NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST. A revelatory history of the role of German women in the Holocaust, not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers on the Eastern Front during World War II.
Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork, presents startling evidence that these women were more than “desk murderers” or comforters of murderous German men: they went on “shopping sprees” and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos; they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also shooting Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose brutality is as chilling as any in history.
Hitler’s Furies challenges our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.
“Disquieting . . . Earlier books about the Holocaust have offered up poster girls of brutality and atrocity . . . [Lower’s] insight is to track more mundane lives, and to argue for a vastly wider complicity.” — New York Times
“An unsettling but significant contribution to our understanding of how nationalism, and specifically conceptions of loyalty, are normalized, reinforced, and regulated.” — Los Angeles Review of Books
“Compelling . . . Lower brings to the forefront an unexplored aspect of the Holocaust.” — Washington Post