The Gendered Vulnerability of German Women During the Holocaust: A Case Study of Auschwitz and Ravensbrück Concentration Camps

Date

2023-03-16

Authors

Schwarz, Angelina

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

Through an analysis of the experiences of women at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps, their gendered vulnerabilities during the Holocaust are made clear. Both male and female victims of the Holocaust faced torture, abuse, starvation, forced labour, humiliation, and death. However, women’s experiences were also characterised by pregnancy, childbirth, and menstruation. Additionally, they experienced religious humiliation and sexual violence to a different extent than men through head-shaving and public nudity. Moreover, the Holocaust had a significant effect on traditional gender roles and conceptions of gender identity and the self. Overall, women experienced the Holocaust in a gendered way. By focusing on the encounters of female Holocaust victims, individual experiences can be heard and generalisations can be avoided.

Description

Keywords

Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, German women, gendered vulnerability, Holocaust

Citation