Wendy Lower's stunning account of the role of German women on the Eastern Front - not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers - powerfully revises history. Many young nurses, teachers, secretaries, and wives saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of "Wild East" of opportunity, yet they could not have imagined what they would do there.
Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents compelling evidence that these women went on "shopping sprees" and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus, and that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking part in the shooting of Jews. And, Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives - with children of their own - whose brutality is as chilling as any in history.
Hitler's Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs using evidence hidden for seventy years: Women can be just as brutal as men.
©2013 Wendy Lower (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
1. I grew to hate "Women willingly participate in genocide" and all of the variations of that sentence. It seemed like every paragraph stated the thesis. I get it. Stop telling me over and over. SHOW me, and get more into theories of explanations.
2. She chops up the stories. I got a lot of introductions without anything remarkable enough to keep the individuals straight by the time she picked up their stories again later. I think it would have been better to tell their stories from beginning to end.
3. When other works were referenced, they tended to only reference the work instead of giving recaps of specifics from other works. I've read a lot of the books referenced, but it would have been a lot more interesting to hear a chunk of relevance from the referenced work... Does that make sense?
There were a couple of new things here for me, and it's a fascinating premise, but I was disappointed. An older, but more intriguing read was Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich by Alison Owings. Unfortunately, it's not available on Audible.
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