Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: July 1, 2023 - Last updated: September 1, 2023


Author: Deborah Janson

Title: Female Sacrifice, Sexual Assault, and Dehumanization

Subtitle: Bourgeois Tragedy, Horror, and the Making of Jud Süß

In: German #MeToo: Rape Cultures and Resistance, 1770-2020

Edited by: Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson

Place: Rochester, NY

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

Year: 2022 (Publiehed online: October 8, 2022)

Pages: 100-122

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies 10

ISBN-13: 9781640141353 (hardcover) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106062 (EPUB) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106055 (PDF) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History: German History | Types: Sexual Assault; Representations: Films / Jud Süß


- Cambridge Core (Restricted Access)

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Author: Deborah Janson, Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, West Virginia University - ResearchGate

Lecture: Janson, Deborah. »The Sacrifice of Yet Another Bourgeois Maiden: Upholding the Social Order through Sexual Assault in Veit Harlan's Jud SüßForty-Third Conference of the German Studies Association. San Diego 2019. - Bibliographic Entry Info

Summary: »Sexual Abuse and female sacrifice are constitutive elements of Veit Harlan's notorious Nazi propaganda film, Jud Süß (Jew Suss). Promoted by Joseph Goebbels and released in 1940 to foment hatred toward the Jews, this film features the villainous Joseph Sus Oppenheimer, a cunning and greedy financier from Frankfurt's Jewish ghetto who gains favor with Karl Alexander, the new duke of Wurttemberg. Though loosely based on real events that took place in Stuttgart in the 1730s, the film distorts historical facts-for example, by depicting Oppenheimer as a Jew bent on having his way with bourgeois Christian women. From young maidens forced to perform sexual favors for the duke at Oppenheimer's behest to Oppenheimer's rape of the young, innocent, and already-spoken- for Dorothea Sturm, sexual violence against women propels the film's action. The work thus builds on several established genres that revolve around the abuse and death of beautiful women. These genres span gendered and anti-Semitic expressions of abjection in portraying victimization, violence, and exclusion.
The two cultural antecedents I wish to consider in this context form a surprising pair: eighteenth-century bourgeois tragedy and twentiethcentury horror film. The former is well represented by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's Miß, Sara Sampson (1755) and Emilia Galotti (1772), two works that closely adhere to the tropes of the genre, featuring a close fatherdaughter relationship, a weak or absent mother, a tyrannical and depraved aristocracy, and the seduction of a virtuous yet corruptible maiden. The horror film, too, prominently features women as victims of sexual abuse, as exemplified by Friedrich Murnau's Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922; Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror), in which a monstrous male character becomes obsessed with hunting down and killing an innocent but alluring female. By discussing features common to these works, this essay illuminates the influence of the German cultural heritage on the making of Jud Süß. In turn, these commonalities shed light on representations of victimization central to the #MeToo movement, thereby revealing different manifestations of the rape culture characteristic of male-dominated societies.« (Source: Cambridge Core)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany / Nazi Germany | Film: Veit Harlan / Jud Süß | Sex and the law: Sexual assault