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Publishers WeeklySadly, Hedgepth and Saidel may be asking too much of their readers: three hundred pages chronicling the literal and metaphorical rapes of women (who were often subsequently murdered) is a visceral discomfort few will be willing to undertake. But these essays, describing experiences of forced sex, "sex for survival," prostitution, sterilization, abortion, and general sexual humiliation, add greatly to what is known about the lives of Jewish women during WWII. Much of the content here is a philosophical extension of first-person accounts of sexual torture. One essay on victim psychology demonstrates how trauma can render the first-person unreliable. Several essays deal with WWII sexual violence as depicted in fiction and film. Taken together, these essays illustrate how this subject is discussed, or not, across the globe. The fact that this exhaustive volume represents the first set of essays on the subject written in English underpins a fundamental truth held by the editors: while English-speaking countries are comfortable discussing these horrors, the fates specific to the murdered women and survivors of sexual assault are considered by many to be too shameful for discourse.
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