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22.11.2018    19:00

Passed Over in Silence. The Forced Sexual Labor during the Second World War (Marginesy Publishing House). Meeting with the author, Joanna Ostrowska

The first monograph in Poland documenting sexual violence during the Second World War is making its debut.

Discussing forced sexual labor in a Nazi brothel is still taboo. Even the very existence of the system of controlled prostitution, is passed over in silence, as are its victims and their post-war fates, women who had been forced into prostitution, accused of collaboration, and whose heads were shaved in public.

The micro-biographies of the heroines of this book remain unfinished. Few left testimonies. No one asked them to tell the stories of their pasts. Until now, it was never the "right" moment. Victims of sexual violence are still considered "insignificant exceptions." Joanna Ostrowska fills the voids in our knowledge and understanding.

"Overcoming great obstacles, the author proves that organized prostitution was a piece of the Nazi machine of waging war and ruling defeated countries. The High Command of Wehrmacht (!) in the middle of the war (!) was dealing with brothels, condoms, and so on. Hitler wanted (and was able to) organize everything. His system was a junction between sexual obsession and the modern bureaucracy."
Prof. Marcin Kula

About the author:
Joanna Ostrowska
, PhD, (b. 1983) has lectured at the Departments of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Gender Studies at the Warsaw University, and Polish-Jewish Studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She focuses on the topic of the forgotten victims of Nazism. She is a film critic and a judge for the Kraków Film Festival. She has worked as a dramatist for theatrical stagings by Małgorzata Wdowik, and Marta Ziółek. Currently, she also studies Hebrew at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the Warsaw University. She lives in Warsaw.

The meeting will be led by Paulina Małochleb.

In Polish, free admission.