When we discuss the Holocaust and Nazi Germany’s tactics to create a so-called master race, we frequently talk about the atrocities committed in concentration camps. Holocaust survivors have come forward over the years to share their stories, with the hope that by understanding history, we can prevent it from repeating itself. But until recently, there were a number of stories that remained untold or at least, hidden. Those belong to the women who lived under Nazi rule — women whose reproductive rights were stripped away, and who became part of the Nazi Party’s systematic efforts to create an Aryan race.
Scholar Beverley Chalmers spent a decade researching sterilization, sex abuse, rape, and extermination in Nazi Germany for her book, Birth, Sex and Abuse: Women's Voices Under Nazi Rule. She says as difficult as those stories are to hear, we don’t have the right to tune them out. Chalmers is in Rochester this week for several lectures, but first, she’s our guest on Connections.