Implication. Participation. Unjustness: Women and the Ustasa Movement
journal contributionposted on 14.10.2019, 16:48 by Alexander Korb
[First paragraph] Thirty years ago, in 1989, a debate between two feminist historians of fascism, Gisela Bock and Claudia Koonz, revolutionized our understanding of female participation in Nazism and during the Holocaust – known in German as the Historikerinnenstreit.1 Koonz was one of the first scholars who drew the attention to female perpetrators. Complicity and agency, Koon argued, could go very well hand in hand. This was harshly criticized by Bock who in her research had focused on the Nazis’ gender policies. This important debate paved the way for a more sophisticated understanding of how German (non-Jewish) women during Nazism were structurally disadvantaged through their gender but at the same time benefitted from the fact that the Nazis saw them as racially superior. The stream of research on female agency, guilt, responsibility and participation in the Nazi mass crimes, represented by Elizabeth Harvey, Wendy Lower, Elissa Mailänder, Johannes Schwarz, and, to be reviewed here, Martina Bitunjac, is ongoing.