Author: Wendy Lower
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/8/2013
Source: I received a free copy of this book as compensation for review from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Wendy Lower’s stunning account of the role of German women on the Nazi eastern front—not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers—powerfully revises history. Many young nurses, teachers, secretaries, and wives saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of “wild east” of opportunity—and yet could not have imagined what they would do there. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents compelling evidence that these women went on “shopping sprees” and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus; that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking part in the shooting of Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose female brutality is as chilling as any in history. Hitler’s Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.
There have been a lot of mix reviews about this book that I have read online. Some argue that Lower was too bias and only sided with one side of the story, while others say that she only focused on a selected few women in order to come to the conclusion of what drove women in the Holocaust to act in such a malicious way. While I read this book I could not disagree more with those book reviews. I found this book very fascinating and at the same time gruesome to the truth and reality that the Jewish people suffered in the hands of Nazi Germany. There were moments were I literally had to put the book down because of the gruesome description of Lower the author concerning some of the barbaric acts committed against Jewish children. Maybe because I am a father of two small children, did this book hit me so hard and the feelings I felt as I read of the sufferings of the Jewish people young and old alike.
There is no doubt that Lower studied and did her research concerning women in Nazi Germany. Now to argue that Lower only used a few women to come to the conclusion on the role of women in Nazi Germany is a little absurd, seeing that it would have been impossible to depict all the women that participated in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. But I believe Lower used these women in order to depict certain different roles that were used in order to commit mass murder. What left me in astonishment was the failed German justice system years after the war and the failure to punish these men and women that committed mass murder during the Holocaust. Lower does a great job in this book and I believe it will be a classic in Jewish research in order to see documentation of the role of women in Nazi Germany. I give it 10 stars out of 5, meaning it was that good.
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