the reason may have more to do with the conditioning outlined
by Chodorow than with morality, the conceptual framework
adopted by many memoirists. This ability has origins, if Chodorow is right, in the oppressive situation of compulsory primary parenting by women. The purpose of this analysis is not
to promote the further exploitation by women as compulsory
mothers, although at first glance this oppression seems to have
survival benefits in extreme situations. It makes more sense to
argue that Holocaust literature makes a strong case for men to
be active fathers, not only because it would free women to be
more autonomous, but also because primary parenting by men
would most likely enable males to develop the same capacity
for friendship and empathy that women now have in greater
numbers. Not only because of the next Holocaust and women's
liberation, but because of the intense value now attached to
world peace, the way in which human beings relate to each
other has become critical. If the greater relational capacities of
women could be shared by men, the world would never be the
Terrence Des Pres, The Survivor ( New York: Oxford University
Press, 1976), p. 38.
Estelle C. Jelinek, "Women's Autobiography and the Male Tradition," in Women's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism, ed.
Jelinek ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980), p. 10.
Marcus Billson and
Sidonie Smith, "Lillian Hellman and the Strategy of 'Other,'" in
Jelinek, Women's Autobiography, p. 163.
Alexander Donat, The Holocaust Kingdom ( New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1965), p. 237.
Germaine Tillion, Ravensbrück ( Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975), p. 230.
Hermann Langbein, Menschen in Auschwitz ( Vienna: Europa Verlags-AG, 1972), p. 37; quoted from Benedikt Kautsky, Teufel und Verdammte: Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse aus sieben Jahren in deutschen
Konzentrationslagern ( Vienna: Wiener Volksbuchhandlung, 1961). (My
Izaak Goldberg, M.D., The Miracles Versus Tyranny ( New York: Philosophical Library, 1978).
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Gender and Destiny:Women Writers and the Holocaust.
Contributors: Marlene E. Heinemann - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1986.
Page number: 113.
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