Numerous memoirs have helped shed light on the horrors of Nazi Germany, but none have offered the heartbreaking sincerity and careful consideration of women’s experiences that Lucille Eichengreen’s Haunted Memories: Women in the Holocaust details.
Eichengreen offers a thorough and heartfelt look at the female experience of the Nazi camps. Telling the tale of her own survival, Eichengreen’s work explores all the women she encountered, from the empowered female SS guards to the prisoners who were forced to trade sex for food. With unwaveringly straightforward prose, Eichengreen isn’t afraid to expose the heartbreaks of her close allies or the brutality of the Jews, prisoners, and women she thought she could rely on.
After enduring twelve years of ghettos, concentration camps, and various other abuses from the Nazis, Eichengreen escaped to America only to find publishers disinterested in her writings because of her gender and historians scandalized by her emphasis on gender relations within the Holocaust. Despite these challenges—and her own reservations about confronting the horrors of her past—Eichengreen collected her experiences in two memoirs, From Ashes to Life (Mercury House, 1994) and Rumkowski: and the Orphans of Lodz (Mercury House, 2000).
Her new work forces questions of power, gender, and sex into unfamiliar territory and offers a new angle into the experiences of the Nazi camps, providing a new, immensely important discourse on the history of the Holocaust, as well as the history of gender relations.
Contributor Information: Only eight when Hitler came to power, Lucille Eichengreen miraculously survived numerous ghettos and camps until her liberation from Bergen-Belsen at age twenty. Fighting opposition from sexist publishers who doubted her female perspective and historians who found her interest in gender relations somehow beside the point, she started writing about her experiences in her sixties. She has since authored two other books, From Ashes to Life and Rumkowski and the Orphans of Lodz.
Open to the public.