Wartime Sexual Economy as Seen through a Hungarian Woman's World War II Diary

TitleWartime Sexual Economy as Seen through a Hungarian Woman's World War II Diary
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKUNT, GERGELY
JournalFeminist Studies
Volume43
Issue1
Start Page108
Pagination108 - 133
Date Published03/2017
Abstract

In this study, I analyze the diary of Róza Bodó, a thirty-six-year-old Hungarian voluntary nurse and refugee, to discuss women's experiences on the Hungarian war front and at a Bavarian refugee camp. In September 1944, Róza left Transylvania for Hungary to avoid the approaching war front. During her escape, she was raped several times by Soviet soldiers, a trauma Róza reconstructed in her diary as a screen memory that served to mitigate the horrors of her sexual assault. The result was a highly selective narrative, where Róza even imbued her rapists with positive attributes to deny the horrors of rape. In the final months of the war, she decided to escape from Hungary to Germany, where she was taken to a Bavarian displaced persons camp maintained by the occupying US forces. At the camp, Róza found that it was common practice for men to sexually exploit lonely, defenseless women in exchange for protection, accommodation, or other services.

 

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Short TitleFeminist Studies
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