SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN ARMED CONFLICTS. THE TRAUMA OF GERMAN WOMAN DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR (Przemoc seksualna w konfliktach zbrojnych. Trauma kobiet niemieckich w czasie II wojny swiatowej)
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The authoress investigates the problem of sexual violence as a direct result of armed conflicts. The main topic of her interest is the use of mass rape as a means of repression and pressure towards German women by the soldiers of the Red Army upon entering the former East German territories (East Prussia, Silesia and Pomerania) and the literary depiction of those events in post-war German prose. The authoress presents the history of rape in Western culture and the mechanisms of using sexual violence during the war: perceiving the woman-enemy as a symbolic personification of the motherland, following the right of the winner who is entitled to loot, desire of revenge, demoralization and barbarousness. Mass rape is also shown as a phenomenon of deprivation, of dispossessing the victim of what is intimate and familiar to her: integrity of body and psyche, self-esteem, identity, female dignity. Selected literary works serve as illustrations of the victims' trauma and ways of coping with it. Emphasis is placed on the necessity of public discourse on the use of sexual violence towards women during the war and the role of literature as a carrier of individual, cultural and collective memory which undergoes traumatization.
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