The Prosecution of Jewish-Gentile Sex in the Race Defilement Trials

TitleThe Prosecution of Jewish-Gentile Sex in the Race Defilement Trials
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSzober, Patricia
EditorHerzog, Dagmar
Book TitleThe Holocaust in International Perspective: Lessons and Legacies, Vol. VII
PublisherNorthwestern University Press
CityEvanston, IL

At first glance, the race defilement proceedings in the Third Reich do not fit neatly into a crude typology, particularly given that the vast majority of these forbidden relationships was consensual, in striking contradiction to the forms of sexual violence highlighted in other chapters. In what follows, however, this chapter argues that the concept of sexual violence does, in fact, help us understand some of the more crucial meanings and effects of the Nazi regime's enforcement of its blood purity laws. In the first half of the essay, the author focuses on the way that Germans, both Jewish and gentile, experienced the Nuremberg Laws and their enforcement as a violation of the most private and intimate spheres of daily life. In the second half, the author attempts a preliminary analysis of the rhetorical and representational violence contained within the highly sexualized language that permeated the persecution of Jewish-gentile relationships in the Third Reich.

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