German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Wendy Lower gives a stunning account of the role of German women on the World War II Nazi eastern front, arguing that we have ignored the reality of women’s participation in the Holocaust. Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields makes the case for the massive complicity, and participation, of the 500,000 young German women in the killing fields of the Third Reich.


Wendy Lower

Comments [17]

helen epstein from Lexington, MA

A first=hand personal account of her 12 years as a Nazi is now available as an ebook . It's by the late Melita Maschamnn.and I was recently interviewed by WAMC's Alan Chartock about why it's important.

Oct. 15 2013 12:51 PM



The point of the book (which you also didn't read) is that in the same way that the Nazis murdered many people who had Jewish ancestry even though their mothers weren't Jewish were, on the other hand, allowing other people with similar Jewish ancestry to fight in the military.

Had you read the book, you would know that those soldiers did NOT hide their Jewish blood.

Oct. 10 2013 04:51 PM

David: What's your point?

Most of those half-Jews (and this is the term that was and still used in Europe) hid or denounced their Jewishness. Again, there were very few and far in between cases of Jews who could survive in Nazi Germany.

And despite what everybody thinks, survival was not pretty...

Oct. 09 2013 07:58 PM

jgarbuz from Queens: What's your point?

The point of the book (which you didn't read) is that in the same way that the Nazis murdered many people who had Jewish ancestry even though their mothers weren't Jewish were, on the other hand, allowing other people with similar Jewish ancestry to fight in the military.

Oct. 09 2013 06:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Islam calls Jews the "offspring of apes and pigs." Not quite a virus as the Nazis branded us.

Oct. 09 2013 01:39 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


Yes, it's called racism. Anti-Jewish racism is called in German "antisemitismus." A non-Aryan was someone who did not have "pure Aryan blood."

Oct. 09 2013 01:37 PM


Your statements are not supported by facts.

Jews were not persecuted by Germans for their adherence to Judaism. Many secular, atheists and even the ones who converted to other religions were murdered.

Jews were persecuted for their lineage - genes, bloodline.

Face it.

Oct. 09 2013 01:24 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

What's so new about women shooting people? My father was in the Red Army, and Stalin used women NKVD to shoot retreating soldiers in the back, to keep them from retreating.

Oct. 09 2013 12:59 PM
Wayne Johnson from Bk

Evil is genderless.

Oct. 09 2013 12:58 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sanych

Nothing to do with semantics. Jewish identity was defined by Jewish law long before the Germans even existed as a nation. Unless you have evidence of German nationhood 2,500 years ago.

The fact that Nazis brand someone as a Jew is meaningless. It's like branding someone as being a Navajo. Every tribe has the right to self-identify its own members. Because Germanics have this obsession with "blood" or "purity of blood" makes no sense to Jews, who have been a mixed multitude since the time of Moses. We've never been a "pure blooded race." We are tribe and define membership matriliniarly.

Oct. 09 2013 12:56 PM

Question for the author.

When did the Holocaust start?

I have a major disagreement with your employer - USHMM - about it.

Oct. 09 2013 12:52 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Hitler was able to convince a large segment of the GErman population that Judaism = Bolshevism, and Jews were a form of human virus that destroys the vitality of the civilizations they inhabit.
For decades, the Zionists had been pleading with European Jews to come to Palestine to set up a Jewish state. Only a few went and stayed. Had a million or two Jews gone to settle in Palestine from 1920 - 1939 when it was still open to Jewish immigration by the British, there would have been no Holocaust. At first, even the Germans wanted to deport its JEws to Palestine, but the Arabs and British objected.

Oct. 09 2013 12:51 PM


1. These are semantics.

2. I recently read a book by a survivor whmentions an SS commander who was adopted by a German soldier during WWI and who visited his family during WWII.

Oct. 09 2013 12:49 PM
Tamar Smith from Brooklyn, NY

A great book about German women during the Holocaust including their role in the Nazi party, is "Mothers in the Fatherland" by Claudia Koonz, published in 1988. This book was an eye opener for me many years ago. I wonder if your guest is aware of this book?

Oct. 09 2013 12:46 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To David

Re: "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers," the thing is, they weren't Jewish.
They were branded as "non-Aryan" or Jewish under the Nazi Nuremberg Laws that defined a Jew as someone with a Jewish grandparent. But under ancient Jewish Law, a Jew is strictly the child of a Jewish mother. Or, someone who has been accepted into the tribe the orthodox Rabbinate.
So the German definition of Who is a Jew has nothing whatsoever to do with the Jewish definition of Who is a Jew. Just because the Nazis labelled someone as being a Jew does not mean that Jews consider him or her a Jew. The tribe decides, not outsiders making decisions for us on our identity.

Oct. 09 2013 12:25 PM

Yes, David, but those were individual cases. This book is, apparently, about millions of feminazis.

Oct. 09 2013 12:10 PM

Here's something that is also largely ignored:

Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story Of Nazi Racial Laws And Men Of Jewish Descent In The German Military

Oct. 09 2013 02:13 AM

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