruth Klüger. Still, this scene ...
Page Count: 310
Publication Year: 2013
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