DDF digitalization project

From 1 January until 31 December 2022, the DENKtRÄUME women’s education center and the Central Library for Women’s Studies, Gender & Queer Studies of the Center for Gender & Diversity (ZGD Library) will collaborate on a digitalization project as part of the Digital German Women’s Archive (DDF).

In the mid-1980s, the case of the German historian Ruth Kellermann hit the headlines: in 1982, during a public lecture in Hamburg as part of the lecture series of the coordination office for women’s studies/research (Koordinationsstelle Frauenstudien / Frauenforschung)—the predecessor organization to the ZGD—the social historian’s National Socialist past as a clerical worker involved in the persecution by the Nazis of Sinti and Roma was made public. Kellermann had previously been involved in a number of women’s movements in Hamburg, including the DENKtRÄUME women’s education center.

Close-up of a modern building facade

In the wake of this case, which is also part of our own history, we’ll address the topics of the women’s movement and female involvement in National Socialism / right-wing extremism and devote our attention to one of the dilemmas of the new women’s movement: in the search for female (emancipated) role models, only a portion of the women’s movement asked about the involvement of these role models in National Socialist crimes; the majority merely upheld the popular myth that “Women were just the victims” without first questioning this perception of women. How could it come to this, to history being forgotten? Why weren’t certain batons of remembrance passed on? The discussion within the women’s movement about women and Nazi crimes and, as an extension to this, about women and right-wing extremism remains as important today as it was in the past.

Within this project, documents relating to the Kellermann case and the discussion about the female perpertrators are to be catalogued, digitalized, and—when legally permissible—published. The extensive archives of the ZGD Library on women/gender and right-wing extremism (from 1945 to the present day) are moreover to be made searchable, among others through the creation of a finding aid, in order to further support the discussion of this topic, which remains important to this day.

In addition, interviews with contemporary witnesses will provide further stimulus, which can be used as additional resource for research. Various topics—‘The women’s movement and NS perpetrators’, ‘The persecution of Sinti and Roma women during the NS regime’ and ‘The women’s movement and right-wing extremism to the present day’—will be prepared for the DDF portal.

DDF digitalization project:
Women’s movements and female NS perpertrators / right-wing extremism

Project period: 1 January–31 December 2022

Project implementation:

DENKtRÄUME women’s education center
Contacts: Inga Müller, inga.mueller@denktraeume.de
Nicolli Povijač, nicolli.povijac@denktraeume.de

Central Library for Women’s Studies, Gender & Queer Studies
Contact: Jana Reich, jana.reich@uni-hamburg.de