Jewish women were raped during the Holocaust.

I am so infuriated. Infuriated isn’t even… #%@*&#*! There is no word for what I’m feeling right now.

Jewish women were raped and sexually abused by Nazi guards, but also by liberators, people who hid them, aid givers, partisans and even fellow prisoners. Judy Weiszenberg Cohen, an Auschwitz survivor living in Canada, told the editors that the “fear of rape” was omnipresent in the concentration camp.

Almost every time the Holocaust is mentioned, and especially while I was writing this post, I wondered darkly if any women had been raped. I hadn’t heard or read of anything, and so there was this pitiful hopeful naivety in my chest that maybe, even with all the atrocities committed against them, against both men and women, and against children, they weren’t raped.
But that was so STUPID. Of course.
I don’t know what to say. I’m amazed at myself for taking it this way, because I was so convinced that I’d heard it all and would become emotionally immune after a while. Apparently not. Not when the world is THIS FUCKED UP.

14 thoughts on “Jewish women were raped during the Holocaust.

  1. I was aware that many women had been raped in the concentration camps, but it saddens me beyond belief that they were also raped by their liberators. It's absolutely atrocious.Some of the most beautiful Jewish women were picked to serve the Nazi officers in brothels, where they had an ID-number tattooed on their arm for permanent identification and marking. It's absolutely horrifying and sick.

  2. I'm just going to say that rape is a form of torture and all of the Holocaust victims were tortured. I'm not trying to erase anything (like rape being more of a reality for women than men), I just think it's a little strange to hold that particular form of torture as more sacrosanct than others. Apologies if I misread your post.

  3. Oh, I wasn't holding it as more sacrosanct. I was just hoping that of all the methods of torture inflicted on them this was one they hadn't been forced to endure. And it seems especially terrible now because I've just learned it.It's fresh to me.

  4. Since I commented I actually read the link (which didn't load for me before). What's really surprising to me is that anyone assumed they WEREN'T–and I don't mean you, I mean Holocaust scholars whose job it is to think about these things.Belief in personal superiority has never stopped men, as groups, from raping women as weapons of war, or from individuals doing it as a way to assert power. I have no idea why anyone would think a racial purist group WOULDN'T rape members of a group they were trying to degrade.

  5. Yes, I wondered often if they were raped and tentatively concluded that surely it would have been mentioned and investigated somewhere by those who know more about it than I do.

  6. "Yes, I wondered often if they were raped and tentatively concluded that surely it would have been mentioned and investigated somewhere by those who know more about it than I do."Yeah, this just proves further that you can't trust people (especially men) to give information on the matters of women. I'm a little surprised that you settled Nahida (though I don't blame you) since it doesn't seem your character. Your blog is based on questioning men and the events they report.

  7. I didn't exactly settle. I was just hopeful, like believing someone you love is alive until you see proof that they've died.Either way I was certainly a fool.

  8. I'd always been taught, at least once I was old enough to understand, that women were raped in concentration camps. But, yeah, I hadn't know that about the "liberating" soldiers. Though, like you, I can't say that I'm particularly surprised. Ugh, sickening.

  9. Oh Nahida, it's probably a good thing that you would even tentatively think they weren't raped.I had not heard they were raped by their liberators but that does not surprise me. Nor by their protectors because how often is it that a lot of women are in a situation where they are utterly vulnerable to men and none are raped?Still, a deeply depressing thing to think about too much.

  10. Not exactly on the topic, but connected. This year near celebration date of WW2 victory in former USSR countries on Russian channels were as usual many old and new war films. One new film was called "German kids of Russian women". The summary is (from Russian):8, 9 and 10 May 1945. Five women and their young children live on an island in Lake Ladoga. Their children were born from the occupying Germans, that's why women are banished to the island, and live under guard. End the war for them is both joy and grief. On the day of victory arrives to the island Major of the NKVD, who is ordered to disband the labor settlement, send women to prison camps, and enemies' children – to children's homes.Since war captives were declared traitors in USSR and after return sent to prison camps too, I am not surprised. How people lived and died in those camps was well-described in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's books. He is probably the most famous writer on the topic, but I personally found his style of writing hard (don't talk of the subject here) and preferred Yevgenia Ginzburg's 2 part memoir "Journey into the Whirlwind" and "Within the Whirlwind", which is on Amazon. I read it in Russian and it's a very good book on lives of women in Soviet camps. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_into_the_Whirlwind

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