Local Perpetrators of Sexual Violence during the Holocaust in Ukraine

Lors de la prochaine séance du séminaire, nous aurons l’honneur d’accueillir Marta Havryshko

Marta Havryshko is a historian of women’s and gender history of the Second World War and the Holocaust. She is a Research Associate at the I.Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Also, currently is Senior Fellow at the Center for Holocaust Studies, Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (2021). Member of the international research group “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.” In 2020-2021 Marta was a Gerda Henkel Research Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies and a postdoctoral fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem. In 2019-2020 she was a Diane and Howard Wohl Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2018-2019 Marta was an Ada Booth Fellow at Monash University. Her research has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service, Yahad-In Unum, Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies, and others. Her research interests include women’s experiences of war and genocides, Second World War, Holocaust, Ukrainian nationalism, feminism, oral history. She is working on a book project about sexual violence against Jewish women and men during the Holocaust in Ukraine. She is the author of the book “Overcoming Silence: Women’s War Stories” (Kharkiv, 2019, in Ukrainian) and numerous book chapters and articles about women’s experiences of WWII.

Evil Around the Corner: Local Perpetrators of Sexual Violence during the Holocaust in Ukraine

Jewish women and girls were extremely vulnerable to different forms of sexual violence, including forced nakedness, sexual tortures, sexualized body searches, rape, and sexual slavery during the Shoah. Many sex crimes in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, were perpetrated not only by Germans and their allies but also by the locals. They were Nazi collaborators, members of different partisan groups, “ordinary” men, aid-givers, and fellow Jews. The presentation focuses on the sexual victimization of Jewish women perpetrated by these local actors in different sites and places, e.g., during pogroms, in ghettos and camps, in killing sites, in hidings. It seeks to understand how the sexually violent behavior of local men in Ukraine was rooted in cultural ideas of sex and gender and how it was influenced by and evolved from the Nazi policy of exterminating the Jews. What is the role of sexuality in mob violence and genocide? Did pre-war anti-Semitism play some role in their complicity? What do available sources tell us about the social background and motivations of perpetrators? What was the role of sexual crimes by locals in Nazi genocidal operations? Did Nazi officials prevent and (or) punish local perpetrators of sexual assault against Jewish women? The presentation is based on a wide range of sources, including trial materials and criminal cases on Nazi collaborators preserved in the former KGB Archive (present – State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine), testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and non-Jews, ego-documents. 

 

 


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