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Rassenschande, genocide and the reproductive Jewish body: examining the use of rape and sexualized violence against Jewish women during the Holocaust

Rassenschande, genocide and the reproductive Jewish body: examining the use of rape and sexualized violence against Jewish women during the Holocaust

Banwell, Stacy ORCID: 0000-0001-7395-2617 (2015) Rassenschande, genocide and the reproductive Jewish body: examining the use of rape and sexualized violence against Jewish women during the Holocaust. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 15 (2). pp. 208-227. ISSN 1472-5886 (Print), 1472-5894 (Online) (doi:10.1080/14725886.2015.1049853)

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Abstract

Rape and sexual violence against Jewish women is a relatively unexplored area of investigation. This article adds to the scant literature on this topic. It asks: how and why did women's reproductive bodies (gender), combined with their status as Jews (race), make them particularly vulnerable during the Holocaust? The law against Rassenschande (racial defilement) prohibited sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans. Yet, Jewish women were raped by German men. Providing a more nuanced account than is provided by the dehumanization thesis, this article argues that women were targeted precisely because of their Jewishness and their reproductive capabilities. In addition, this piece proposes that the genocidal attack on women's bodies in the form of rape (subsequently leading to the murder of impregnated women) and sexualized violence (forced abortions and forced sterilizations) must be interpreted as an attack on an essentialized group: woman-as-Jew.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group in JOURNAL OF MODERN JEWISH STUDIES on 16 June 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14725886.2015.1049853 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1049853
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rassenschande, genocide, use of rape, sexualized violence, Jewish women, Holocaust
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Law
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 10:26
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13527

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