Download Female SS Guards and Workaday Violence: The Majdanek by Elissa Mailänder, Patricia Szobar PDF

By Elissa Mailänder, Patricia Szobar

How did “ordinary women,” like their male opposite numbers, develop into in a position to brutal violence through the Holocaust? Cultural historian Elissa Mailänder examines the day-by-day paintings of twenty-eight girls hired by way of the SS to supervise prisoners within the focus and loss of life camp Majdanek/Lublin in Poland. Many lady SS overseers in Majdanek perpetrated violence and terrorized prisoners not just while ordered to take action but in addition all alone initiative. The social order of the focus camp, mixed with person propensities, formed a microcosm within which violence turned endemic to workaday existence. The author’s research of Nazi files, court docket testimony, memoirs, and movie interviews illuminates the guards’ social backgrounds, careers, and causes in addition to their day by day habit in the course of loose time and at the “job,” as they supervised prisoners on paintings element and within the phone blocks, carried out roll calls, and “selected” women and girls for dying within the fuel chambers. Scrutinizing interactions and conflicts between woman guards, family with male colleagues and superiors, and inner hierarchies, lady SS Guards and Workaday Violence exhibits how paintings workouts, strain to “resolve problems,” fabric gratification, and Nazi propaganda stressing guards’ roles in “creating a brand new order” heightened girl overseers’ identity with Nazi guidelines and radicalized their behavior.

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Additional info for Female SS Guards and Workaday Violence: The Majdanek Concentration Camp, 1942-1944

Example text

At times, Jewish children were also held in Majdanek. Most of these children were systematically murdered in the camp, as from the summer of 1942 through the fall of 1943 Majdanek served as an extermination camp for Jews from all of Europe. As this chapter will briefly outline, the camp’s history is also closely linked with the policy of occupation and annihilation in occupied Poland, as well as with the course of the war on the Eastern Front. n 23 24 n Chapter Two The Lublin District: A Racial-Political Testing Ground The campaign against Poland began with the German invasion on September 1, 1939, and ended when the last Polish troops capitulated just over a month later, on October 5.

Hertha Ehlert). In addition, many of the women married, divorced and/or remarried after the war. For this reason, many of the individuals reappear in the source documents under new names (Frau Ehlert became Frau Naumann, and Hermine Braunsteiner became Mrs. Ryan). To avoid confusion, I have chosen to use the maiden names for the women throughout, and to spell the names of all SS members in the body of the text in uniform fashion. Virtually no written documentation has survived to document the mass killings carried out at the Majdanek Concentration and Extermination Camp or the daily acts of violence carried out there.

In the large historiography of the camp, these records often serve only as footnote materials, or to provide illustrative examples. On closer scrutiny, though, these administrative documents offer important albeit fragmentary glimpses into the institutional framework of camp life, including everyday existence in the camp, day-to-day administration, and the relationships among the camp staff. Indeed, it is precisely because of the coded nature of the language that these documents are so interesting: they offer a different perspective on Nazi ideology and the self-representation of the SS.

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