Monday, November 27, 2006


Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich has been one of the most influential and inspirational works of scholarship I have ever read. Author Alison Owings, has compiled a selection of interviews with a variety of German women doing exactly what I desire to do as a historian; not pass judgment but provide the women with an opportunity to share their memories.

The more time I spend with these women the more I realize how much they desire to be understood. They have lived with the stereotype of the Nazi loving German for so long that the chance to set the record straight is one they welcome with open arms. I conducted my first oral history interview in October 2005, and since that time I have stayed in touch with my narrator visiting her on several occasions. Each time, though I have never brought it up, she opens up a little more, sharing more memories about her time in Germany. These conversations are not recorded (though how I wish they were) and are the result of both spontaneous reflection or deliberately clarifying information she had previously given. Much of what she shares is confidential, restricting my urge as a historian to include it in my research. I am truly honored I am involved in preserving the memories of women whose stories might otherwise never be told.

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