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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents special event Sept. 9

Wilshire Boulevard Temple, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, is located at 11661 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, is located at 11661 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents “Some Were Wives, Some Were Mothers: Female Perpetrators during the Holocaust” this Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus in Los Angeles.

Museum historian Edna Friedberg, Ph.D., will interview Wendy Lower, Ph.D., the John K. Roth Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College. The event is presented in association with Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Lower, a former Museum fellow, challenges the traditional picture of Germany’s women holding down the home front as loyal wives and mothers during World War II. In her compelling book, “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields,” she reveals new evidence that places them directly in the maelstrom of war: looting, plundering, and even killing.

Guests will join the author and the Museum’s historian for a riveting conversation about a generation of young women born into ravaged post-World War I Germany and swept up in the feverish nationalism of the Nazi party.

Seeing the emerging empire as full of career and marriage opportunity,many of these women traveled east with the expanding “frontier” — where they witnessed and participated in the exploitation, persecution, and murder of Jews and other victims.

“When we think of the perpetrators of the Holocaust, we tend to think mostly of men,” said Michael J. Sarid, the Museum’s Western Regional Director. “The fact that so many everyday, ordinary women played such significant roles not only challenges our assumptions about gender roles, but helps us realize the thoroughness with which the Nazis’ murderous ideology pervaded German society.”

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosts programs, trainings, and fundraising events throughout the western United States from Seattle and San Francisco to Los Angeles and San Diego.

Indeed, the Museum’s work is having a significant impact as hundreds of schoolteachers – and many more from all 50 states – are trained each year in how to make the Holocaust relevant and meaningful to young people. In addition, the Museum’s leadership programs are inspiring California judges, police and military officers to heed the lessons of the Holocaust and understand their roles as guardians of democracy.

The “Some Were Wives, Some Were Mothers: Female Perpetrators during the Holocaust”presentation is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Individuals interested had to register by Friday, Sept. 5 at ushmm.org/events/hitlers-furies-los-angeles. Contact the Museum’s Western Regional office at 310.556.3222 or email at western@ushmm.org with questions.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, is located at 11661 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064.

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