Honors College Theses

Unremitting Resilience: How Gender Shaped the Lives of Women During the Holocaust

Publication Date



History (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brian Feltman


Memoirs and oral histories of the Holocaust reveal that Jewish women in Germany experienced a significant change in gender roles and expectations following the passage of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935. These women adapted as a means of survival. As Nazi occupation spread, similar observations can be made in Jewish communities across Europe. In ghettos and work camps, many women formed bonds with one another, despite coming from different backgrounds. This thesis investigates the Holocaust as a gendered experience by examining the specific ways that women were affected and forced to adapt. In each woman’s story there was one common theme: resilience.

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