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Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (HBI Series on Jewish Women) Paperback – December 14, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: HBI Series on Jewish Women
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Brandeis; First Edition edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158465905X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584659051
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sadly, Hedgepth and Saidel may be asking too much of their readers: three hundred pages chronicling the literal and metaphorical rapes of women (who were often subsequently murdered) is a visceral discomfort few will be willing to undertake. But these essays, describing experiences of forced sex, "sex for survival," prostitution, sterilization, abortion, and general sexual humiliation, add greatly to what is known about the lives of Jewish women during WWII. Much of the content here is a philosophical extension of first-person accounts of sexual torture. One essay on victim psychology demonstrates how trauma can render the first-person unreliable. Several essays deal with WWII sexual violence as depicted in fiction and film. Taken together, these essays illustrate how this subject is discussed, or not, across the globe. The fact that this exhaustive volume represents the first set of essays on the subject written in English underpins a fundamental truth held by the editors: while English-speaking countries are comfortable discussing these horrors, the fates specific to the murdered women and survivors of sexual assault are considered by many to be too shameful for discourse.
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Review

“Saidel and Hedgepeth knew rape was not documented in the same way as the number of trains that traveled to a concentration camp, but they sought out scholars from seven countries and collected 16 essays, drawing upon oral histories, literature, psychoanalysis, eyewitness reports and diaries. The stories of rape and sexual abuse began to emerge as if they were old photographic film waiting for the right chemicals, and long-erased pictures of Jewish women who had suffered sexual abuse began to emerge.”—Cindy Cooper, Women’s E-News

“This revelatory anthology would be crucial as long-overdue truth even if it were unique, but the suppression of its truth probably left us even less prepared for sexual abuse in Bosnia, Rwanda, the Congo—and more. Rochelle and Sonja have given us the greatest gift: a truth of history that can keep us from repeating its suffering.”—Gloria Steinem, reported in The Forward

“Saidel and Hedgepeth demonstrate that there is ample documentation of the most vicious sexual abuse in the heart of ‘civilized’ Europe during the Holocaust. In their excellent collection, they go far in shining a spotlight on this fraught topic.”—Women’s Review of Books

"The subject of sexual brutality against women in the Holocaust has been pretty much neglected; this book is a vital addition to women's history, Jewish history and the history of the world."—Na’amat Woman

More About the Author

Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel is founder and executive director of Remember the Women Institute, New York City, which carries out and encourages research and cultural projects that integrate women into history. She is co-editor of Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (Brandeis University/University Press of New England, 2010), as well as author of The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004, also in Hebrew and Portuguese). Her latest book, Mielec, Poland: The Shtetl That Became a Nazi Concentration Camp, is partly based on research as a Fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem (Gefen Publishers, 2012). She is also editor of Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story (Syracuse University Press, 2007), and has produced and curated Holocaust-related museum exhibits. Her earlier books are Never Too Late to Remember: The Politics Behind New York City's Holocaust Museum and The Outraged Conscience: Seekers of Justice for Nazi War Criminals in America. Dr. Saidel was a long-term senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Women and Gender, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her PhD in Political Science is from The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY, New York City. She worked for nine years in the New York State Senate, with responsibilities including Holocaust education and planning for the Museum of Jewish Heritage. She has been writing and lecturing on the Holocaust for more than thirty years. For more information, see www.rememberwomen.org.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kovich on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book, Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust is a well researched, scholarly discussion about a subject that has been rarely covered and is often considered taboo. The book is categorized into several long essays. Each is well footnoted for further exploration of this neglected but important subject. The essays do not sensationalize, but give you the knowledge of the horrors that happened to women, including rape and all kinds of sexual abuse and humiliation, by the SS,other guards, kapos, and even by those who hid Jewish girls.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Brubaker on February 9, 2013
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This book is a major contribution to Holocaust studies, with its sophisticated, powerful, well-documented chapters by various authors on a difficult subject.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Santoro on February 26, 2014
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Too serious a book to try and comment on in this short space. No more words. NO. NO. NO. NO.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By The g Factor on February 24, 2013
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As the contributors to this work point out, women - and sometimes men and children - are subject to various forms of sexual abuse in wartime, including rape and forced prostitution. While this book deals with Jewish women abused during World War II this abuse continues in troubled regions of the world today.
There are an almost uncountable number of books on the Holocaust but this book deals with a subject much less discussed.
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8 of 40 people found the following review helpful By MOSHE WININGER on August 9, 2011
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this book is more of story then actual events. i had something else in mind when i read the previews.
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