Lenore J. Weitzman

in The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199211869
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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This article focuses on the experiences of Jewish women during the Holocaust and compares their predicaments with those of Jewish men. It highlights three topics: the initial responses of Jewish men and women to Nazi persecution, which reflected the traditional roles women played before World War II and therefore prioritized women's responsibilities as mothers, wives, and daughters; the Nazi policies and rules that treated men and women differently and created distinctive constraints and options for women; and the effect of specific problems in the ghettos and camps on women's coping strategies. The analysis gives special attention to the fraught topic of the incidence of rape of Jewish women during the Holocaust.

Keywords: Holocaust; Jewish women; Jewish men; Nazi persecution; gender roles; rape; ghettos; concentration camps

Article.  6840 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Judaism and Jewish Studies

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