Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust

By Carol Rittner; John K. Roth | Go to book overview

have all occurred during the last two years. 88 It is an open question what will follow from these--still seemingly unconnected--events in the course of the present economic crisis.


NOTES

This is a revised version of the essay that appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 8, no. 3 ( 1983).

1.
The more progressive new generation of social historians in Germany since the 1960s has tended to present racism as a mere ideology, its application as more or less economically/politically "rational" or "irrational," often as merely instrumental, and mostly as an appendage to more important developments, "political" or "economic." See, for example, Peter M. Kaiser, "Monopolprofit und Massenmord im Faschismus: Zur ökonomischen Funktion der Konzentrationslager im faschistischen Deutschland," Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 5 ( 1975): 552-77.
2.
A rare exception is Marion A. Kaplan, The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germany: The Campaigns of the Jüdischer Frauenbund, 1904-1938 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979).
3.
However, three conferences of women historians on women's history have taken place: "Women in the Weimar Republic and under National Socialism," Berlin, 1979; "Muttersein und Mutterideologie in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft," Bremen, 1980; and "Frauengeschichte," Bielefeld, 1981. Some of the workshops of the latter are documented in Beiträge zur feministischen Theorie und Praxis 5 ( April 1981). Thus, women's history has been exploring this and similar themes in recent years, but much work still needs to be done, and many questions cannot yet be answered in a consistent way.
4.
A good overview of the American and international eugenics movement is Allan Chase , The Legacy of Malthus: The Social Costs of the New Scientific Racism ( New York: Knopf, 1977). Although there had been, at the beginning of this century, a debate among experts on distinctions between "eugenics" and "race hygiene," I use these terms interchangeably, as does Chase, for I believe the issue dealt with in this article requires my doing so. On this debate see Georg Lilienthal, "Rassenhygiene im Dritten Reich: Krise und Wende," Medizinhistorisches Journal 14 ( 1979): 114-34.
5.
See Alfred Grotjahn, Geburten-Rückgang und Geburten-Regelung im Lichte der individuellen und der sozialen Hygiene ( Berlin and Coblenz, 1914; 2d ed., 1921), p. 153, and the chapter "Birth Regulation Serving Eugenics and Race Hygiene"; and Agnes Bluhm, Die rassenhygienischen Aufgaben des weiblichen Arztes: Schriften zur Erblehre und Rassenhygiene ( Berlin: Metzner, 1936), esp. the chapter "Woman's Role in the Racial Process in Its Largest Sense."
6.
Good examples are the classic and influential books by Grotjahn, Geburten- Rückgang ( 1914) and Die Hygiene der menschlichen Fortpflanzung ( Berlin and Vienna: Urban and Schwarzenburg, 1926); Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer, and Fritz Lenz , Grundriss der menschlichen Erblichkeitslehre und Rassenhygiene, Vol. 2, Menschliche Auslese und Rassenhygiene ( Munich: Lehmann, 1921). These volumes had many interestingly divergent editions. I have used Vol. 1 ( 1936) and Vol. 2

-179-

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