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Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fieldsby Wendy Lower
Synopses & Reviews
Wendy Lowers stunning account of the role of German women on the World War II Nazi eastern front powerfully revises history, proving that we have ignored the reality of womens participation in the Holocaust, including as brutal killers. The long-held picture of German women holding down the home front during the war, as loyal wives and cheerleaders for the Führer, pales in comparison to Lowers incisive case for the massive complicity, and worse, of the 500,000 young German women she places, for the first time, directly in the killing fields of the expanding Reich.
Hitlers Furies builds a fascinating and convincing picture of a morally “lost generation” of young women, born into a defeated, tumultuous post-World War I Germany, and then swept up in the nationalistic fervor of the Nazi movement—a twisted political awakening that turned to genocide. These young women—nurses, teachers, secretaries, wives, and mistresses—saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of “wild east” of career and matrimonial opportunity, and yet could not have imagined what they would witness and do there. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival and field work on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents overwhelming evidence that these women were more than “desk murderers” or comforters of murderous German men: that they went on “shopping sprees” for Jewish-owned goods and also brutalized Jews in the ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus; that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking their turn at the mass shooting. And Lower uncovers the stories, perhaps most horrific, of SS wives with children of their own, whose female brutality is as chilling as any in history.
Hitlers Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs: genocide is womens business too, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.
A revelatory new history ofand#160;the role of German women in the Holocaust, not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers on the eastern front during World War II.
A revelatory secret history of how America became home to thousands of Nazi war criminals after World War II, many of whom were brought here by the OSS and CIAand#8212;by the New York Times reporter who broke the story and who has interviewed dozens of agents for the first time.
The shocking story of how America became one of the worldand#8217;s safest postwar havens for Nazis
Until recently, historians believed America gave asylum only to key Nazi scientists after World War II, along with some less famous perpetrators who managed to sneak in and who eventually were exposed by Nazi hunters. But the truth is much worse, and has been covered up for decades: the CIA and FBI brought thousands of perpetrators to America as possible assets against their new Cold War enemies. When the Justice Department finally investigated and learned the truth, the results were classified and buried.
Using the dramatic story of one former perpetrator who settled in New Jersey, conned the CIA into hiring him, and begged for the agencyand#8217;s support when his wartime identity emerged, Eric Lichtblau tells the full, shocking story of how America became a refuge for hundreds of postwar Nazis.
andldquo;Compelling . . . Lower brings to the forefront an unexplored aspect of the Holocaust.andrdquo; andmdash;Washington Post
In a surprising account that powerfully revises history, Wendy Lower uncovers the role of German women on the Nazi eastern frontandmdash;not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork, presents startling evidence that these women were more than andldquo;desk murderersandrdquo; or comforters of murderous German men: they went on andldquo;shopping spreesandrdquo; and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos; they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also shooting Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose brutality is as chilling as any in history.
Hitlerandrsquo;s Furies challenges our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.
andldquo;Disquieting . . . Earlier books about the Holocaust have offered up poster girls of brutality and atrocity . . . [Lowerandrsquo;s] insight is to track more mundane lives, and to argue for a vastly wider complicity.andrdquo; andmdash;New York Times
andldquo;An unsettling but significant contribution to our understanding of how nationalism, and specifically conceptions of loyalty, are normalized, reinforced, and regulated.andrdquo; andmdash;Los Angeles Review of Books
About the Author
WENDY LOWERandnbsp;is the John K. Roth Chair of History at Claremont McKenna College and research associate of the Ludwig Maximillians Universitat in Munich. A historical consultant for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, she has conducted archival research and field work on the Holocaust for twenty years. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, CA, and Munich, Germany.
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