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.” 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.
 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.