The Experiences of Male Holocaust Victims at Auschwitz

Book chapter


Pine, L (2020). The Experiences of Male Holocaust Victims at Auschwitz. in: Krondorfer, B and Creanga, O (ed.) The Holocaust and Masculinities: Critical Inquiries into the Presence and Absence of Men New York, USA SUNY Press.
AuthorsPine, L
EditorsKrondorfer, B and Creanga, O
Abstract

The lens of gender has been applied comparatively recently both to the Holocaust, in particular, and to genocide studies more widely. Research on gender and genocide has expanded considerably over recent years. Much of the writing on gender to date has been on women and their experiences. However, a discussion of male attributes in Holocaust victims and the behavioural norms expected of Holocaust victims as men is highly significant to our historical understanding of the Holocaust. This chapter examines male experiences, as particular to their gender, rather than as ‘universal’ experiences. It explores how the social construction of particular kinds of identities and behavioural expectations related to men during the extreme and extraordinary circumstances of the Holocaust, in particular at the dual-purpose labour and death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The terrible privations and circumstances of internment at Auschwitz included thirst and hunger, extremes of temperature, arduous physical labour, overcrowding, inadequate food and foul water, lengthy roll calls, exhaustion, illness, injury and the constant fear of ‘selection’ for the gas chambers. In terms of men's behaviour, gendered expectations were centred on strength and hardness, toughness and determination. Signs of weakness fell short of normative behaviour for men. Men did not wish to appear cowardly or weak. This chapter analyses how male survivors have portrayed the experiences and behaviour of men in their narratives. The chapter explores how these narratives have contributed to our understanding of the Holocaust.

Year2020
Book titleThe Holocaust and Masculinities: Critical Inquiries into the Presence and Absence of Men
PublisherSUNY Press
Place of publicationNew York, USA
Edition1
ISBN978-1-4384-7779-4
Publication dates
Print01 Apr 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Mar 2019
Accepted11 Feb 2019
Web address (URL)https://www.sunypress.edu/
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/865vv

Accepted author manuscript

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