Abstract

Abstract:

This essay addresses how in the film Zeugin aus der Hölle (1965, Witness out of hell), fictionalized sexual violence against a female Jewish Holocaust survivor functions as a trope that exposes and rejects patriarchal and misogynist discourses of victimhood, perpetration, survivor shame, and guilt, which reviewers and scholars rightly have critiqued for such discourses' re-victimizing and re-traumatizing effects upon victims. I argue that as a filmic trope sexual violence served specific functions for its contemporaneous audience—Germans in the postwar 1960s. By means of the trope of sexual violence, Zeugin aus der Hölle confronted contemporaneous West German audiences with gender-specific experiences of women during the Holocaust, the continuing trauma and re-victimization of Jewish Holocaust survivors in postwar Germany, and Nazi guilt.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2578-5192
Print ISSN
2578-5206
Pages
pp. 101-127
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-16
Open Access
No
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