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Reframing Gender: The Experiences of the Female Medical Personnel of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, 1933-1949

Docking, Kate (2021) Reframing Gender: The Experiences of the Female Medical Personnel of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, 1933-1949. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.90863) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:90863)

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https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/01.02.90863

Abstract

This thesis asks what adopting a gendered perspective can tell us about the experiences of eleven female medical personnel who worked at Ravensbrück concentration camp for women during the Third Reich. Approaching the Ravensbrück female doctors and nurses utilising the lens of gender, together with the approaches of microhistory and Alltagsgeschichte, ultimately illuminates the fluctuating scope for action these women possessed over their careers and roles in the camp. Outlining their changing possibilities for manoeuvre suggests, in line with the work of, for example, Bock and Century, that the terms 'victim' and 'perpetrator' do not capture the complexity of the experiences of individual women during the Third Reich. Adopting a gendered perspective in relation to these women demonstrates the jurisdiction they possessed to form a variety of relations with male doctors, prisoner hospital workers, and with each other. This thesis thus produces an interpretation of the Ravensbrück hospital as a diverse social space. This study also produces a new perspective regarding the relations between male and female personnel in concentration camps. While male guards often resented the presence of female guards since they were deemed to have violated a traditionally military domain, some male doctors did not have tense relations with individual female medical personnel due to such ideology.

This thesis also analyses the treatment of the Ravensbrück female medical personnel in the immediate post-war period utilising the lens of gender, examining their Allied internment, the legal trials some of them underwent, and the denazification processes of two female doctors. The first detailed examination of both the Ravensbrück female doctors and nurses in a single study, this thesis utilises a variety of sources, from legal documentation to personal correspondence, to examine the lives of these female medical personnel.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.90863
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2021 09:26 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2021 09:12 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/90863 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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