Birth, Sex and Abuse
Women's Voices Under Nazi Rule
Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature, 2016
The National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies (USA), 2015
The Canadian Jewish Literary Award in Holocaust Literature, 2015
A CHOICE ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ Award, 2015
An International Book Award in History 2016
Eric Hoffer Book Award in Legacy Non-Fiction, 2016
Canadian Book Award, 2016
Book Excellence Award in Non-Fiction 2017 Finalist
National Indie Excellence Book Award in Women's Issues 2017
Eric Hoffer Book Awards: A Montaigne Medal for Thought Provoking Books, 2016
Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Shortlist, 2016
Foreword Reviews Indiefab Book of the Year in History, 2015
This multi-award-winning book – with twelve major accolades to date – is a fascinating examination of birth, sex and abuse during the Nazi era. Dr Chalmers’ unique lens on the Holocaust provides a stunning and controversial exposé of the voices of both Jewish and non-Jewish women living under Nazi rule. Based on twelve years of study, the book takes an inter-disciplinary view incorporating women’s history, Holocaust studies, social sciences and medicine in a cutting-edge account of what women themselves actually said, thought and did.
The Nazis used and abused childbearing and sexuality to achieve their goal of creating a Master Race – by promoting birth among so called ‘Aryan Women’ and, in contrast, murdering Jewish women and their babies. Rather than saving women and children first, as is customary in times of war, the Nazis murdered them to achieve their ideological goal.
“There are many Holocaust survival narratives and autobiographies that deal with brothels and forced sex in the camps. But Birth, Sex and Abuse: Women’s Voices under Nazi Rule by Beverley Chalmers stands alone. …each word, each bit of information is precious and unlikely to be found elsewhere with such clarity and comprehensiveness” (Marcia Weiss Posner: Jewish Book Council Reviews: National Jewish Book Award Winner; USA).
“Chalmers’ writing…reflects exhaustive research, clarity of thought, and unflinching engagement with complexities that have received inadequate prior attention ... The result is a rare and complex analysis supported by well-chosen first-hand accounts ...” (M D Lagerwey, Western Michigan University: CHOICE:’ Outstanding Academic Title’ Award Winner).
“This book should be a ‘must’ for everybody dealing with the cruel chapters of the Holocaust, especially for those who are dealing with research about the subject of women and children, and medicine, during the Shoah” (Prof. Dr. Miriam Gillis-Carlebach, Director, The Joseph Carlebach Institute, Bar-Ilan University, Israel).
“This book has an utterly unique, in-depth focus on all aspects of sexuality and reproduction during the Nazi regime; the author has written the first-ever, comprehensive tome on the treatment of women and infants that is essential for many disciplines” (Prof. Caroline Pukall, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Director of SexLab and the Sex Therapy Service, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada).
“Chalmers’ text is a an encyclopedic work…a comprehensive, descriptive survey of the situations women faced during the Holocaust. It offers an accessible account of the experience of women’s sexual and reproductive lives under Nazi rule…Chalmers has laid a superb foundation for what is hoped will lead to further research on this critical area of Holocaust studies…Chalmers work will serve as an important reference volume…” (Prof Michael Grodin, Boston University: Modern Judaism, 2015, 347-51).
“Beverley Chalmers’ latest book is not the kind people want to read. Yet, it’s one they should…it is filled…with horrifying accounts of countless Jewish and non-Jewish women being raped and brutalized, experimented upon, forced into prostitution or compelled to undergo sterilization or abortion against their will…These actions were all part of the Nazi agenda to create a master race, but until Chalmers set about writing this book, no single work had thoroughly examined and comprehensively consolidated evidence of this aspect of the Holocaust” (Renee Ghert-Zang The Times of Israel).