Advertisement

A Reconsideration of Sexual Violence in German Colonial and Nazi Ideology and Its Representation in Holocaust Texts

  • Elizabeth R. Baer
Chapter
  • 43 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter examines the genocide the Germans committed in their colony in Africa between 1904 and 1907 and the ways in which this genocide functioned as a precursor to the Holocaust. Colonial discourse was made familiar to citizens of the Fatherland through newspaper accounts, debates in the Reichstag, and self-congratulatory books published by Schutztruppe, the colonial military. Yet scant attention has been given to the discourse about gender in Germany’s colonies and its subsequent impact on aspects of Nazi rule, including the Nuremberg Laws, regulations regarding prostitution, and the prevalence of sexual violence in the Third Reich. This chapter introduces texts by two survivors: Liana Millu, and Nanda Herbermann. The representation of rape, brothels located in lagers, and other forms of sexual violence echo colonial practice and perspectives.

Bibliography

  1. Baranowski, Shelley. Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  2. Branciforte, Suzanne. “Intervista con la storia: Una conversazione con Liana Millu.” Italianist 18 (1998): 289–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Drechsler, Horst. “Let Us Die Fighting”: The Struggle of the Herero and Nama Against German Imperialism (1884–1915). London: Zed Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  4. Frenssen, Gustav. Peter Moor’s Journey to Southwest Africa. Translated by Margaret May Ward. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1908.Google Scholar
  5. Hartmann, Wolfram, ed. Hues Between Black and White: Historical Photography from Colonial Namibia, 1860s to 1915. Windhoek: Out of Africa Publishers, 2004.Google Scholar
  6. Hartmann, Wolfram. “Urges in the Colony. Men and Women in Colonial Windhoek, 1890–1905.” Journal of Namibian Studies 1 (2007): 39.Google Scholar
  7. Herbermann, Nanda. The Blessed Abyss: Inmate #6582 in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp for Women. Edited by Hester Baer and Elizabeth Baer, translated by Hester Baer. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  8. Kaplan, E. Ann. Looking for the Other: Feminism, Film, and the Imperial Gaze. New York: Routledge, 1997.Google Scholar
  9. Ka-Tzetnik. House of Dolls. Translated by Moshe M. Kohn. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955.Google Scholar
  10. Krüger, Gesine. Kriegsbewältigung und Geschichtsbewusstsein: Realität, Deutung und Verarbeitung des deutschen Kolonialkriegs in Namibia 1904 bis 1907. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Langbehn, Volker, and Mohammed Salama, eds. German Colonialism: Race, the Holocaust and Postwar Germany. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  12. Madley, Benjamin. “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted by the Nazis in Eastern Europe.” European History Quarterly 35, no. 3 (2005): 429–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Millu, Liana. Smoke Over Birkenau. Translated by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  14. Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975) reprinted in her Visual and Other Pleasures. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.Google Scholar
  15. Muurholm, Halfdan, Producer and Director, and Casper W. Erichsen, Co-director. One Hundred Years of Silence. New York, NY: Filmmakers Library, 2006.Google Scholar
  16. Olusoga, David, and Casper E. Erichsen. The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism. London: Faber and Faber, 2010.Google Scholar
  17. Paul, Christa. Zwangsprostitution: Staatlich errichtete Bordelle im Nationalsocialismus. Berlin: Edition Hentrich, 1994.Google Scholar
  18. Schaller, Dominik J. “From Conquest to Genocide: Colonial Rule in German Southwest Africa and German East Africa.” In Empire, Colony, Genocide, edited by Dirk Moses, 296–324. New York: Berghahn Books, 2008.Google Scholar
  19. Schulz, Christa. “Weibliche Häftlinge aus Ravensbrück in Bordellen Männerkonzentrationslager.” In Frauen in Konzentrationslagern Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück, edited by Claus Füllberg-Stolberg, 135–146. Bremen: Edition Temmen, 1994.Google Scholar
  20. Schwartz, Lynne Sharon. Face to Face: A Reader in the World. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  21. Silvester, Jeremy, and Jan-Bart Gewald, eds. Words Cannot Be Found: An Annotated Reprint of the 1918 Blue Book. Leiden: Brill, 2003.Google Scholar
  22. Sommer, Robert. “Camp Brothels: Forced Sex Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps.” In Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe’s Twentieth Century, edited by Dagmar Herzog. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.Google Scholar
  23. Steinmetz, George. “The First Genocide of the 20th Century and Its Postcolonial Afterlives: Germany and the Namibian Ovaherero.” hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.4750978.0012.201.
  24. Stoler, Ann Laura. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  25. Timm, Annette F., ed. Holocaust History and the Readings of Ka-Tzetnik. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.Google Scholar
  26. von Joeden-Forgey, Elisa. “Women and the Herero Genocide.” In Women and Genocide: Survivors, Victims, Perpetrators, edited by Elissa Bemporad and Joyce W. Warren, 36–57. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018.Google Scholar
  27. Wildenthal, Lora. German Women for Empire, 1884–1945. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zimmerer, Jürgen, and Joachim Zeller, eds. Genocide in German South-West Africa: The Colonial War of 1904–1908 and Its Aftermath. Monmouth Wales: Merlin Press, 2008.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R. Baer
    • 1
  1. 1.Gustavus Adolphus CollegeSt. PeterUSA

Personalised recommendations