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Female Camp Guards

Of the over 40,000 concentration camp guards during the Holocaust, almost one-tenth were women, or about 3508 guards.  Many of these women volunteered, and many more were conscripted.  When we think of the atrocities associated with the concentration camps, we usually imagine male guards committing the crimes and overlooking the prisoners.  However, the role that women played in the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution cannot be overlooked.  Throughout history, women have demonstrated levels of violence and sadism that are on par with those of men, and the Holocaust was no exception.  The level of abuse the female concentration camp guards participated in was shocking and included medical experimentations, selection, sexual abuse, beatings, infanticide, and more. However, there were also many female concentration camp guards that tried to do their jobs without inflicting violence on prisoners, who used their time as guards mainly as a way to improve their social situation.  These women spent their time overseeing prisoners, flirting with male guards, and trying to ignore the atrocities going on around them.  This website will explore what life was like for the guards, including their duties and training, and what the average female guard was like.  We will also look into motivations behind the actions of the camp guards, the question of gender in relation to camp guards, and at the exceptional cases of extremely brutal women.

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