Gender and Holocaust Victims: A Reappraisal

TitleGender and Holocaust Victims: A Reappraisal
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsPine, Lisa
JournalJournal of Jewish Identities

Whilst considerable analysis of the "Final Solution" has been undertaken, the issue of gender has been a relative newcomer in the wider field of Holocaust studies. Gender studies of the Holocaust emerged as a response to existing research and available sources within the broader field of Holocaust studies, and indeed of women's studies and the history of women under National Socialism. However, "gender" is not, of course, synonymous with "women". The term gender refers to the social and cultural construction of the roles of men and women in society. This article analyzes the differing experiences of women and men as Jewish victims of National Socialism in relation to gender and constructions of gendered identity, using selective evidence drawn from memoir accounts. In particular, this article discusses the structural sources of gender differences in relation to the Holocaust, addressing the pre-war roles of Jewish men and women and their differing responses to Nazi persecution. The main geographical focus of the article is upon Germany and Poland. 

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