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How to Get Away with Murder:

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by Maddie Chadwick on 8 December 2013

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Transcript of How to Get Away with Murder:

How to Get Away with Murder:
“Ordinary” Women as Monsters in the Third Reich

Nazi Women: Imagery vs Reality
Ilse Koch
Puzzle
Given that Nazism relegated women primarily to passive and domestic roles, why did women join and strive to participate actively in private and public spheres in Nazism? What did Nazism offer women?
Were the women who took on passive roles really victims? Were the women who took on active roles monstrous?
Theories: Victims or Monsters?
How can we explain how women acted in the Third Reich?From Most Passive to Most Active
Analysis & Conclusion
Nazism offered women power and agency where Weimar feminism had failed (even if only the perception of power).
Power over private sphere: education, culture, and the future of Germany.
Power in the workforce - nurses, factory workers, secretaries, etc.
Power over another race.
Nazi women "got away with murder" because they were perceived to be 'victims' of Nazism. The few women who were actually tried and convicted were the women who were deemed 'monsters'.
Gertrud Scholtz-Klink
Ideal Nazi Woman
Theory 1
Women as Victims

Patriarchal Authority & Brainwashing through Propaganda and Violence
Imagery painted by Nazism. Words from Hitler/Goebbels/Koch etc.

Theory 2
Systems of Oppression

Matrix of Domination & Passiveness
Motherhood: Intersection of Sexism and Racism
"What was I supposed to do?"

Theory 3
Passive Resistance
Everyday acts of resistance
To “cooperate with resistance”
Frau Wilhelmine Haferkamp

Theory 4
Theory 5
Theory 6
So What?
It is important to recognize that Nazi women had agency. If these women are viewed as victims or monsters today, then Nazism becomes a unique point in history - unrepeatable. This viewpoint is dangerous! Nazis were "ordinary" people susceptible to the situational ethics of their time - just like we are today. The Nazi movement (or a similar movement) is more than likely to happen again - especially if we ignore the history or simplify our explanations to that of brainwashed victims of propaganda or psychopathic monsters.
Gender Performativity

Judith Butler: “...Simone de Beauvoir claims, 'one is not born, but, rather, becomes a woman,'...In this sense, gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceed; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time -an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts, " (Butler, 1988, p 2).
Nazi women simply performed their expected role in Nazi society.
Women as Monsters & Killers
Ilse Koch
Hitler's Furies
Failed Weimar Feminism
vs
Economic betterment
Revaluing the Feminine

Data
NS-Frauen Warte:
Women’s fashion had a French/European influence
Women as consumers
Women informed about politics and other cultures
Honoring women's roles: household and children upkeep articles
Frauen:
Oral histories that show a variety of experiences and forms of agency through idealism.
Hitler's Furies:
Perpetrators- women who found new sources of power:
New power over “subhumans”
New enemy other than the “oppressive male”
New ways out of household oppression
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