The Weavers of Trautenau by Janine P. Holc
Jewish Female Forced Labor in the Holocaust
HBI Series on Jewish Women
A sympathetic history that focuses on the experiences of women and girls during the Holocaust and draws on new archival sources.
Beginning in late 1940, over three thousand Jewish girls and young women were forced from their family homes in Sosnowiec, Poland, and its surrounding towns to worksites in Germany. Believing that they were helping their families to survive, these young people were thrust into a world where they labored at textile work for twelve hours a day, lived in barracks with little food, and received only periodic news of events back home. By late 1943, their barracks had been transformed into concentration camps, where they were held until liberation in 1945.
Using a fresh approach to testimony collections, Janine P. Holc reconstructs the forced labor experiences of young Jewish females, as told by the women who survived and shared their testimony. Incorporating new source material, the book carefully constructs survivors’ stories while also taking a theoretical approach, one alert to socially constructed, intersectional systems of exploitation and harm. The Weavers of Trautenau elucidates the limits and possibilities of social relations inside camps and the challenges of moral and emotional repair in the face of indescribable loss during the Holocaust.
Year first published: 2023