- The House of Dolls
infobox Book |
name = The House of Dolls
translator = Moshe M. Kohn
image_caption = 1982 edition paperback cover
author = Ka-tzetnik 135633
language = English translation from the original
Simon & Schuster(first English edition)
release_date = 1955
media_type = Print (Hardback &
isbn = NA
"The House of Dolls" is a 1955 novella by Ka-tzetnik 135633. The novella describes Joy Divisions, which were allegedly groups of
Jewish women in the concentration camps during World War IIwho were kept for the sexual pleasure of Nazi soldiers.
The origin of Ka-tzetnik's story is not clear. Some say it is based on a
diarykept by a young Jewish girl who was captured in Polandwhen she was fourteen years old and forced into sexual slaveryin a Nazi labour camp. However the diary itself has not been located or verified to exist. Others claim, and the author suggests as much in his later book "Shivitti", that it is based on the actual history of Ka-Tzetnik's younger sister ("The House of Dolls" is about the sister of Ka-Tzetnik's protagonist, Harry Frelshnik).
Between 1942 and 1945, Auschwitz and nine other
Nazi concentration campscontained brothels (Freudenabteilung 'Joy Division'), mainly used to reward cooperative non-Jewish inmates. [ [http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,459704,00.html New Exhibition Documents Forced Prostitution in Concentration Camps] "Spiegel Online", 15 January 2007] [ [http://www.pbs.org/auschwitz/40-45/corruption/1943b.html Auschwitz, inside the Nazi state: Corruption] , PBS. Accessed 28 April 2007.] Not only prostitutes were forced to work there.In the documentary film, "Memory of the Camps", a project supervised by the British Ministry of Information and the American Office of War Information during the summer of 1945, camera crews filmed women who they stated were forced into sexual slavery for the use of guards and favored prisoners. The film makers stated that as the women died they were replaced by women from the concentration camp Ravensbrück. [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/camp/ Memory of the Camps] , Frontline, PBS]
The book "Stella: One Woman's True Tale of Evil, Betrayal, and Survival in Hitler's Germany", a biography of
Stella Goldschlag, says she was threatened with being forced into sexual slavery unless she cooperated with the Nazis. [ [http://hunza1.tripod.com/borowski/book.html hunza1.tripod.com] ]
Literature and scholarly references
In his essay "Narrative Perspectives on Holocaust Literature",
Leon Yudkinuses "The House of Dolls" as one of his key examples of the ways in which authors have approached the holocaust, using the work as an example of "diaries (testimonies) that look like novels" due to its reliance on its author's own experiences.cite book |last=Yudkin |first=Leon |coauthors=various co-authors |editor=Leon Yudkin, ed. |title=Hebrew Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust |date=1993 |publisher=Fairleigh Dickinson University Press |isbn=0-838-63499-0 |pages=13-32 |chapter=Narrative Perspectives on Holocaust Literature] Ronit Lentendiscusses "The House of Dolls" in her work "Israel and the Daughters of the Shoah". In her book, Lenten interviews a child of Holocaust survivors who recalls "The House of Dolls" as one of her first exposures to the Holocaust. Lenten notes that the "explicit, painful" story made a huge impact when published and states that "many children of holocaust survivors who write would agree . . . that "House of Dolls" represents violence and sexuality in a manner which borders on the pornographic."cite book |last=Lenten |first=Ronit |title=Israel and the Daughters of the Shoah: Reoccupying the Territories of Silence |date=2000 |publisher=Berghahn Books |isbn=1-571-81775-1 |pages=33-34, 66 n. 4] Na'ama Shik, researching at Yad Vashem, the principal Jewish organisation for the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, considers the book as fiction." [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/world/middleeast/06stalags.html Israel’s Unexpected Spinoff From a Holocaust Trial] ", Isabel Kershner, New York Times, September 6, 2007] Nonetheless, it is part of the Israeli high school curriculum.
The success of the book showed there was a market for
Nazi exploitationpopular literature, known in Israel as Stalags. However Yechiel Szeintuchfrom the Hebrew Universityrejects links between the smutty Stalags and K. Tzetnik's works which he insists were based on reality.
Joy Divisionwere an English post-punkband from 1976 to 1980, who took their name from the reference in this book. An early song, "No Love Lost," contains a short excerpt from the novella.
Love Camp 7" (1968), considered to be the first Nazi exploitation film, is set in a concentration camp "Joy Division."
*Ka-tzetnik 135633. "The House of Dolls". ISBN 1-85958-506-X.
*Wyden, Peter. "Stella: One Woman's True Tale of Evil, Betrayal, and Survival in Hitler's Germany". ISBN 0-385-47179-3.
Sexual enslavement by the Nazi state in WWII
Recreation and Amusement Association
German war crimes
Japanese war crimes
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