What do We Women Understand About Politics? From the Files to the Stage

Bremen, August 1945. The allies' prisoner of war camps are filling up quickly. Not only with men. Women are also being detained.

"Perfectly normal" women who were able to take advantage of a variety of possibilities for action within the Nazi state. Were they fanatical followers of National Socialism, as feared by the US American military government? Merely subordinates, uninformed opportunists or even victims themselves, as many women maintained?

Gestapo agent and informer, concentration camp guard and functionary of the Nazi Women's Association, SS assistant and carer, teacher and doctor, female overseer and Gestapo secretary in Bremen or distant Minsk. They are all put through the denazification process. What explanation do they have to offer for their behavior after 1945? How do they see themselves during the denazification process? How does post-war German society judge their activities? What do these "perfectly normal" women understand by the term politics?

"From the files to the stage" is the motto of history and theatre projects run by the University of Bremen since 2007, based on controversial subjects from the Hanseatic city's past. Students from the Institute of Historical Science and actors from the bremen shakespeare company develop and present stage readings using original historical documents. The project combines explorative learning and theatrical assignment. The aim is to allow the files to speak on stage, and in doing so, to make sourced-based research available to a wide public.



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