More than thirty years after the issue of gender was first raised in Holocaust research, much has been achieved in this regard by scholars in a number of disciplines, mainly in the areas of history and literature. The new issue of Nashim (27) contributes to a vibrant field of study into which many young scholars have entered, opening up new topics and perspectives while giving rise to a broad methodological debate about the writing of history, the status of everyday life in the historical narrative and the identity of that narrative’s protagonists. These scholars employ a comparative methodology with respect to gender and the geography of the Holocaust, paying attention to several stages of the war and to the different arenas in which Jews strove to survive the persecutions and killings. They also scrutinize the historical background of the Jews in different European communities and within individual countries, and examine public and private patterns of behavior. Once social class, education and age are taken into account, it becomes clear that gender, alongside other social categories, is a necessary factor in any comprehensive interpretation of human behavior.
Topics explored here include the value of labor for ghetto Jews in Radom (Idit Gil), gender and the daily lives of Jews in hiding (Natalia Aleksiun), gender and nationalism in a Yiddish novel by Khaye Elboym-Dorembus, the intersection of gender and religion language in Ruth Kluger’s memoir Still Alive, and the repercussions of the Kastner affair for one of its protagonists, Hansi Brand (Sharon Geva).
Also in this issue of Nashim: Women and the Transformation of Jewish Studies — The Paula Hyman Oral History Project (Rachael Kamel); art work by the late Hannelore Baron (profiled by Judith Margolis); and reviews.
Read an article for free: Crossing Boundaries: A Family Story, by Jamie Wagman.