Women and witnesses twice silenced: Giving a voice to holocaust complicity and resistance

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Women’s voices had no place in the Third Reich, and the Christian churches agreed: a woman’s place was in the kitchen. After the war, women’s voices frankly discussed the churches’ shame. Some Christians had colluded, others stood silently by, and some of those who resisted the persecution of Jewish converts did not fully understand the injustice and cruelty of socially normalised anti-Semitism. Theologically trained female vicars who had never been permitted to serve the church, stepped into pastoral duties when men were imprisoned, executed, or sent to the front. They took risks to bring spiritual hope to villagers who were fearful, confused, and appalled, by war. Victoria Barnett worked as a journalist in Germany in the 1970s and collected the accounts ofConfessing Church members who resisted Hitler, to help expose the moral failuresof the holocaust for the evangelical church. When Barnett returned to the US,she began her life’s work in the reconciliation of Christians and Jews. Her books analyse the silence and complicity of ordinary people during the holocaust. They are not easy reading, but her work is important in an age where people still face discrimination, repression and persecution, and institutional silence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalWomen in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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