National Book Awards

Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 by Madeline Johnson

Last week, Concordia hosted the National Book Awards, which is an event where two authors come to campus to read  excerpts of their books and answer questions. I had the opportunity to read Hitler’s Furies by Wendy Lower for my Hitler’s Germany class. After the reading, I had to write a book review on the book where I analyzed the author’s work. This wasn’t an easy book to get through. It highlighted the women’s role in Nazi Germany, specifically women who were killers.

Prior to reading Lower’s book, I had a perception that men were the primary perpetrators of violence during genocide. A short excerpt from my book review highlights this:

”                 The Rwandan genocide massacred 800,000 people in an ethnic clash between the Hutu and the Tutsi. Global Policy Forum explains on November 16th 2003 that the women have been left to rebuild the country and now “fill nearly half the seats in the lower house of parliament.”[1] This recent genocide reveals the healing powers women can possess when resolving conflict, but unfortunately Rwanda cannot serve as an example for all genocides. Wendy Lower in her nonfiction novel Hitler’s Furies’: German Women In the Nazi Killing Fields exposes the horrific actions of certain women during the Nazi era. These women went on killing sprees to assert their dominance and to fit in with male officers. Overall, the stories revealed in this book are shocking, tear-worthy, and disturbing. Lower does not sugarcoat the facts.


[1] Jodi Enda. November 16, 2003. “Women Take Lead In Reconstruction of Rwanda.” Global Policy Forum.”

On the Thursday of the book awards, Wendy Lower spoke specifically to our class and I was able to ask her about the significance of her research. It was interesting to hear the perspective of a historian and how to successfully conduct research. She also impressed me with her knowledge of genocide around the world. Though it was a tough topic, it shattered my perceptions of genocide and women. This is essential to understanding human nature and conflicts around the world today.

 

The cover of Hitler's Furies

The cover of Hitler’s Furies

 

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About Madeline Johnson

Senior

Madeline Johnson

Biology/History with a minor in Chemistry

I may have the most generic Scandinavian name but I like to think I’m far from ordinary.

For 20 years of my life, I have rocked the suburbs like Jon Bon Jovi did, except that he was talented (as Ben Folds would say). In high school, I was involved in speech, debate, concert band, marching band, and volunteer work. To this day, I enjoy tossing the Frisbee disc with friends, reading an absurd amount of books, writing poetry and listening excessively to every genre of music excluding country.

At Concordia, I play the flute in the Symphonic Band, play ultimate frisbee, am an orientation leader, am a leader in science academy, work for the admissions office, do biology research, and am working to bring an organization to campus called Girls In Real Life which is meant to improve the self esteem of women everywhere. I also enjoy volunteering at Sanford hospital on the weekends. My majors are biology and history with a minor in chemistry and I will be graduating in 2015. I hope to join the peace corps after college and then attend graduate school for public health and possibly law.

In the future and in the present, my main goal is to make a difference in the world. I believe people are inherently good and I search for the upside in every situation. People have described me as a ray of sunshine, but I’d just say I am an opportunist who believes in love and lifelong happiness.