Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust

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

A racist ideology fueled the Nazi genocide, complemented by the central role sexism played in Nazi thought and action. But if the status of German women in the Third Reich was distinctly second-class no matter what the official pronouncements said about mutual respect, that fact entailed that the status of "non-Aryan" women, and even of some "degenerate" German women, was much lower still. Though not at first perhaps, Jewish women in particular would eventually find themselves lowest on the Nazi scale of values.

Although they suffered oppression early on from the anti-Jewish legislation that the Nazis passed, German Jewish women were largely spared the worst brutalities until World War II broke out. Once the war was under way, the Nazis escalated their oppression, sparing no one, neither women nor children. As the Nazis targeted their victims--Jewish and non-Jewish, non-German and German--how did women respond? What choices did they have? What power was theirs? How did they cope?

Already the voices of experience in this book's first part have addressed aspects of those questions. That beginning is supplemented now by seven voices of interpretation who take the inquiry further. Five of them--Gisela Bock, Marion A. Kaplan, Sybil Milton, Vera Laska, and Claudia Koonz-- reckon with the larger sociopolitical picture as only good historians can. Two others--Gitta Sereny and Magda Trocmé--focus on the experiences of individuals. As all of these writers explore how Nazi racism and sexism conspired to take both a Hedwig Höss and a Gertrud Kolmar to the anus mundi that was Auschwitz, they also shed light on steps that still need to be taken to remove people from harm's way.

In her poem "We Jews," Kolmar yearned for voices that could speak for those whose throats are gagged, their bleeding cries suppressed. She wanted those voices to echo "down the shaft of all eternity." On first hearing, her poetic hope might seem to call for different voices than those that emphasize historical analysis and concern for detail. But if one listens twice, the dissonance recedes, for the accumulation of small detail creates the fullest picture, and the clear, even cool, statement of fact best reveals the immensity of the "Final Solution." Gertrud Kolmar's yearning receives the care it deserves, if not the fulfillment it seeks, in the hands that have written what comes next about women and the Holocaust.


NOTES
1.
See "Autobiography of Rudolf Höss," KL Auschwitz Seen by the SS: Höss, Broad, Kremer, ed. Jadwiga Bezwinska and Danuta Czech and trans. Constantine FitzGibbon ( New York: Howard Fertig, 1984), 109-141.
3.
See Claude Lanzmann, Shoah: An Oral History of the Holocaust ( New York: Pantheon, 1985), 72-73.

-159-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • ALSO BY CAROL RITTNER AND JOHN K. ROTH ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Photographs ix
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue Women and the Holocaust 1
  • General Suggestions for Further Reading 20
  • Chronology 22
  • Part One Voices of Experience 35
  • Notes 39
  • 1: Ida Fink 40
  • 2: Etty Hillesum 46
  • Notes 57
  • 3: Charlotte Delbo 58
  • 4: Isabella Leitner 65
  • 5: Olga Lengyel 69
  • 6: Livia E. Bitton Jackson 73
  • 7: Pelagia Lewinska 84
  • 8: Charlotte Delbo 99
  • 9: Gisella Perl 104
  • 10: Olga Lengyel 119
  • 11: Anna Heilman and Rose Meth 130
  • Notes 134
  • Notes 141
  • 12: Sara Nomberg-Przytyk 143
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 149
  • Part Two Voices of Interpretation 155
  • Notes 159
  • 13: Gisela Bock 161
  • Notes 179
  • 14: Marion A. Kaplan 187
  • Notes 207
  • 15: Sybil Milton 213
  • Notes 237
  • 16: Vera Laska 250
  • Notes 267
  • 17: Gitta Sereny 270
  • Preface 271
  • 18: Claudia Koonz 287
  • Notes 304
  • 19: Magda Trocmeé 309
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 317
  • Part Three Voices of Reflection 319
  • Notes 323
  • 20: Irena Klepfisz 324
  • 21: Charlotte Delbo 328
  • 22: Ida Fink 332
  • 23: Deborah E. Lipstadt 349
  • 24: Mary Jo Leddy 355
  • 25: Rachel Altman 363
  • Notes 372
  • 26: Joan Ringelheim 373
  • Notes 400
  • Appendices 406
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 419
  • Epilogue - Different Voices 421
  • Notes 426
  • Glossary 427
  • Index 431
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 438

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.