Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust

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

24
Mary Jo Leddy

It is my conviction that the "different voices" of women in the Holocaust call us, summon us, to exercise a different kind of power today.

MARY Jo LEDDY

Several times this book has referred to Danuta Czech Auschwitz Chronicle. Day by dreary day, its more than eight hundred pages record what went on in that camp of death. If you open the book at random, there are likely to be entries akin to these for February 3-4, 1943: "Nos. 99792-99865 are assigned to 74 prisoners. . . . The corpses of 43 prisoners are delivered to the morgue of the main camp. . . . 1,000 Jewish men, women, and children arrive. . . . Following the selection, 181 men, given Nos. 99915-100095, and 106 women, given Nos. 34183-34288, are admitted to the camp. The other 713 people are killed in the gas chambers."

Czech's Chronicle makes a crucial fact abundantly clear. It is something that Hedwig Höss, Theresa Stangl, Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, and other Nazi women knew. So did Ida Fink, Etty Hillesum, Charlotte Delbo, Gertrud Kolmar, and countless other voices of experience. So does Mary Jo Leddy. The Holocaust was about power and powerlessness. It demonstrated what can happen when sufficient power gets placed in the hands of those who are hell-bent on dominating and destroying those who are essentially defenseless.

Humanitarian, philosopher, theologian, Mary Jo Leddy is a Roman Catholic, a member of a religious order called the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion. She is an accomplished writer and editor, but often her work with words gets interrupted because of her work with refugees whom she helps, with powerless people whom she strives to empower. Her speaking voice is gentle, and no one would mistake it for a

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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
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