Added: July 4, 2015 – Last updated: July 4, 2015


Author: Stacy Banwell

Title: Rassenschande, Genocide and the Reproductive Jewish Body

Subtitle: Examining the Use of Rape and Sexualized Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust

Journal: Journal of Modern Jewish Studies



Year: 2015 (Published online: June 16, 2015)


ISSN: 1472-5886 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1472-5894 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | German History


Link: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)


Author: Stacy Banwell, School of Law, University of Greenwich

Abstract: »Rape and sexual violence against Jewish women is a relatively unexplored area of investigation. This article adds to the scant literature on this topic. It asks: how and why did women's reproductive bodies (gender), combined with their status as Jews (race), make them particularly vulnerable during the Holocaust? The law against Rassenschande (racial defilement) prohibited sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans. Yet, Jewish women were raped by German men. Providing a more nuanced account than is provided by the dehumanization thesis, this article argues that women were targeted precisely because of their Jewishness and their reproductive capabilities. In addition, this piece proposes that the genocidal attack on women's bodies in the form of rape (subsequently leading to the murder of impregnated women) and sexualized violence (forced abortions and forced sterilizations) must be interpreted as an attack on an essentialized group: woman-as-Jew.« (Source: Journal of Modern Jewish Studies)

Wikipedia: The Holocaust: Jewish women in the Holocaust