When compiling resources for Women’s History Month, in a country where reproductive rights and gender justice initiatives are in grave peril, I found it necessary to highlight numerous strands of interrelated histories. The socialist origins of International Women’s Day, and the role of Jewish immigrants who later fell victim to state repression and genocide, are just two legacies informing contemporary feminist and gender-based activism. 

Crucially as a Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, we must also confront how gender always dictates the lived experience of victims and survivors of mass violence, both during the events in question and following. We are painfully aware of the ways individuals become targets in specific ways due to their gender. Furthermore, political decisions and humanitarian relief often fail to take gender into account, keeping women, genderqueer, and other non-male-identifying individuals away from negotiation tables and policy action. 

As activists both past and present push for equal rights across gender identities, while repressive regimes around the world continue to curb various rights with frightening success, it is important to understand how equal representation and a working understanding of gender justice are vital to memory politics. 

Below are links from the Center’s webpages, as well as third-party resources we encourage you to consult. 

Materials from the Center’s Archive:

  • The portraits and interviews with artist Oscar De La Concha include: 
  • Voice to Vision, a collaborative project that captures the experiences of genocide survivors, victims of mass violence, as well as their descendants. Subjects (in dialogue with project participants) use oral testimonies to collaboratively create mixed media artworks. 
    • Voice to Vision Series V centers survivors of gender-based violence; also features survivors of the Cambodian Genocide; Genocide of Indigenous Peoples; the Holocaust; Rwandan Genocide and Sudanese Civil War
    • In Voice to Vision Series VI highlights the lives of descendants of genocide survivors 
    • Voice to Vision Series XVII features Professor Brenda Child, and Professor Child’s daughter, Benay McNamara, interweaving personal and collective stories  that recount their family’s forced removal from Anishinaabe lands in 1889 by the Nelson Act
“A Ladder and a Stop Sign” by Christine Stark, Native American sexual abuse survivor and Mark Biedrzycki, sculptor, with contributions from David Feinberg and artists Ali Abdulkadir, Bonnie Brabson, Stephanie Thompson from Voice to Vision V

Armenian Genocide: 

  • The Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive contains approximately 600 interviews relating to the Armenian Genocide in a variety of languages covering various subjects; many have been fully indexed and are searchable through the Shoah Foundation’s website. The full database is available online to university users and the general public through on-site access in Wilson LIbrary (UMN West Bank)  

 Bosnia and Herzegovina – Massacres in Srebrenica and Visegrad: 

Indigenous Peoples in North America

Jewish Life prior to and following the Holocaust:  

Meyer Weinshel is a Ph.D. candidate in Germanic studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where he is the educational outreach and special collections coordinator for the UMN Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In addition to being an instructor of German studies, he has also taught Yiddish coursework with Minneapolis-based Jewish Community Action and at the Ohio State University.