Speaker: Regina Mühlhäuser
Title: Against the Nazi Racial Laws?
Subtitle: Sexual Violence by German Soldiers against Jewish Women during the War of Annihilation in the Soviet Union, 1941-1945
Conference: Sexual Violence during the Holocaust. Panel at the Strassler Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Clark University
Place: Worcester, MA
Date: October 15, 2012
Abstract: »Still today, many Germans believe that the threat of harsh punishment curtailed sexual contact between German soldiers and Jewish victims. And shame and other considerations silenced female survivors on the subject of forced sexual acts. Regina Mühlhäuser, researcher at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, offered ample evidence of sexual transgressions on the eastern front. These crimes included forced disrobement, a range of bodily violations, rape, and even voyeurism among male witnesses to the execution of naked women. Eyewitness accounts in the immediate aftermath of the total war in the east challenge the idea of a “clean” Wehrmacht. Annihilation of their victims allowed German soldiers to commit sexual crimes with impunity. Indeed, the violent nature of these encounters may have rendered them permissible in the Nazi mentality while consensual relations clearly violated “race defilement” laws. In the camps, racism, antisemitism, dehumanization of victims, and fear of punishment restrained sexual violence.« (Source: Mary Jane Rein. »Panel Discussion: "Sexual Violence during the Holocaust.« Strassler Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Clark University 2012-2013 Year End Report. Worchester 2013: 6)
Added: July 12, 2014 | Last updated: July 12, 2014