By her own admission, at the age of seventeen she had been transported to the front by the Germans for the amusement of the soldiers, and she spent a year there, wearing a sign on her back that described her profession. For 50 years, Marie kept quiet about her experience, but just before her death in , she recorded her memories on 77 cassette tapes. Gender and Assimilation in Modern Jewish History. She made good on her promise to her aunt Grete, to survive. Marie removed her yellow star and assumed the identity of a close friend, Johanna Koch, 17 years older than Marie. Thus the state could draw on the labour force it needed. We also need to learn from the past so that we can fight back against mass sexual violence and exploitation.
Is our fear of genuinely understanding the voices from the past deafening us to those of the present? In the early days of the German invasion, mothers and daughters urged their husbands, sons and brothers to escape to the east, to Russia. Sometimes we sang well-known songs and listened to the voices of two sisters who sang beautifully in French. It was extremely rare for a girl so young to survive beyond the initial selection; most went straight to the gas chamber. It was just another example of German cynicism and cruelty. Less than a week later, we underwent one of the now well-known selections done by physicians like Dr.
Were they her only remaining shoes, or did she want to look her best when they would reach her presumed destination? It is important to note that we are not asserting that women were uniquely advantaged or that their pre-war roles were always assets. Compared to her colleague Braunsteiner, Ehlert could thus feel good about herself, completely humane. Jewish women were exempted from recruitment as prostitutes because of the Nazi prohibition against Rassenschande — I. Shame was a major factor for religious and non-religious women at a time when sexual issues were not openly discussed.
Gallimard Discipline and Punish , , trans. The twisted plan conceived in October , was aimed at increasing prisoners' productivity by offering the starved and tortured inmates a bonus system - if they worked hard enough they would be 'rewarded' with a visit to the camp brothel. The responses of many women, in contrast, demonstrated a radical departure from their traditional roles. This greater acculturation of Jewish women in Eastern Europe provided them with important skills and contacts during the Nazi era. She was so amazing for us. Acts of violence also served to negotiate power relations within the SS personnel. But the scenes of sexual commerce and gender politics illuminate an untold reality of surviving as a Jewish woman in the Berlin underground.