chapter  2
19 Pages

Nazi blood ideology, the menstruating woman and war amenorrhea

WithDanielle Redland

This chapter looks at the symbolism of menstrual blood during Nazism, with the blood of Jewish women being politicised as the biggest threat and pollutant to the realisation of the Aryan dream. In this chapter, we shall also describe War Amenorrhea and reflect on the impact that a cessation of menses had on female camp inmates and the legacy it left with those that survived and subsequent generations. Sociologists and anthropologists will explain the link between nationality and the flow of blood and some accounts from survivors are used to bring the imagery to life. Also questioned, the difference between male and female experiences and the accounts they subsequently wrote down. Whilst amenorrhea might have help to save some women from the camps, it threatened others: a stain on their very being, their societal role and their sense of self. The records display a post-war morbid preoccupation with the destruction of the family. An example of secondary trauma in the form of hysteria is given to re-state the complex task of what some refer to as treating “the living dead”.