Holocaust and Genocide Studies
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This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. View Metrics. Email alerts New issue alert. They believed that their violent deeds were justified acts of revenge meted out to the enemies of the Reich. She analyzes three main aspects of their involvement: first, as witnesses, they were present at killing-field picnics and observed mass shootings; they witnessed firsthand the atrocities committed in the ghettos and the degradation of Jewish laborers.
Next, as accomplices, they transmitted [End Page ] orders for mass killings, beat Jews, and robbed them of all their possessions. Finally, they acted as perpetrators themselves. Female auxiliaries and administrators also aided in the genocide. Some female perpetrators killed with their own hands, using pistols, rifles, or whips. Erna Petri, the wife of a Nazi official in Ukraine, who had two small children of her own, encountered six Jewish children who had escaped from a transport.
She brought the children to her home and then shot them. Liesel Willhaus, the wife of an SS man, shot Jewish camp inmates with her child at her side. SS wife Gertrude Segel killed her three maids and trampled a Jewish child to death. Lower concludes that the activities of these women in the camps and in their homes were not separate, but overlapped. Killings took place at estates and villas as well as at the many camps.
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In a revealing chapter, the author examines the explanations the women provided after the war. They pleaded ignorance and claimed not to remember what they had done. They said that they were Access options available:.
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