Heroes, Lovers, Victims: Partisan Girls during the Great Fatherland War

TitleHeroes, Lovers, Victims: Partisan Girls during the Great Fatherland War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsFurst, Juliane
Date Published09/2000

The general stereotype even today is that, despite all their heroic deeds, girls were less suited to the business of war. Both Elena Seniavskaia and Svetlana Alekseevich, who tackled the question of women's war participation from a psychological viewpoint, agree that 'war has no female face', since fighting and killing stand in direct contrast to women's natural psychology and biological function. The partisan girls' own testimony, however, does not indicate that they felt any less able to cope or suffered more than their male colleagues. While these accounts given at the assembly of partisan girls in Moscow in 1944 might have carried an element of self-aggrandisement, they certainly demonstrate that the partisan girls wished to be considered perfectly capable of full participation in the military activities of partisan life. This article analyzes documents unearthed from archives to paint a fuller picture of the previously ignored life of partisan girls.

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