This article discusses the topic of forced prostitution as a case of sexual violence against women in the Warsaw Ghetto. Despite a proliferation of studies on the ghetto experience, women who manipulated sex for their own and their families' survival remain an untold story of the Holocaust. This was brought about by the attitude of both those relating their experiences and those listening to them. Victims, motivated either by shame or perceived appropriate gender roles, were in general unwilling to return to these events in their testimonies. Their silence was further reinforced by the attitude of the researchers, who could not, or perhaps for various reasons did not want to, ask directly about sexual abuse. By examining the history of sex for survival in the Warsaw Ghetto, the article demonstrates how a vital part of women's Holocaust experience was marginalized and their memory silenced.


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pp. 103-121
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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