In the discussion today, our group discussed a wide variety of topics related to the readings. To sum up a few of our most important points, we began with a debate concerning culpability versus innocence. The reading was specifically examining how much culpability specific German women had in terms of the crimes of the Nazi regime. This book is viewed as enlightening because it changed the narrative about women’s roles in the Nazi regime, pointing out how many women were involved and confronting the idea of all German women as innocent victims. However, some argued that it detracted from this by describing their political involvement in the election as being swept away by a populist movement of men.
There was some discussion over the cruelty of women in positions of power. Because one of our facilitators has a background in studying philosophy, there were some ideas about their lack of power in society in general and how that might translate to controlling tendencies when some of these women were finally given a chance to influence lives.
Finally, we talked about in-groups versus out-groups and the phenomenon of women who might have otherwise been disadvantaged gaining power through oppressing other victim groups. This evolved into how this played out into the larger society, with a significant culture of snitching and internal group monitoring.
Overall, it was a wide-ranging discussion with a lot of very interesting points of view.