Sunday, September 4, 2022

Review of "Nazi Women: The Attraction of Evil," by Paul Roland

 Review of

Nazi Women: The Attraction of Evil, by Paul Roland ISBN 9781784047641

Five out of five stars

A gender-specific look at the Holocaust

 As the title implies, this is a book about the role women played in the mass crimes committed by the Germans under Nazism. However, it begins slowly, with a recapitulation of the purported sexual dysfunction of Adolph Hitler, his childhood as well as his misogynist beliefs. That is old territory and could have been reduced in a historical rendering of what women did during the brief existence of the Third Reich.

 Students of history will find nothing really new in this book, yet it is still important in a world where there are still vocal deniers of the Holocaust. While many women did engage in passive resistance to the Nazi movement and a few were active, there were more that were willing and eager direct participants in the organized killing of the undesirables.

 To understand this, all you have to do is read the quote from the unrepentant Nazi Traudi Schneider after she was tried and convicted as a war criminal. A camp guard that herded naked, terrified and helpless women and children into the gas chambers, she said, “With Nazism I was somebody. Afterwards, I was nothing.” No more accurate and concise statement of explanation of why the women and men of Germany went along with Nazism can be made.

 Even though the content of this book is not new, it demonstrates how vast numbers of people will set aside all moral bearings and compassion for others in order to “fit in” with what is happening around them.

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