From Concept to Comparison: A Preliminary Look at Women Perpetrators Across Two Racist Regimes

Vortrag im Kolloquium „The Holocaust and its Contexts”

Women's involvement in perpetrating Nazi crimes has received significant attention in regard to exploring their career trajectories and domestic roles within the larger goals of the Nazi party. However, an equivalent examination of white supremacist women's roles in the context of Jim Crow America remains unexplored. This disparity serves as the impetus for the present talk, which further investigates the actions of female perpetrators of violence within two distinct yet ideologically similar racist regimes. Bradford's doctoral dissertation, "Cloaked in Femininity: Women's Participation in Racial Terror in Nazi Germany and Jim Crow America," will analyze women who openly engaged in focused violence and brutality, juxtaposing the roles of "Aryan" women complicit in the Holocaust with those of white supremacist women participating in anti-Black violence during Jim Crow. The study delves into women's participation in public acts of violence, including boycotts, pogroms, lynchings, riots, neighborhood liquidations, and communal brutality. This presentation will introduce the two historical contexts under examination, outline the methodologies used, and present preliminary findings. Bradford's comparative approach aims to shed light on the under-researched aspects of women's roles as perpetrators and active participants in mass atrocities, focusing on public spaces outside of the home and workplace. The work seeks to assess how women navigated societal gender norms through their actions, explore their roles as producers and participants in cultural violence, and interrogate the social structures that facilitated and, at times, necessitated their involvement.

Das Kolloquium “The Holocaust and its Contexts” wird gemeinsam vom Lehrstuhl für Zeitgeschichte und dem Zentrum für Holocaust-Studien am Institut für Zeitgeschichte in München veranstaltet. Es ist ein Diskussionsforum, das Trends, Themen und Grundsatzfragen der Holocaust-Forschung aufgreift und neuere Forschungen in einem weiteren Kontext präsentiert.

Vortrag von Lauren Ashley Bradford (Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies/Clark University).

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Historicum, Raum K 001
Amalienstraße 52
80799 München

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