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See detailThe Alfred Oppenheimer Testimony and Luxemburg's Master Narrative
Wingerter, Elisabeth UL; Scuto, Denis

Presentation (2019, September 26)

“Nature, thank God, is far more merciful than people”. This memorable statement is taken from Alfred Oppenheimer’s testimony during the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, in which he describes his ordeals ... [more ▼]

“Nature, thank God, is far more merciful than people”. This memorable statement is taken from Alfred Oppenheimer’s testimony during the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, in which he describes his ordeals during the war. Alfred Oppenheimer (1901-1993), a Jewish business owner in Luxembourg and later “Eldest of the Jews” during the Occupation by Nazi Germany (1940-1944), has shared his story of perseverance and survival in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz-Birkenau both in the context of trials and in the media. As indicated before, he served as a witness in the Eichmann trial, where he recounted his deportation from Luxembourg and the severe conditions during his imprisonment. In addition to that, he participated in the first war crimes trial in Luxembourg in 1949/50. In fact, as one of the few deported Jews from Luxembourg who survived and returned to the country after 1945, his experiences did not only serve as an essential source for historical and memorial works, but were also integrated into the Grand-Duchy’s national master narrative. They featured in various interviews, documentaries and printed media, especially in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Our presentation aims at exploring the mediatization of Alfred Oppenheimer’s testimony and its significance for Luxembourgish society and its self-perception. We will analyze its use throughout the different stages of postwar public discourse. The immediate postwar period, for instance, was marked mainly by the memory of resistance against the Nazi occupant and by the perspective of Luxembourgish prisoners of war and the forcibly recruited. At that time, Oppenheimer’s account was featured in the Rappel, a journal edited by the LPPD (Ligue luxembourgeoise des prisonniers et déportés politiques) which represented a particular and limited perspective on Luxembourg’s history during the Nazi occupation. Following a slow process of intensifying public debates in other European countries and a growing interest in historical research, public discourse in Luxembourg progressed from a dominantly resistance-driven view to a more differentiated perspective. In this context, Holocaust remembrance became more important and the Jewish victim group started to stand out. The presentation will trace the journey of Alfred Oppenheimer’s testimony throughout Luxemburg’s contemporary history and demonstrate that it is connected to the notion of a new national consciousness after WWII. It will explore how his story moved from the court to the media and how it was told in different outlets throughout society’s path towards understanding its role in the larger context of Nazi occupation, Holocaust and their aftermath in history and memory. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 75 (7 UL)
See detail„Grow into a happy future“ The development of abortion law in the German Democratic Republic and its ideological and practical implications (1945 - 1972)
Wingerter, Elisabeth UL

Bachelor/master dissertation (2016)

The master's thesis aims at exploring the laws regulating abortion and reproduction in the GDR until its legalization in 1972. These laws, their impact and mediatization are put into a comparative ... [more ▼]

The master's thesis aims at exploring the laws regulating abortion and reproduction in the GDR until its legalization in 1972. These laws, their impact and mediatization are put into a comparative perspective with the situation in the Soviet Union. The thesis further explores how ideologically charged explanations were used to legitimize abortion laws and the discrepancy between the USSR and the GDR in terms of legalization. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 34 (2 UL)
See detailAbortion in the Third Reich: Ideology and the Penal System Concerning Women in the Penal Institution in Saarbrücken, Germany
Wingerter, Elisabeth UL

Presentation (2015, March 21)

With the help of almost 200 dossiers of the Penal Institution in Saarbrücken (Germany) from the period from 1928 to 1944, I examine the situation of imprisoned German women during the Nazi Regime. I am ... [more ▼]

With the help of almost 200 dossiers of the Penal Institution in Saarbrücken (Germany) from the period from 1928 to 1944, I examine the situation of imprisoned German women during the Nazi Regime. I am focusing on the cases of illegal abortions by examining individual cases as well as common ideological and legal conceptions. The dossiers helped me to make conclusions about the gap between ideological ideas concerning the German woman and the complex and dark reality of life conditions for women. Insufficient medical and sexual education along with a legal inferiority shaped the „abortion epidemics“ among lower class women. Secondary and primary sources show that along with the gradual descent of the whole legal system into a system of institutionalized crime, economic conditions also influenced the catastrophic conditions for the pregnant lower class woman. The complexity of the cases is striking: Along with the lack of understanding for the female body, economic misery, legal problems and war, many other factors appear during the research. Pressure from the own family, social norms and Christian morals played a role. Furthermore, men were an essential part of this history as husbands, fathers or rapists. Moreover, abortions developed into a business, as groups of men and women started to help other undergo abortion for money. I also explain the most common procedure of abortion and its risks. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 25 (2 UL)
See detailAbtreibung im Dritten Reich. Ideologie im Frauenstrafvollzug am Beispiel der Strafanstalt Saarbrücken
Wingerter, Elisabeth UL

Bachelor/master dissertation (2014)

The aim of the Bachelor's thesis is to examine how national socialist principles about human reproduction and "racial purity" impacted the female inmates in the penal institution in Saarbrücken, Germany ... [more ▼]

The aim of the Bachelor's thesis is to examine how national socialist principles about human reproduction and "racial purity" impacted the female inmates in the penal institution in Saarbrücken, Germany. Over 200 personal files of German women accused of illegal abortion were examined for this study. The thesis also elaborates on conceptions of womanhood, sexuality and medical misconceptions as well as the impact of the social strata of the affected women. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 26 (1 UL)