Added: March 4, 2017 – Last updated: March 4, 2017


Author: Katherine R. Jolluck

Title: Women in the Crosshairs

Subtitle: Violence Against Women during the Second World War

Journal: Australian Journal of Politics and History

Volume: 62

Issue: 4

Year: December 2016 (Published online: December 21, 2016)

Pages: 514-528

ISSN: 0004-9522 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1467-8497 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History: German History, Polish History, Russian History | Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / German War Crimes during the Second World War, Russian War Crimes during the Second World War


Link: Wiley Online Library (Restricted Access)


Author: Katherine R. Jolluck, Department of History, Stanford University

Abstract: »This article seeks to look broadly at Second World War violence through the lens of gender; to shift the focus from attacks on ethno-national groups to the ways that women were targeted within and across ethno-national lines. It asks why the occupiers and inhabitants of Eastern Europe unleashed such tremendous brutality against females in the region, civilians who, according to the Hague Conventions and moral norms, were supposed to be shielded from the ravages of war. Given the enormity of the topic of the violence women suffered during the war and its immediate aftermath, I focus on Poland and the western part of the Soviet Union, the epicenter of wartime brutality. This territory suffered alternating occupations by the Nazis and Soviets, with broad swaths changing overlords three times. The article is organized by stages of the war, each of which bore a distinct character of violence. The focus on gender-based violence by no means assumes that women were only victims during the war. They exercised varying degrees of agency, as fighters, perpetrators, resisters, collaborators, and simply as individuals trying to survive — experiences that space will not allow in this article.« (Source: Australian Journal of Politics & History)


  1939-1941: Nazi Domination (p. 515)
  1939-1941: Soviet Domination (p. 518)
  1941-1944 (p. 520)
  Opportunistic Sexual Violence in the Occupied Territories (p. 523)
  1944-1946 (p. 526)
  Conclusion (p. 527)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany, History of Poland, History of Russia | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence | War: World War II Soviet war crimes, War crimes of the Wehrmacht