Summary

History chair at Claremont McKenna College and a research associate of the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat in Munich, Lower spent two decades conducting interviews and digging through archives (including key post-Soviet material) to show that during World War II German women were actively involved in killing Jews. A BEA Editors Buzz book.


Wendy Lowerâ__s stunning account of the role of German women on the World War II Nazi eastern front powerfully revises history, proving that we have ignored the reality of womenâ__s participation in the Holocaust, including as brutal killers. The long-held picture of German women holding down the home front during the war, as loyal wives and cheerleaders for the Führer, pales in comparison to Lowerâ__s incisive case for the massive complicity, and worse, of the 500,000 young German women she places, for the first time, directly in the killing fields of the expanding Reich.

Hitlerâ__s Furies builds a fascinating and convincing picture of a morally â__lost generationâ__ of young women, born into a defeated, tumultuous postâ__World War I Germany, and then swept up in the nationalistic fervor of the Nazi movementâ__a twisted political awakening that turned to genocide. These young womenâ__nurses, teachers, secretaries, wives, and mistressesâ__saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of â__wild eastâ__ of career and matrimonial opportunity, and yet could not have imagined what they would witness and do there. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival and field work on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents overwhelming evidence that these women were more than â__desk murderersâ__ or comforters of murderous German men: that they went on â__shopping spreesâ__ for Jewish-owned goods and also brutalized Jews in the ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus; that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking their turn at the mass shooting. And Lower uncovers the stories, perhaps most horrific, of SS wives with children of their own, whose female brutality is as chilling as any in history.

Hitlerâ__s Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs: genocide is womenâ__s business too, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.