Women under the Third Reich : a biographical dictionary /

Main Author: Cosner, Shaaron.
Other Authors: Cosner, Victoria, 1965-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998.
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Review by Choice Review

Surprisingly little English-language material is available concerning women and their roles in the Third Reich. One notable exception has been Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich, (CH, Feb'94), a collection of 29 oral histories. The Cosners' book has briefer entries but more of them. Like Frauen, it casts a wide net. Included are resistance workers, Nazi Party members, women who rescued others, fighters, and many others. Entries are arranged alphabetically, but there is an index by category. Each entry is followed by a bibliography. There are some flaws. At least one biography, Hiltgunt Zassenhaus's Walls: Resisting the Third Reich, is missing; Fania Fenelon's Playing for Time and Wendelgard von Neurath's Darkness over the Valley are both listed in entries but not in the bibliography; Wendelgard wrote under her married name, Wendelgard von Staden, and interested readers may have difficulty locating her; the name of the elder von Neurath is Irmgard, not Irmagard; the bibliography for Sophie Scholl's entry is incomplete; Hanna Reitsch was born in Hirschberg (not Hirschbeerg), Lower Silesia; Lower Silesia was left entirely to Germany at the end of WW I and was German national territory until 1945, not occupied by Germany as the entry claims. Since so little information is available on this topic, the book is recommended with reservations, in spite of its flaws. General readers and undergraduates. H. E. Schneider; University of South Carolina at Spartanburg

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Most people, if they are aware of women during the period of the Third Reich, probably know of Eva Braun, Leni Riefenstahl, and maybe Marlene Dietrich. But many other women played very important roles both for and against the Nazi regime. This dictionary features approximately 100 women--sympathizers, resistance fighters, smugglers, writers, and entertainers--whose lives were directly affected by events during this important time period. Included are women for whom source material is available in English, or who have had their life stories published. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the name under which the subject became prominent. The articles vary in length from a paragraph to several pages based on the amount of information and the importance of the person. The names one would expect to find, such as Anne Frank, Magda Goebbels, and Corrie Ten Boom, are represented. Other figures who are lesser known, such as Gisi Fleischmann, who worked diligently and at the risk of their lives to rescue Jews, are introduced. Physicians who worked under deplorable conditions in concentration camps, such as Lucie Adelsberger, Alina Brewda, Adelaide Hautval, and Gisela Perl, have their stories told. Ona Simaite, a librarian, tried to save Jewish children and was captured and tortured. Each entry ends with a list of source material, and additional sources are listed in the bibliography. Two appendixes identify individuals by role and by nationality. A glossary would also have been helpful, especially for the high-school audience; the term quisling turns up in several entries, but is never explained. This is a unique work that should be useful in libraries with collections on women or Germany. It is recommended for public libraries and would be a good curriculum-related resource for schools. It is suitable for browsing because so many interesting individuals are covered. Although much of the information was drawn from readily available sources, such as Contemporary Authors, Current Biography, and various Who's Who titles, having it in one place provides the impact the authors intended: to bring to light how this controversial period in history affected women. Reference Books in brief The following is a list of additional recent and recommended reference sources.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.