Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Type: Audible Book
Length: 9h 26m
THIS IS FOR THE AUDIBLE VERSION!!!
There really isn’t much of a spoiler for this book. It covers how Nazi women followed the men into the eastern front of World War II and engaged in mass murder. Wendy Lower does a great job of giving examples of women who were married to SS officers, nurses, and even receptionists who not only participated tangentially by guarding camps, but also handled the orders for the final solution and even gave direct orders to murder Jews specifically.
The good thing about the book is that it doesn’t present this in a vacuum by just talking about the women. Ms. Lower goes into detail on the culture and politics of the Third Reich at the time. The expectations of women, and in some cases how the women went against certain expectations.
Some of the specific stories are not of the faint of heart. These just aren’t only angels of “mercy” who put patients who were Jewish, handicapped or outspoken and went contrary to the cultural norms to death with lethal injections. Some of the stories include women shooting, strangling or even in one recorded case picking a child up and bashing their head into a wall.
The book isn’t about shock writing though, things are handled a lot better than that last paragraph :). I recommend it as a good reading for the an unusual aspect of the Final Solution and the massacre of not just Jews but the rest of the unwanted in the Third Reich (including German soldiers themselves considered too injured or too damaged by PTSD).
The only con I have found is the lack of specific sources. This very well could be because it is an audible book and you can’t just footnote and refer to the back of the book. I have not seen her written version so I can’t talk about it. I can say enough of what she says matches up with what I have studied in the past makes me think at least in the broad strokes I can rely on her writing.
Horrible subject, but good writing.