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Interesting, but could be better
on 3 May 2015
This is another example of the injustice that followed the defeat of Nazi Germany. With few exceptions, only the really big names in the Nazi party were tried and punished for their crimes. Most everyone else was exonerated. Some of the women Lower speaks about did horrible things, yet because they were women, they got away with it. Whether it was because they blamed their husbands, or used pregnancy as a scapegoat, or just outright lied, most courts did not want to believe that women could be so cruel and inhuman. And this book proves further that it wasn't just "Nazis" that committed the Holocaust. Ordinary people, and in this case, ordinary women, collaborated, in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
There are a couple of little issues I have with the book. First, on page 20 she states the Hitler was not democratically elected. This, though, is not quite true. Although he was not elected to the Chancellorship directly (the Chancellor was appointed by the President, according to the Weimar Republic), the Nazi party was one of, if not the, largest party in the Reichstag. So German women did vote for the Nazi party, even if they didn't vote for Hitler himself. But given that he was clearly head of the party, it must be understood that when they voted for the Nazi party, they were voting for him.
Secondly, there is some confusion in her book. Not all the ideas she presents are clearly spelled out. For example, on pages 160-161 when writing about male Nazi perpetrators, she quotes one psychologist as saying that the head of Einsatzgruppe D was "a sadist, a pervert, or a lunatic," yet she quotes another as saying that Nazi leaders were neither "sick or unusual, in fact they are like any other people we might encounter in other countries of the earth." Yet this is all that is said. Not attempt is made to clarify this discrepancy. She immediately goes on to say that women were not tested by psychologists at all and she continues on from there. I found that quite a bit of the "science" behind this book was lacking.
That said, I think this book definitely begins to open up a new study in Holocaust research and as Lower quotes in her book, "Minimising women's culpability to a few thousand brainwashed and misguided camp guards does not accurately represent the reality of the Holocaust."